Coke Studio 2020 unveiled their third episode with three powerful songs featuring veterans Umair Jaswal and Sanam Marvi and budding artists Sehar Gul Khan and Zara Madani.
The first song of this episode is a powerful solo performance by Sehar Gul, written and composed by lyricist Asim Raza. Ishq da Kukkar has a spiritual message with a prayer of love towards God. The song is an early morning call to prayer being given by a bird deeply in love with the Almighty and in profound devotion, it beckons the believer to come to say a loving prayer alongside.
Speaking about how much the song touched her, Sehar said, “As I sang the song, with each verse, I felt like I was being transported, elevated into a completely different world. I’ve tried my best to share that experience through the song.”
Pardesiya, the second song of this episode is an eastern classical-inspired raga rock track performed by classically trained singer Zara Madani. The song is about one’s search for God and the longing for peace which one prays to the Almighty for in times of distress.
Explaining the concept of the song, Zara said: “In life, as humans, we are constantly in search of something. We await the arrival of something bigger, some form of an answer. This thirst for an answer or an impending destination is common to us all.”
This experimental song has a bluesy feel and has been sung in Raag Bhimpalasi in madh laya of eastern classical music. Raag Bhimpalasi has originated from thaat Kafi and is considered to be the Shanti Rasa (a conscious cultivation of inner balance, equilibrium, wisdom, and serenity) of Indian classical music.
The third song for the episode, Har Funn Maula, has been written by Shuja Haider and is a Sufi dhamaal power track with drums giving it a rock element. Har Funn Maula has been performed by Umair Jaswal and Sanam Marvi. Despite the upbeat music, this song curiously touches upon the chords of one’s soul with its spiritual message. It is man’s quest to make him better at everything he does, it is his prayer and longing for perfection.
While the song starts off in Jaswal’s rock musician voice, it borrows elements from the dhamaal, a devotional dance/music practice that honours qalandars or Sufi saints bringing in a Sufic flair to the message.
Talking about the song, Marvi said, “When you set foot on the first step of love, without even realising it, you take a step in the direction of Ishq-e-Haqqiqi (love for God Almighty). Somewhere along the way, you feel the pain of heartbreak, loss and you realise that only prayer can give you a sense of peace and calm.”
Coke Studio 2020 also marks the return of the house-band, with Asad Ahmed on the electric guitar, Kamran ‘Mannu’ Zafar on bass, Babar Khanna on eastern percussions, Shehroze Hussain on the sitar, Nawazish Nasri on rabab, and Abier ‘Veeru’ Shaan on percussions. On backing vocals, this season will feature Nimra Rafiq, Wajiha Naqvi, Kumail Jaffery, Shahab Hussain, and Zara Madani.
Given the new format and advantages of technology, this season has also collaborated with international musicians from across the world including Turkey, Nepal, Lebanon and Serbia. In fact, Turkish artist, Volkan Öktem, has also joined the house-band this season featuring on the drums.
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