A lot many of you might agree with me that ‘Music – On, World – Off’.
So here is the thing about me – I get bored easily. So, when it comes to music, my playlist keeps getting refreshed as and when I get curious and make new discoveries. On one such attempt, I bumped into a beautifully crafted ‘Afreen Afreen’, a rendering full of poetic and soothing sensibilities, on a platform titled ‘Coke Studio Pakistan’, by singers Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan. The heartfelt emotion and melodic panache with which the song was presented left me spellbound and wanting for more. As a sucker for good music, I took a nose dive into the ocean of a perfect fusion of classical, folk and contemporary music that is Coke Studio Pakistan.
‘Coke Studio’, jointly conceptualized by Pakistan and the Coca Cola Company, was incepted on June 8, 2008 and now is in the tenth season and it has been on a high ever since it began. This show airs live performances by renowned as well as upcoming artists. Their hall of fame boasts of big names like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, and Shafqat Amanat Ali amongst many others. The program showcases Pakistani musicians in all their glory.
What I found to be quite interesting and revolutionary about the show is that all the songs are available online on their website for free downloads. This is an excellent way to boost upcoming young talent and make them more visible, for it has been noticed that making albums available online may augment the sales. Following success in Pakistan after its first launch, Coke Studio became an international franchise. The huge fan following amassed by this show, prompted Coca Cola to launch the show with a similar format in neighboring India in 2011. And in a welcome sign, it became critically and commercially successful.
This is an escape hatch from the delusion that has been created by the dozens of ‘reality shows’ that have been tormenting Indian television ever since Indian Idol – Season 1. These shows in place of promoting new talent, have been promoting melodrama, there by unleashing upon the audience a new genre of shows – The fake reality shows. None of the singers from these programs even make a mark on our mental mindscapes, let alone make a mark on the bigger platform except maybe Arijit Singh.
The root cause of this problem seems to be SMS menace. If for once we can stop competing and appreciate the beauty of music without spoiling its magic, maybe we can truly bring out what we’ve been aiming for. Singers have to sing for the joy they derive out of it. They shouldn’t prowl every nook and corner begging for votes. That’s when I think music will be the ultimate winner!
And just as a gift to all our readers, below is the link to a video of one of the most popular songs of Coke Studio that left me awestruck. Enjoy!