BY ALI NAQVI –
Without a king a kingdom is meaningless and cannot hold itself together. One should give full credit to Strings and Noori for keeping the kingdom intact that was put together by Rohail Hyatt. Rohail has been the uncrowned King of one of the biggest and most talented ensemble of musicians brought together by Coca-Cola. Coke Studio Season 12 is coming out in October with Rohail Hyatt leading the troupe.
This year Coke Studio Season 12, headed by the ace musician, will have to deal with a couple of challenges. Twelve years ago when Rohail started Coke Studio, the music scene of Pakistan was sterile and lifeless. There were only two notable singers, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who were working in their individual capacities and that too mostly on the other side of the border.
Coke Studio gave a new life to music that reverberated beyond boundaries. The change was exciting, entertaining and unheard of. Music lovers in Pakistan had not experienced the grandeur and brilliance of orchestral music before. Folk, rock, pop and classical singers and musicians were given a platform to sing their heart out.
This time around things are a little different. Pepsi, the direct competitor of Coca-Cola, has jumped into the music scene by successfully conducting Pepsi Battle of the Bands for the last couple of years. Nestle Nescafe has also risen to recognition and fame. Things are looking better and competitive for music in Pakistan. Last few seasons of Coke Studio had not been able to live up to its own reputation. Pepsi was real quick to respond and captured the space they had forfeited long ago.
Rohail Hyat has a mammoth task at hand. He is supposed to work some magic. He is the musician who can handle the orchestra and play with the any kind of melody to the sublime musical effect. According to rumors Coke Studio Season 12 will feature singers like Ali Sethi, Abrar-ul-Haq, Aima Baig and others. But this is not the entire lineup, the season will be powered by the eccentric performances of Atif Aslam.
With Rohail in the driving seat Coke Studio has all the reasons to be successful. But the expectations are higher than ever. We all know what high expectations can do. We have recently witnessed the greatest of hopes dashing to pieces when the final Game of Thrones Season was unveiled.