International cricket, political development, cinema revival — there are many good things happening in Pakistan but Coke Studio is perhaps the best of them all. The musical journey that started off with Rohail Hyatt, by Coca-Cola in 2008 is now a global phenomenon currently ongoing in various countries. But no other country has even come close to achieving the same success and churning out the same music as Coke Studio Pakistan.
Over the years, the branded music show has become much more than just good entertainment. It’s where art meets talents. It’s where harmony prevails turmoil. It’s where music blurs boundaries. It’s where various cultures speak one language of love.
The show has stood through time, changes and criticism — only to get bigger and better. With its 10th instalment just around the corner, I decided to list down some top favourite romantic Coke Studio tracks and TBH, it’s easier said than done.
Now, before you scroll down and dis my list calling it fake, bias and so on, it’s really a matter of personal preference and taste. What sounds heaven to me might make you cringe — but well, the heart likes what it likes.
Here’s my pick of the best soulful, idyllic and perfect-for-date-night Coke Studio tracks, in no particular order.
10. Ae Dil – Ali Zafar & Sara Haider
Ali Zafar’s retro jazzy feel is pure LOVE.
9. Nindiya Ke Paar – Uzair Jaswal
In 2012, this song became the unanimous long drive track for many couples in love.
8. Man Aamadeh Am – Gul Panra & Atif Aslam
Gul Panra’s winsome smile + Atif’s soft crooning = An internet meltdown.
7. Tera Vo Pyar – Momina Mustehsan & Asim Azhar
A remake of Shuja Haider by Shuja Haider. This one’s still ruling the charts and the hearts.
6. Jal Pari – Atif Aslam
An oldie but a goldie! This is a personal favourite and many of you might not agree but one simply DOESN’T listen to this hit song without repeating ‘Mera Sohniya Mera Meherbaan’ part — at least 4 times.
5. Pyar Naal – Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi
You’re not truly in LOVE till you’ve learnt this classic by Attaullah Khan by heart.
4. Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo – Farida Khanum
Do we need to explain this one?
3. Afreen Afreen – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Momini Mustehsan
You may not have liked this rendition but admit it – it has grown on you.
2. Tum Naraz Ho – Sajjad Ali
The maestro himself.
1. Chap Tilak – Abida Parveen & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Penned by the subcontinent’s foremost musical genius Hazrat Amir Khusrau, ‘Chaap Tilak’ is the ultimate confession of love. The two musical legends have performed this song almost as a story, delivering the verses in an exhilarating back-and-forth style that binds you in in a magical symphony.