This article originally appeared in Khaleej Times in 2017.
Being away from home is not an easy thing! Many young men and women travel across the world in search of better opportunities, but quite a few of them admit missing home! However, the UAE is different, it has something for everyone – for every culture. Be it food or entertainment there no dearth of it – especially from the subcontinent. Concerts, plays and other cultural events take place throughout the year keeping expatriates from India and Pakistan connected to their culture!
Many second generation Pakistanis, who are born and bred in the UAE, use music as a tool to teach their children about their culture and the essence of their own memories while growing up in Pakistan. And when it comes to teaching them about music, there’s is no better avenue than the Pakistani television music show, Coke Studio. This show has kept alive the tradition of Pakistani folk and the legacy of the many great Pakistani artists.
The show holds appeal not just for Pakistanis, but also for a large number of viewers from other part of the subcontinent. Especially those who share similar languages like Punjabi, Sindhi or Bengali.
This year is special for Coke Studio as it celebrates its tenth year. It has been a glorious decade of making innovative and creative music by various artists from Pakistan. As the country marks its 70th year of independence, artists at Coke Studio will be paying tribute to the greats of the past. Humera Channa and Nabeel Shaukat will be singing Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat, sung originally by the great Noor Jehan and penned by the legendary Faiz Ahmed Faiz Sahab. Another celebrated poem by Faiz Sahab – Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain Tere – will be sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali.
The other historic numbers that will be covered in the show will be Ranjish Hi Sahi (sung originally by the late Mehdi Hasan with a tribute by Ali Sethi), Uss Rah Par (originally sung by the late Junaid Jamshed and covered by Ali Zafar) and Dam Mast Qalandar (originally sung by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and sung on Coke Studio by Jabir and Umair Jaswal).
Tracks like Dam Must Qalandar and Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat are iconic and have defined many moments in the past. It is thus befitting that Coke Studio has chosen to hail and revisit those artists that have been the pride and joy for Pakistan.
The musical directors in this season of Coke Studio include Shuja Haider, Shaani, Sahir Ali Bagga, Strings, Mekaal Hasan and Salman Ahmad.
Audiences can look forward to the show as a way to commemorate and celebrate their culture and history.