As an ardent fan of Coke Studio, we’ve compiled a humble list of some of our most favourite masterpieces from Coke Studio songs India and Pakistan that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Without any doubt, music is an appetite for the soul, carrier of emotions, feelings, and passion. If there’s anything that completely resonates with each and every mood of ours, it is music. From soulful Indie pop melodies and Bollywood music, music surpasses every border and has a special place in our hearts. From Atif Aslam to Amit Trivedi, from Nooran sisters to Fradia Khanum, they have redefined the music across generations. The songs are not just masterpieces transcending all borders, they are beautiful melodies that tug at our heartstrings.
You may have heard some of them before and some of them will hit you like a breath of fresh air. But one thing is for sure, each of these songs from Coke Studio MTV, with their strong essence and emotion, will overpower and overwhelm you for sure. Here’s a list of 20 songs from the studio that is so beautiful that missing them would be a misery to any music lover. Because ten couldn’t do justice!
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20 Best Coke Studio Songs
1 – Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo by Farida Khanum
Farida Khanum is a legend and whatever she sings becomes an iconic rendition. Aaj Jaane ki Zid Na Karo is one such rose She deserves all the accolades she can get. Being an artist in her generation, could not have been easy; but to have stuck with it all, and continued to sing and sing so expertly and so melodiously, in spite of her age–it really blows my mind. And there is so much sraddha for music in this rendition–she sings because she loves music, she venerates singing, not because she is out for any kind of commercial gain. That purity shines through, and her reverential feeling for melody. Overwhelmed with this is vintage stuff.
2 – Tu Mane Ya Na Mane by Wadali Brothers
This popular Sufi piece since ages and compares love to the worship of the almighty. With the magic recreated by Wadali Brothers on stage and you’re confirmed to get goosebumps. Embracing change is not always easy for some of us, but this new way of rendering such Sufi Kalaam is beautiful and unique and privilege the entire team of supporting artists the opportunity to showcase their talents. Close observation of the actions of each one of them demonstrates their commitment to making the composition the pleasure of listening to it.
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3 – Tera Woh Pyar (Nawazishein Karam) By Momina Mustehsan and Asim Azhar
Originally sung by Shuja Haider, this one comprises of two heart-touching love ballads – Tera Who Pyar and Nawazishein Karam. Momina’s graceful singing combined with Asim’s passionate vocals and the soft melody from the sitar and piano make this a truly enchanting number. Beautiful voice by equally beautiful Momina is truly a treat to her fans along with Asim’s melodious voice. That’s why it is one of the best Coke Studio Songs.
4 – ‘Tajdar-E-Haram’ By Atif Aslam
Originally sung and composed by Sabri Brothers, this masterpiece by Atif Aslam is a beautiful song in praise and glorification of the Prophet. Love for God is likened to the intoxication caused by wine, as the Coke Studio rendition creates a mesmerizing trance-like atmosphere. This song beautifully asks us to go to Madina, where heaven resides.
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5 – Sheher by Amit Trivedi, Tanvi Shah
Amit Trivedi has a talent for discovering melodies where there are none, This track sees him turn the danceable rhythm section into a melodic artwork, using the immense talent of Tanvi Shah, Tanvi has a uniquely mellow and melodic voice, which fits right into this composition and adds a fun new flavor to it.
6 – ‘Chaap Tilak’ By Abida Parveen and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Penned by the subcontinent’s foremost musical genius Hazrat Amir Khusrau, ‘Chaap Tilak’ is an instantly recognizable qawwali that has been graced by every legendary voice of this region for the past many centuries. Written in Braj Bhasha, the popular country dialect which was a forerunner of Urdu, its beauty lay in its simplicity. Sung from the perspective of a young girl, it is replete with modest yet enchanting symbols, as it celebrates the splendor of losing oneself in love.
Both the use of motifs as well as the language itself were deliberate creative choices by Hazrat Amir Khusrau, as they communicated to the common people using their own ideas and aesthetics. Best Coke Studio Songs.
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7 – Husna by Piyush Mishra
After listening to this song, you’ll want to ask, “Is there anything that this man can’t do?” Written and composed by Piyush Mishra 15 years before this song actually featured on Coke Studio, it talks about the ruckus and kiosk experienced by two lovers, along with their nations India and Pakistan after the partition.
In spite of having left everything behind and eventually moving on the other lot looming sense of helplessness and grief in the song. Musically Hitesh has tried to recreate that era through interesting acoustic guitar arrangement blended with Indian percussions.
8 – ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ By Ali Sethi
This evergreen classic, originally composed by Nisar Bazmi, has seen various renditions across India and Pakistan, and Coke Studio Pakistan’s version by Ali Sethi finds a place among the best. A legend in the making, a killer to the core, music, and his velvet voice with ‘alaaps’ to die for, being his weapons of choice. This man has SO MUCH talent and pathos in his voice that he can make us all weep even if he sings a happy song. The signature low key instrument arrangement is typical Jaffer Zaidi. Best Coke Studio Songs.
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9 – ‘Afreen Afreen’ By Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan
This list wouldn’t be complete without the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s classic that has been eternal. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan add a beautiful layer to the song, even though the original version will always be closer to our hearts. Afreen or ’Beautiful’, this is a song in praise of a beautiful girl, describing her symbolically with utmost elegance.
10 – ‘Garaj Baras’ By Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Azmat
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Azmat, who was the lead vocalist for the Sufi rock band Junoon, put together a fantastic jugalbandi in this song that was originally written by Ali Azmat along with Sabir Zafar. This track was part of the Bollywood film ‘Paap’ but the Coke Studio version(songs) that was performed on the first episode of the first season still stands out.
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11 – ‘Ishq Aap Bhe Awalla’ By Chakwal Group and Meesha Shafi
This is basically a beautiful Punjabi folk song that was originally sung at weddings, it is about the song a woman sings to herself while filling water from a well because she is too shy to sing to her beloved. The Chakwal group, with their powerful voices and Chakwali music, and the talented Meesha Shafi make this song an absolute must on this list. Both the artist has done full justice with original beautiful composition
12 – Bewajah’ by Nabeel Shaukat Ali
A song about heartbreak and longing, ‘Bewajah’ will wrench at your heartstrings and take you back to those times when you spent sleepless nights thinking about a long-lost lover who left your heart in pieces giving you unbearable pain. Nabeel Shaukat Ali’s passionate voice makes this song a must for anyone and everyone who has suffered heartbreak.
13 – Alif Allah (Jugni) By Arif Lohar and Meesha
An absolutely lovely number, ‘Alif Allah (Jugni)’ is a Punjabi Sufi song that’s found quite many renditions in popular culture. While most of us heard it in the Bollywood film ‘Cocktail’, the original version is sung and composed by Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi remains the best.
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14 – Pani Da Bulbula by Abrar-ul-Haq
Abrar-ul-Haq is a celebrated Bhangra legend from across the border and he is one of the few singers who have aced different genres of music. And Pani Da Bulbula is solid proof of that. The song, which has its roots in Punjabi folk music, originally become famous through the rendition of Atif Yaqoob in the 1970s.
Its infectious rhythm and the ability to adapt the lyrics to contemporary references meant that it was able to evolve, later featuring in the classic PTV drama Waris in the 1980s, and then appearing on the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed film Zinda Bhaag in 2013. That last version was sung by Abrar, and his return to Coke Studio with this song marks a composition of great joy and exuberance. That’s why it comes in best Coke Studio Songs.
The basic lyrics are quite simple and timeless, reminding us that life is fragile and finite and thus that’s how we should approach our troubles as well. Yet what makes them come alive in each rendition is the breathless, rap-style of their delivery, which has always retained its capacity to delight. To add to those emotions, the house band utilized a whole range of instruments and inflexions, such as the melodica and the ukulele.
15 – MITTI DA PALWAAN by Jawad Ahmed
Mitti da Pehlwan is a song that mocks humanity’s obsessions with its own facile creations and reminds it of how life is transitory. Mitti da Pehlwan, or dust, is used as a metaphor across the song, referring to the belief that human beings are created from clay as well as the transitory nature of getting blown away as mere dust, as time moves on and we are no more. Jawad’s performance specifically retains the populist flavour of the song and its message. Such songs are the hallmark of folk and rural performances and use common language and expressions to convey profound spiritual ideas.
The listener is both ridiculed and entreated, and the marvel of the lyrics lies in their usage of the same words to deliver profound concepts. The arrangement of this song is also one of the most original ones of the season, bringing together a bossa nova percussive style with flourishes of funk and pop in the melody. It retains the gregarious nature of the performance and adds a light, almost flippant, and dismissive feeling when the gravity of the message delivered is dramatically juxtaposed with the musical stylings of this decidedly versatile, Punjabi song.
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16 – CHEHRA by Zoheb Hassan
The song itself is an ode to both the act of love as well as the beloved themselves. Its lyrics unravel a desire and a constant beseeching for the beloved to provide another glimpse, another smile. In this version, the Coke Studio sound transforms the synth-pop sounds of the original into the elegiac accents of the violin. The soulful sincerity of the composition is brought to a soaring crescendo when Aamir Zaki unleashes a blues-laden solo on his electric guitar. Aamir Zaki with his guitar and his performance here adds power, depth, and vitality to the song. The song concludes how it began, led out by the stately mourning of the violins.
17 – Zariya by A. R. Rahman, Farah Siraj, Ani Choying Drolma
The song runs around the theme of complete exuberance, sympathy, and motherhood and is set to give you an experience that will last forever. Along with traditional Buddhist hymn and Jordanian melody, A.R. Rahman adds his magic to Zariya. With the traditional Nepalese Buddhist hymn forming the base of the song, layered with a traditional Jordanian melody, and bridged seamlessly with a composition written by A.R.Rahman, this song truly brings together diverse cultures and musical genres.
18 – Bismillah by Kailash Kher, Munawar Masoom
Salim Sulaiman synonyms with Sufism and Kailash Kher’s high pitch voice that touches heaven, and when we are talking Salim-Sulaiman and Kailash Kher together, there is no denying the fact that the song would be ethereal. One of my most favourite Sufi compositions. Salim Sulaiman rose to great fame with their Sufi as well as World Music such as sounds from Arabia. Bismillah is a beautiful composition that will take you on a journey to heaven,
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19 – Naariyan by Amit Trivedi, Karthik, Shalmali Kholgade
This is one fun composition by Amit Trivedi which accurately describes a free-spirited woman’s heart. This one continues to play in your head long after it’s over. Thanks to the magical Shalmali Kholgade and Karthik for bringing this masterpiece to the table. Written by the very talented Kausar Munir, This one melody that’s not about to leave your head anytime soon,
20 – Sawan Mein by Jasmine Sandlas, Divya Kumar
This song hits my anxiety chords right on point. Jasmine beautifully sings the composition which talks about the chaos in the mind of a lover who has experienced a broken heart. A heartening rendition for everyone who has had their heartbroken.
You can’t touch music but music touches you like nothing else can.
And when we talk about music closer home, Coke Studio is one platform that comes to everyone’s mind. This beautiful idea of bringing different artists together on one platform to create music over a bottle of Coke, Coke Studio has now become synonymous with magnificent music.
With its soulful renditions, the show has been successful in engaging both the national and international audiences like never before. But what we love most about it are the collaborations between artists from India and Pakistan thus etching the fact “separated by lines, united by hearts and music”.