Will Coke Studio move out of controlled environment?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 – By Rafay Mahmood

Karachi: With the start of the new Coke Studio season, the music crazy youth of Karachi has something to talk about other than the usual politics, violence and relationships.

Coke Studio - Season 3
Coke Studio – Season 3

The first episode from season three of the Coke Studio coincided with the arrival of the cyclone Phet. Although the cyclone could not live up to its hype, the heavy marketing and cult following of the Coke Studio made Karachiites glued to television sets for the first episode.

The Coke Studio is located in the Korangi area of Karachi and serves as a hub of music industry as it is the only place where a large number of musicians from all over Pakistan get together to jam.

Before coming to the superior production value of the show and its effect on the music industry, #Rohail-Hyatt, the producer of the show, must be credited for uniting the musicians on one platform for achieving a singular goal.

When an artist walks into a jam session or a politician enters assembly, both carry an ego heavier than their weight and as a result of which, bands are broken and so do political parties. To the misfortune of artists, there is no such thing as an ‘independent candidate’ for them unless they are some big name stars such as #Shafqat-Amanat-Ali or #Atif-Aslam.

The Coke Studio is also a great example of how to spend money and how to commercialize music in an artistic manner, so that both musician and the listener are truly satisfied. Being part of Coke Studio has become a bench mark in the industry and it has become the dream of every artist to be involved in this project.

Not only that, but kudos to Coke Studio for bringing the true identity of Pakistan in form of projecting artists such as #Saieen-Zahoor and #Arif-Lohar and make their sound more relatable to the youth.

One can’t deny the fact that the Pakistanis have something to be proud of in form of Coke Studio and something that can be played in international flights as a Pakistani brand.

However, one thing which is most worrying regarding Coke Studio, despite its huge international following, is that at the end of the day, it is a studio and the songs are sung and recorded in a controlled environment.

Pakistani pop music which is known for its live performances and from #Abrar-Ul-Haq to Meekal Hassan Band, from #Junoon to #Noori, live performances have been the bench mark of our industry and even world wide , live acts bring you recognition.

It is not about criticizing any positive thing happening in a country which is full of internal threats, but it is about raising the right point because we have seen quite enough of live music in the yester years and the same house band musicians have the capability of rocking a full house.

Coke Studio is a great venture, but for a jamming studio to become the bench mark of music in Pakistan is not what we are looking forward to.

There is a lot of money and high production and post production involved in creating a Coke Studio episode but if a similar thing is done live, it will just be a cherry on the top because the potential of Coke studio house band truly shines in a live environment, than a controlled studio environment. It is another two months before this seasons ends and we get back to talking politics, so lets see what other mysteries are about to be unfolded in Coke Studio 3.


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