If Rohail Hyatt were to end his career today, he will forever be remembered for two of the biggest contributions ever made to Pakistan’s music industry. The first being ‘Vital Signs’- best known as the pioneers of pop music in Pakistan, Hyatt and three friends dominated the pop music scene in the late 80’s to mid-90’s. His later gift followed a different path, but proved to be just as instrumental. Hyatt served as Executive Producer of Coke Studio, the hugely-popular and critically-acclaimed Pakistani music television show which he carried for six sensational seasons.
Now, if the latest reports are to be believed, music enthusiasts can buckle up for the return of the hotly-anticipated new season. Sadly however, Mr. Hyatt won’t be returning to helm the seventh edition. Instead, we’ll see Strings duo Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia step-in with some pretty big shoes to fill.
So why are Strings the best option to take Coke Studio forward? Well, like Vital Signs, they started their musical career in the late 80’s and rose to prominence in the 90’s when their second album became a smash-hit due to the success of their song ‘Sar Kiye’. Back then they were a quartet. But years after splitting up the band reunited as a two-man dream team.
The ‘new’ Strings have been creating magic for years, picking up countless gongs and numerous accolades for their contribution to Pakistani music. No doubt finding a replacement for Hyatt must have been a tall-order, but we have a feeling if anyone can do it… It’s these guys!
According to Dawn, the seventh season is expected to start airing sometime in September. Fans of the show can reportedly look forward to performances by Usman Riaz, Aamir Zaki, Zoheb Hasan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen (to name a few). The entire roster will be revealed on August 26th at a press conference in Lahore.
Maqsood was quoted in Dawn saying, “We’re extremely excited about producing Coke Studio. We’re going to stay true to the CS feel and continue to merge elements of folk with modern music. There are so many untapped musical treasures in Pakistan and we’re looking forward to exploring into them. At the same time, we’re hoping to bring back the oomph that has been missing from the show during the past few years. Coke Studio was spectacular up till Season 3 but after that, it lost out on its element of surprise. We plan to bring it back”.
Strings have been hard-at-work over the last couple of months working to get the new season off the ground. The theory of diminishing returns applied by the talented son of renowned artist Anwar Maqsood may not prevail with a new team taking charge. Hyatt will always be credited with giving birth to the Coke Studio brand. Hopefully the dynamic duo will do his work justice, and we can witness the return to form of Pakistan’s most successful music television show.