Coke Studio received mixed reactions this year with some appreciating the brand’s contribution in preserving the musical heritage of Pakistan and others criticizing it for not meeting the standards it had set for itself.
However, amidst the fog of this whole discussion, we cannot in anyway discredit the work of artists who outshined others and gave undisputed hits while retaining the glory of Coke Studio this season. One of such names is Ali Hamza of Coke Studio’s veteran band Noori, who made his debut as music director with season 10 and proved one more time that brilliance runs in his blood.
In a music show like CS where experimental approach of the composers often lead them to their fair share of good and bad days, Hamza did not miss the mark even once and remained consistently good throughout. In a short span of just 3 numbers he has booked himself a special place in the hearts of CS enthusiasts and has given a message out loud that come what may, he is here to stay! (well that rhymed 😛 )
As we bid farewell to this year’s season, here is glimpse at the debutante’s prolific performance with which he continues to reign our playlists even after the series’ conclusion.
1. Tinak Dhin
Starting off with probably the season’s best original, Tinak Dhin features powerhouse vocalists like Ali Sethi, Waqar Ehsin and Ali Hamza himself. It is an upbeat number that has a way of breaking you into dance which explains why we saw most of the people in the video shaking a leg.
Although all the three singers have unique vocals, the melody of the song connects them in a way that they complement each other and add to the magic. Lyrics of the song are witty and interesting enough to prick your ears up. So, unlike most of the dance numbers, you don’t find yourself swaying to nonsensical set of words and chants put together to justify the instrumental.
The flow of the song is more like a rushing stream moving swiftly, capturing anything that comes in the path and the climax of it can well be compared to that point where this stream falls into a larger body with immense pressure.
All in all, Tinak Dhin undoubtedly proves to be a rousing showcase of Ali Hamza’s musical genius. See for yourself!
A treat for your ears, Jindjaani is a folk song duet between Ali Hamza and Nirmal Roy. As mentioned in the BTS video, Hamza had first written the song in 2003 and the track has been through many changes since then.
Catchy Dholak beats, folksy mandolin’s riffs and soothing flute notes bring soul to the number. Nonetheless it is the skillful transition of the track into classic folk number, Jhaanjar Phabdi Na, which makes up for the surprising element. Two thumbs up to Nirmal Roy who did complete justice to not only Tahira Syed’s original but also the collaboration as a whole.
For me, it was the roller coaster ride of emotions depicted through both lyrics and music and Ali Hamza’s ability to strike a balance by introducing fresh yet relatable sound, that made the venture so epic.
Here, have a look!
3. Kaatay Na Katay
Only Ali Hamza can fuse semi-classical with rock and totally own it. Put to life by Runa Laila in 1972, Kaatay Na Katay is a Pakistani classic which remains ingrained in our minds till date. To cover a song of such stature was a task not-so-easy, let alone adding to the musical experience by any means. Still, Hamza took the risk of playing around with the sound recklessly and boy oh boy did it turn out so well.
Guitar riffs, solid drums, mandolin solo, tabla beats, lyrical finesse, combination of spunky and rock vocals of Rachel Viccaji & Aima Baig with Humera Arshad’s peculiar classical voice tone; they all work in harmony to give a rich textured feel to the composition and take the song to its pinnacle.
Most memorable moment might be, just when you think that the performance has concluded, we see Ali Hamza making a cameo appearance as a vocalist and taking the song to new heights in a chorus which sounds like a celebration in itself.
Coke Studio’s Kaatay Na Katay has the entire aptness to set a precedent that behind every successful trio of women, there is a man who believed in girl power and took it upon himself to show the world the wonders these ladies are capable of doing.
No, we are not exaggerating. Take a listen!
What inclined me the most is the fact that all these songs have a recall value to them and despite the presence of novelty in their sound, special effort has been made by Ali Hamza to make sure that cultural relevance prevails.
Considering the fact that this is just the beginning of Hamza’s career as a music director and he is yet to reach his full potential both as a human and as an artist, performances of such standing simply show us the wonders that Ali Hamza is capable of doing. Honestly, I would not be surprised if I see him directing the whole Studio 10 years down the line. For now, we all have nothing but gratitude and best wishes to offer for his future endeavors.
Thank you Ali Hamza! We owe you big time!