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Coke Studio Pakistan is a Cultural Phenomenon

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Pareeshe Fatima

‘Coke Studio’, a music show that has been running since 2008, has not only become the most popular in Pakistan but has also gained immense popularity across the globe. The show’s unique concept of promoting multiculturalism has resonated with audiences in countries like India, making it a source of pride for all music enthusiasts.

The show’s diverse range of musical influences, from traditional folk music to classical, Sufi, ghazals, bhangra, and qawwali songs, is a testament to its commitment to inclusivity. Artists from different regions and languages come together, creating a musical melting pot that inspires unity and understanding.

The show, conceived in 2007 by Nadeem Zaman from The Coca-Cola Company, was a visionary project aimed at bringing little-known musicians into the national limelight and reintroducing genres such as Sufi and qawwali music to the youth. Its success has not only revived these genres but also breathed new life into the music industry, offering hope for a vibrant future.

Each season of “Coke Studio” features an assortment of singers, ranging from legendary artists such as Abida Parveen and Farida Khanum to emerging artists such as Kaifi Khalil, Abdul Wahab Bugti, Anushae Gill, and many more. The show has not only provided a platform for these artists to showcase their talent but has also significantly boosted their careers. For instance, the show’s collaboration with Kaifi Khalil catapulted him to national fame, and he is now a recognized name in the music industry. The show also brings together instrumentalists and music technicians, writers, and composers, fostering inclusivity and bringing local artists from all over the South Asian diaspora to their studios.

The show’s popularity has been growing over the years, and it continues to attract audiences who enjoy music across generations. In fact, according to the Coke Studio Pakistan website, 75% of Pakistan’s population is under 35 years of age, and the latest Season 15 aims to “sync [their] chords with what the youngsters want.” The music is accessible to old and young because the writers and producers collaborate with emerging and legendary artists and quickly gain popularity because of their large global audience. As one fan, Ayesha from Lahore, puts it, “Coke Studio is not just a music show, it’s a cultural phenomenon that brings us all together.”

The success of “Coke Studio” can be attributed to its unique concept of promoting multiculturalism and inclusivity, reviving genres such as Sufi and Qawwali music, and bringing together artists from various regions and generations. The show’s popularity has not only made it an essential part of Pakistani music culture but has also played a significant role in preserving and promoting traditional music. By reintroducing genres such as Sufi and qawwali to the youth, the show has ensured the continuity of these rich cultural traditions.

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