Coke Studio Season 14, A Review - Day 19

(Credits - Coke Studio)

Man, what a season!

Xulfi, the producer behind Coke Studio's magical season 14 has managed to bring so much new talent to the Coke Studio set with upcoming artists shaping the new wave of Pakistani music such as Hassan Raheem, Faris Shafi, Talha Anjum, Talal Qureshi, Arooj Aftab, Eva B, and many more. This season features an amazing amalgamation of artists with some that have made waves in the industry in just a few years, some seasoned artists, and then some artists that were literally picked up based on their raw talent and popularity on social media, like the Justin Bibis, for example. They became known after their viral video singing ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber on the streets. Little would they have known that Xulfi would be calling them in to sing with Hassan on Peechay Hutt in Coke Studio Season 14.

This season has been one hell of a musical journey for all of us that have been following it. From January to the end of February 2022, it’s been so exciting to follow each new song as it’s released and have it grow on you until the release of the next song. Personally, I felt that each song presented one shock after the other, in the way that the music production, the selection and combination of artists, the production design, and the various genres of Pakistani music were introduced, coming together to create a massive statement on behalf of Pakistan’s creative and music industries.

(Credits - Coke Studio/Youtube)

For all of the Pakistani and international crowd tuning into these uniquely produced music videos, subtitled in both Urdu and English, this season has been pivotal in helping us change the lens with which to see not only Pakistan’s music and art scene, but the evolving sociopolitical and cultural scene as well. Pakistan has already been making massive strides in promoting its creative industries in the past few years, especially with the success of the Pakistan Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020, and now with Coke Studio season 14, I think that it will hit the world even harder with its bursting creative potential. A striking observation in this season is its introduction of rap, with emerging rap artists such as Eva B, Faris Shafi, Talha Yunus, and even other artists taking a shot at rap such as Atif Aslam, Meesha Shafi, Hassan Raheem, and a few others. This is a huge step for Pakistan’s music scene and even Faris Shafi, termed ‘Pakistan’s Eminem’ commented in this season that Pakistan’s attitude towards rap music is changing. It’s a very recent change that I’ve been observing and following myself and to me, it symbolizes a new era of self-expression that is raw, unfiltered, and one that offers the potential and freedom for artists to spread social awareness in a very honest and relatable manner.

(Credits - Coke Studio)

Let’s not forget that this season brought the Lyari based female rap artist, Eva B into the public eye, which is nothing short of revolutionary. Behind the burka is a very lyrically charged artist, who can rap in both Balochi and in Urdu. I don’t think that anyone could have anticipated that a female rap artist would have come out of Pakistan, that too one rapping in Balochi even until a few years ago, but the times are changing, and Xulfi has made sure that both Pakistan and the world is made aware of that.

Art is at the forefront of social change, as it always has been, and boy does the art of this season have the potential to create not just ripples but waves in the creative industry of Pakistan, and radically change the soft image of the country in the world altogether.

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