My Top 5 from Coke Studio Season 4….so far.

Season 4 of Coke Studio is proving to be as much fun as the previous one, and I have an urge to share the performances that I REALLY enjoyed. But for the record, I’d just like to say that I love Rohail Hayat. He is quite awesome in my books, and has come a looooong way from his gangly, awkward days as a keyboardist for the Vital Signs.

Junaid Jamshed may be remembered as the lead singer of the most popular, the most phenomenal, the very FIRST pop band in Pakistan, but what the hell has he done to himself??


Rohail on the other hand has forever made his mark on the music scene as the producer of Coke Studio. The others just…faded away.

So yes, Rohail is now my favourite Vital Signs group member. Long may he live. He has succeeded in presenting obscure artists and musicians to us, as well as re-introducing established singers with a fresh sound.

The following videos are not in any order as such, as each one is so very different in terms of genre and calibre. They’re a mix of modern and traditional, and what I like about the ‘traditional’ performances is the way they have been fused with more western instruments and produced a sound that is a wonderful blend of both East and West.

So here goes.


Mizraab is a band I didn’t know anything about until now. This is one of the songs from the first episode I think, I can’t remember for sure, but it doesn’t matter. It got stuck in my head for some reason, so it must be good. Hope you enjoy it too. (you can stop watching when it gets too dramatic towards the end)

The lead singer, Faraz, is great with that guitar. And Rachel and Zoe add a nice touch with their voices to accompany Faraz’s singing.

Sanam Marvi

I admit I didn’t much like Sanam Marvi at first. She was introduced in the last season I think, and at the risk of incurring the wrath of Abida Parveen lovers, Sanam Marvi sounded a bit too much like a young version of her for me to like her. (Never been much of an Abida Parveen fan)

But she has grown on me since then, perhaps because of the glimpses we get of her humble personality, and earnestness. She once said, ‘Agar mujh mein mosiqi na hoti, tou shayed mai bhi na hoti.’  (if I had no music in me, I wouldn’t exist)

She sings  Sufi ‘kalaam’ (verses) with verve, passion and sensitivity. I think I REALLY like her very much now.

This is her singing ‘Ith Naheen’ by Baba Bulleh Shah. It means, if not here, then nowhere.

Ataullah Khan Isakhelvi

Isakhelvi needs absolutely no introduction. He is a phenomenon. I think Rohail must be over the moon with joy that he managed to rope him in!

For those who know nothing about him though, Ataullah Khan Isakhelvi, or Khan saheb as he is known on the sets of Coke Studio is a Punjabi folk singer, crooning songs of love in his instantly recognisable gritty voice. There’s something about it and his songs that I find incredibly sexy.

This is the Coke Studio version of a song from a Punjabi movie, very romantic. ‘Pyar Nal na sahi, ghussay naal vekh liya kar…beemaaraan noo shifa mil jaandi ay’, which means, literally, ‘look at me with anger, if not love…that would be enough….this sick person would be cured’ 🙂

But first, a peek at what goes on behind the scenes…..(love the deference with which Rohail speaks to Isakhelvi, and the various artists goofing off with each other)  🙂

Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad

I don’t even know if this is classical or if it’s qawwali, but it’s sixteen and a half minutes of pure entertainment. I’m amazed at how Fareed Ayaz can belt this out with a mouth stuffed with paan! And the body language of the singers, the way they move their hands and seem to put their entire bodies into their performance is just great to watch. I don’t even know what it is they’re singing so passionately about….but I can feel it. And it’s great fun to see the head-bobbing and the smiles on the faces of the guitarists and Gumby the drummer….they just look like they’re enjoying it immensely and that is fun to watch too. I think it’s called synergy. And pure artistry. Fantastic.


Another band I know nothing about, but I just fell in love with the softness of this song. It’s more a lullaby, really. And another song I couldn’t stop singing to myself….

Beautifully rendered. Here’s ‘Nindiya re’….

Hope you enjoyed the various sounds folks. That’s a wrap 🙂

p.s Would love to hear from you and know which songs you enjoyed so far this season….


  1. saks says:

    loved the intro although i think you were a bit hard on JJ. i share your love and respect for Rohail Hayat, and must add that i dream and fantasize about being a part of the Coke Studio. I absolutely loved ” Ith Naheen” and zahra , mind you, ZAHRA said that she felt like she was in a daze while listening to it, she was so lost.


    1. munira says:

      Yaar, I just used to LOVE JJ so much 😦 He was such eye candy it makes me real sad to see him as a maulvi….and angry too…..
      I miss the Vital Signs. They made some really awesome music.
      Zahra is pretty awesome too, y’know? 😀 The thing about all these songs is their mesmeric quality…..that’s what they have in common. I could listen to them over and over and not get tired.


  2. bayhosh says:

    Well not all the remaining members of Vital Signs faded away as Shehzad a.k.a Shahi is a well known composer and he had a major role in hooking up Rahat Fateh Ali with the team of Paap for the superhit ‘Mann ki lagan’. Nevertheless, interesting post as usual but how can you not like Mundari, Rungg laaga, Ni utthan walay, Baageshvari and Senraan Re Baairia? =/

    P.S. Check out Mizraab’s ‘Kitni Sadiyaan’, Kaavish’s ‘Bachpan’, Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad’s ‘Chaap tilak sab chheen’/’Bhala hua meri matki phooti’, Sanam Marvi’s ‘Parchan shaal pavaar dhola’ and Essakhelvi’s ‘Ishq main hum tumhain kia batayen’. 😉
    P.P.S. Abida Perveen is THE queen of Sufi music. Respect!


    1. munira says:

      Yeah, I had a vague idea about Shehzad still being a part of the music circuit but don’t hear about him much (ergo, faded away)
      The songs I’ve put up here are just a few favourites…I do like a lot of the others too! Been trying hard to sing Rang Laaga all day today, as a matter of fact 🙂
      Are all these songs you’ve recommended from THIS season of Coke Studio? 😮
      Will check em out right away!
      As for Abida Parveen…..hehe…..well…I mean no disrespect whatsoever. The woman is undoubtedly way up there in terms of Sufi music.
      It’s all about personal preferences, wouldn’t you agree…? 🙂


      1. Shoaib A. Farooqui says:

        Oh yes, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ ofcourse! 😛
        Any success? I tried doing it initially but realized soon that I can’t do it. Too difficult I tell you. o.O
        Okay i’ll take that as an apology. 😛
        Hmm I do I do. 🙂


  3. Thanks for introducing someone so far away to something very new to me! I love the sound quality and the lush visual quality of the way these performances were filmed. I liked most of the videos you shared. The last two performances were my personal favorites. Thanks for sharing the music!

    I have just one question: Is this a variety show of new music and interviews, or a competition of some sort? I was just wondering.


    1. munira says:

      Thank YOU for taking the time to listen and watch Re! (don’t know how to get the accent up there)
      Spot on about the sound and visual quality, I think that is the main reason why this show is such a treat to watch and so very popular. In fact, it seems like the best thing going on here, given the abysmal political situation and terrorism.
      To answer your question, Coke Studio is a Pakistani television series featuring live music performances. The program focuses on a fusion of the diverse musical influences in Pakistan, including eastern classical, folk, and contemporary popular music. The show provides a platform for renowned as well as upcoming and less mainstream artists, from various genres and regions, to collaborate musically in live studio recording sessions.
      So glad you enjoyed the music, Re! The last one must have felt like it was being sung for you 😉


  4. photokunstler says:

    Very cool, Munira! I was going to ask if it was live and in person or on television, but you answered that.
    Thank you for sharing this, and letting us have a glimpse into the music of your world.


    1. munira says:

      Oh goody! You enjoyed this too! 😀 I’m tickled pink!


  5. Hi Mun, I’m still catching up with my reading from being away for a bit and I wanted to sit and watch all these properly. You’ll be aware of my love for searching out new music from across the world so your post needed some serious attention. All I can say is FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for putting this up here. We don’t have a concert programme in the UK and we need one badly. Jools Holland has his show but it’s turning into a bit of plugging programme for anyone with an album to sell.
    The sound and quality of these videos is outstanding. So, the artists;
    I thought Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad was awesomme. I turned the volume up loud and got into it. I would have loved to have been in the audience. It’s just a blast ! I also enjoyed Mizraab. I liked the dramatic bits. Brave music and some nice juxtapositions. I loved Sanam Marvi and the tone of her voice. Exquisite. I also thought Kaavish were good. I was thinking of looking for an English translation and music for this. I could cover it myself. Finally, Esakhelvi. I’m sure he is a great artiste in his own right but I’ve never been a squeezy/organ music fan in any language. But hey, you can’t have everything can you.
    So, absolutely great selection. Two things for me to do now;
    check out more Coke Studio on youtube and
    get these toons on my iPod !



    1. I’ve watched “Kangna” 3 times now and posted it to my Facebook page. Absolutely zonking !!


      1. munira says:

        Hey Alan! Knew you were out and about so figured you wouldn’t be around a computer much…but I was waiting to hear what you thought of Coke Studio…
        And I love your reaction! It’s so interesting to know that you appreciate music from around these parts!! 🙂
        Thank you for the individual attention you gave each song, and I’m SO so glad you enjoyed this post.
        It’s too bad there are only 5 episodes per season….a new one is aired every 2 weeks, and once that’s done we have to wait a whole year for the next season. So it isn’t a regular show or anything….perhaps that’s why there is so much anticipation.
        I’m amazed and overjoyed that you like Kangna so much! (for that, I forgive you for Essakhelvi) I watched it quite a few times too. These guys did another song on the show as well, called ‘Mori Bangri’, which was also really fun to listen to.

        Tell you what, I’ll make your job easier….search for the Coke Studio page on Facebook and ‘like’ it. Not only will you get to see the songs from every season, you’ll get glimpses of what went on behind the scenes in the pre-production phase. Very cool and interesting, the whole process.
        I think they even posted the lyrics to all the songs! With translation!


  6. Hi Mun, yeah, I did that. I found the Coke Studio “Soundcloud” page – subscribed – and then just let it play. Loved it. I also downloaded “Mori Bangra” ( I think it’s called) – “Ith Naheen” and “Kuch Hai” . I’m going to give this some serious investigation. Now, over to the page for your all-time faves. 🙂


  7. LAK00™ says:

    what the hell r u all talking about jj , he is the one of them who realize the true way of Islam


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