Anyone who has seen the delectable live show program from across the border will understand why I am so excited about the news that Coke Studio may come to India! Like most Indians, I have many misgivings about Pakistan and it’s attitude towards India but I can’t help admiring, even envying, their music scene. What do I like about Pakistani music, specifically Coke Studio?
- They have figured out a way of packaging local, folk music with western, modern music in a very pleasing manner. Purists may frown upon this approach but I think it makes folk music a lot more accessible and appealing to the younger crowd.
- A lot of music is produced for its own sake and not as a prop in a movie. Now that may be because the Pakistani movie industry sucks but in my opinion, this focus on music produces very good results.
- Live music always feels better. It has an element of magic that is somehow lost in the recording. Live music has a lot of engagement going on – amongst the artists, between the artist and the audience and within the audience – which make it a very personal experience unique to each individual in the audience. Finally, live music provides the artist freedom to improvise. If you have seen Hariharan or Shankar Mahadevan on stage, you’ll know how much fun that can be.
My only hope is that the Indian version remains true to the original format (live, non-mainstream music). Check out one of my favorite Coke Studio performances and you’ll know what I am talking about.
PS: Check out something one of the commenters on Youtube pointed out. See how Zeb and the drummer smile when the chorus kicks in at 1:45 and tell me if you don’t feel like smiling with them! That’s the edge of live performance!