Monday, June 17, 2024

Coke Studio Season 15 thus far! A Journey of Love, Resilience, and Hope – a look at the season through the social lens of the Producer Powerhouse Xulfi!

If you haven’t been following Coke Studio Producer and Giraffe Co-Founder Xulfi’s Instagram page, you are missing out! Our team has found it to be a treasure trove of insights, raw emotions, and inspiration.

It’s his focus on storytelling that has us hooked to his social media feed! And we’re absolutely loving what we’ve seen and read so far this season. Stories of culture, love, hope, passion, heartbreak, language, celebration, and empowerment reverberate through the music. Here’s some of our favourites from Xulfi’s social media newsfeed weaving and capturing the cultural, regional, poetic, artistic and musical essence of Pakistan:

  1. “Aayi Aayi” – An Anthem of Resilience

The season opened with “Aayi Aayi,” a song that transcends geographical boundaries. A heartfelt tribute to resilience and hope, Xulfi describes it as a testament to the human spirit’s ability to find hope and love even in the face of adversity, particularly drawing inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of Sindh.

“Aayi Aayi is about all of us. It is about the resilience in all of us. The resilience that helps us find home, hope, love in the most trying of circumstances, Through the journey of creating Aayi Aayi, we were able to connect to a place and it’s people in ways we could never imagine before. We were able to connect to our Sindh, the miracle of resilience and harmony. The stories of Sindh not only carved the song but helped us find new layers in ourselves through this journey. It helped us find our resilience, all over again.” Xulfi explained. This song’s journey through the sounds and stories of Sindh reveals new layers of resilience, connecting deeply with listeners and finding a permanent place in their hearts.

2. “2 AM” – A Song Born from Poetry

“2 AM” is a product of serendipity. Inspired by the poignant poetry of Star Shah, “2 AM” is an introspective track that delves into themes of love, loss, and the importance of embracing vulnerability. Xulfi was profoundly moved by Shah’s words: “Star Shah apka har lafz mujhe hamaray dil dil kee awaz lagta hai… nafrat dee koye expiry honi chaidi.” The collaboration with Zeeshan Ali brings forth a song that feels divinely orchestrated, embodying the sensitive soul’s journey through the labyrinth of emotions. “2 AM” resonates with listeners, who find solace and relatability in its lyrical depth.

“I felt he gave words to the feelings in my heart.. in our hearts. .The points he was making, the things he was making us all think and feel.. so relatable, so true, words of a sensitive soul who feels love, pain, hurt, deceit and what not.. and understands how to feel all of this is important. How all of this carves our path of becoming who we become.” Xulfi on Star Shah being a sign from the universe.

“We go a long way back and in this journey, I’ve seen that you’ve never hesitated to learn, to feel, to grow. Our conversations haven’t been frequent over the years but whenever they’ve happened, I’ve always felt your sensitivity has grown.” Xulfi sharing his thoughts on Zeeshan Ali.

3. “Maghron La” – The Magic of Togetherness

“Maghron La” celebrates the power of unity and acceptance.. Adnan Dhool’s lyrical prowess shines through lines like, “Je akhyaan pyar karan te, Samjho kandd vee teh gaye,” underscoring love as the ultimate healer. Xulfi emphasized the importance of love as the key to overcoming differences and fostering a sense of global community.

Xulfi wrote on his Instagram post: “Our greatest super power is love. It can heal anything and everything. Our differences should never be a reason to create distances and toxicities. Know that there’s magic in togetherness and there’s hope in embracing our diversities and our identities. Look for hope in everyone’s uniqueness as only that can drive us towards acceptance and universal love.”

Xulfi reflects on the collaborative process with Quickstyle, whose choreography added a magical dimension to the song. “This very intimate Maghron La listening and narrative session… set the tone for the lot of processes that followed,” Xulfi shared. The song’s vibrant energy and rich narrative layers have captivated audiences, sparking conversations and interpretations that extend beyond the music itself.

4. “Harkalay – A Celebration of Pakistani Talent

Xulfi overflows with pride as he talks about “Harkalay.” Bringing forth a sonic world steeped in devotion and love, Xulfi applauded the featured artists Zahoor and Rehma, for their exceptional talent and dedication. The song celebrates the diverse talent and stereotype-breaking ideas emerging from Pakistan.

“Grateful that my country has immaculate resources of diverse talent all across the world. Grateful that my country has people with ideas and intents that are stereotype breaking. @zahoorrr_ and @mangorehma – you are incredible. Not just with the skills and the gift of melody, but with your heart that’s resilient, expressive and full of love. You both are true representatives of our magical Pakistan and I am immensely proud of you.” Xulfi noted.

“Harkalay” is more than a song; it’s a movement that showcases the country’s cultural richness and artistic potential. The heartfelt expressions from the team resonate deeply with listeners, fostering a sense of pride and connection.

5. “O Yaara” – A Journey of Healing

“O Yaara” is an emotional exploration of vulnerability and the healing power of art. Written by Abdul Hannan, the song captures the raw emotions of confusion and anxiety. Xulfi reminisces about the profound connection he felt during its creation with Abdul Hannan: “I could feel every emotion that Hannan was writing about as my own. The anxiety, the confusion, the dhuaan.. the uncertainty.. the vulnerability .. still feels the same.. because it’s okay to feel that way. Okay to be sensitive. And it’s okay to channel your sensitivity because that way you’ve no idea how many others can be wonderfully impacted and healed by that. I believe we are in this universe to help compassion eradicate toxicity, anger and hate. Art is the only bridge for making that love happen.”

The collaboration with Kaavish adds a timeless quality to the track, with Jaffar’s soothing voice and lyrical wisdom offering a beacon of hope. “My words can’t do justice to my feelings at the moment. Honestly I’m just grateful that somehow similar energies end up connecting. These connections give me hope. Just like your words in O Yaara Jaffar.. Hope” wrote Xulfi. The song’s introspective nature has struck a chord with many, providing comfort and reflection.

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6. “Chal Chaliye” – A Call to Embrace Adventure

“Chal Chaliye,” featuring the legendary Sajjad Ali and neo-classical sensation, Farheen Raza Jaffry, a song that urges listeners to step outside their comfort zones and embrace life’s possibilities. The song’s powerful lyrics, “Koi tau awaz tujhe neend se jagaye gi | Toota hua khwab tera jor se dikhaye gi,” inspire listeners to pursue their dreams fearlessly. Xulfi highlights the profound lyrics by legendary artist Sajjad Ali, who sings about the importance of hope and faith even in challenging times. “Thank you for giving us music and poetry decade after decade that we can fall in love with.”

A Legacy of Unity

The magic of Coke Studio lies in its ability to unite diverse artists and create music that transcends boundaries.

“Grateful to the core for my tribe. The tribe of artists that worked day in night out to make all of this work of heart a reality for all of you to witness and see. And then all the people who understand the importance of progress and diversity of music, art and culture for any society, community and nation are my tribe. The people who propagate love are my tribe. Thank you for being with me. It literally means the world to me. Shukriya” Xulfi expressed. Each song in Season 15 is a testament to the power of collaboration, cultural richness, and the universal language of music.

As Coke Studio Season 15 continues to enchant audiences worldwide, these six songs stand out as masterpieces of emotions, cultural richness, and a powerful message of hope. Through the lens of Xulfi’s vision, we witness a celebration of resilience, love, and unity that leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of listeners. With these captivating songs already released, anticipation is high for what Xulfi has in store for the rest of Coke Studio Season 15. We can’t wait!

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