Zeb Bangash is one of the finest singers Pakistan ever produced, she has sung various solos and it’s a peace to the heart. She even appeared at Coke Studio where she tremendously won everyone’s heart with her amazing voice.
Technically for most of the people, Coke Studio was the main headline where people discovered Zeb’s voice otherwise few knew about her.
In her recent open letter for the publication, she recalled her time when she visited India, shared the experience of being in a neighboring country for the first time and she also highlighted the fact of comparing Pakistani Coke Studio to an Indian one.
Yes! There are people out there who compare both regions’ Coke Studio knowing the fact which one has got more views all over the world.
Zeb Bangash shared her first Indian visit and Coke Studio comparison
Zeb Bangash shared, “I first visited India in the fall of 2009 and that is when my cousin Haniya and I landed in Mumbai.” “Despite no more than a single contact in the Indian music and film industry, no plan, and nothing beyond plenty of aspirations, we had decided to make a quick trip to the fabled city of dreams.”
Zeb went on, adding, “On our first night in Mumbai, we found ourselves in the hip suburban neighborhood of Bandra.
Our crumpled salwar-kameezes, heavy backpacks, and tentative steps made us feel completely out of place. But it wasn’t long before we realized that people recognized us in this exciting foreign land. It was our first big embrace from a world we knew little about.”
She also went on sharing that within a few hours “walked out with our phones filled with numbers of people from the industry and numerous invitations from new friends.
And just like that, everything changed. We had made it to Mumbai overnight. All thanks to the phenomenon called Coke Studio.”
If you follow Coke Studio and Zeb then you must know Zeb and Haniya have been an important feature. Even Zeb also believes that she has seen the pure evolution of Coke Studio.
“A prominent media giant acquired 80% of Pakistani band music but decided against releasing more than 10% of their catalog. There was fear amongst all of us musicians that our collective creativity would fade into oblivion. A void had been created.”
‘Coke Studio flourished under Vital Signs members’ – Zeb Bangash
Zeb Bangash also shared her views on Coke Studio, “This was a time when music shows on TV were sparse and mostly pre-recorded songs were mimed on-screen, which dampened a band’s spontaneous energy and chemistry. And here was Coke Studio, recording music live on the floor.”
She went on to add, “A lot of the sound that created the brand loyalty for Coke Studio, in my opinion, is specifically Rohail Hyatt’s aesthetic. He made a signature sound for the program by fusing his influences, specifically psychedelic rock and progressive blues, with local songs from various genres.
He carefully crafted the process and curated the house band to be his central team to create this sound and make it work.”
She even appreciated Rohail Hyatt’s immersive effects in making Coke Studio top-notch. “The songs came about through a series of live jams with the singer and the house band, always directed by Hyatt.
Rohail Hyatt is considered as one of the most prominent elements of Coke Studio, he has changed the dynamic of it. He also recently shared his struggles of being rich which went viral.
And they were then presented and recorded on the floor in that same format. The end product was, thus, primarily free of any trappings of glamour and commercialism.
Instead, it felt honest with music taking center stage because that’s how it was conceived and executed.”
Zeb Bangash also included among those women in Coke Studio season 9 who saved it from being the absolute disaster.
Coke Studio Pakistan or Coke Studio India
As Zeb went to India, she also decided to talk about the Coke Studio that both the nation produce and highlighted the comparison side. She shared, “create a magical perception around the platform because the Indian impression, till then, was influenced by exaggerated narratives about Pakistan.”
She further added, “While Indian movies were being watched and their content was freely available on cable and satellite channels in Pakistan, there was no reciprocal access to popular culture originating from Pakistan for Indian audiences.
Therefore, seeing a high-quality music platform was a surprise for Indian audiences. And that, to me, heightened the Indian curiosity and validated their love for the content.”
‘Coke Studio should not be compared’ – Zeb Bangash
Everyone knows that Indian music always comes in romance compared to Pakistani music. According to Zeb, “In my mind, Coke Studio (Pakistan) and the MTV Coke Studio (India) should not be compared, simply because they had very different contexts and purposes,” she wrote.
Adding on, “The former was a platform and voice for artists, whereas the latter was providing an additional aspect to an already thriving multifaceted industry. It’s important to note that Rohail’s six-year initial production tenure established the unique Coke Studio sound which contributed to its appeal.
The single producer format was not feasible for replication in India’s thriving music industry which had many prolific and famous music producers.”
She went on to add, “While Coke is a big multinational giant in India, Bollywood is much, much bigger. In India, Coke Studio was competing with a giant called ‘Indian films’ for one of the largest markets in the world. For Pakistan artists, Coke Studio was a musical catharsis.”
While concluding her letter, she shared how Coke Studio can be the bridge between Pakistan and India. “Almost a decade-a-half later, it warms my heart to see that the phenomenal connection Coke Studio Pakistan established with India through music and digital accessibility continues to deepen. It’s just such a delight for us musicians and music lovers in both countries,” she said.
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