Pakistani pop rock band Strings says goodbye to Coke Studio

Their successors are yet to be announced, but fans of both Coke Studio and Strings are anxious to see what lies ahead. (Photo courtesy: Facebook)
Updated 01 November 2017
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Pakistani pop rock band Strings says goodbye to Coke Studio

ISLAMABAD: After a successful four seasons, Pakistani pop rock band Strings and Coke Studio have parted ways.
Coke Studio has produced original content, created memorable collaborations and set the stage for some of the most iconic and well-recognized performances in the country — many of which fell under the reign of the iconic band, Strings.

Behind the scene moments from Nabeel’s and Humera’s performance. #CokeStudio10 #NabeelShaukat #Strings #CSEP03

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Strings, comprised of Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood, announced on their Facebook page: “Coke Studio Season 10 will be the last season produced by Strings. It has been a fantastic journey for us over the course of 4 seasons and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and share our work with all of you. 2018 will mark 30 years of Strings and we are super excited to celebrate with all of you so stay tuned for more updates as we embark on yet another exciting chapter in our musical journey!”

Exclusive images from Julie. @ali_zafar @danyalzee #CokeStudio10 #alizafar #danyalzafar #julie #CSEP04

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The pair stepped in as producers and were a much needed breath of fresh air. The two brought with them a new dynamic which shook up the existing format of the previous six seasons led by famous music composer Rohail Hayat. Though their tenure was not without a touch of controversy, with fans and musicians alike finding the Coke Studio doors increasingly hard to walk through and with more than a few charges of nepotism, the duo did not hold back in pushing the boundaries of musical genres and blurring the lines of folk music with contemporary artists.
They produced music that has stood the test of time, brought performers of different genres onto the same mics and led a revival of Pakistani music which had lost its footing for a number of years. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, a hit power ballad maker in Bollywood, was paired with Momina Mustehsen for a reimagining of his uncle, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s iconic song “Afreen.” The video now has 98 million views on YouTube and counting. Atif Aslam’s cover of the Sabri Brother’s classic qawwali “Tajdare-e-Haram,” performed with a contemporary spin has amassed more than 99 million views. Other massive hits include “O Re” by Noori, “Nadiya” performed by Jimmy Khan and Rahma Ali and “Samne Mere Waar,” another colorful duet by Quratalain Balouch and Umair Jaswal.
Their successors are yet to be announced, but fans of both Coke Studio and Strings are anxious to see what lies ahead.


Art collection of fugitive Indian billionaire to be auctioned

Updated 26 March 2019
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Art collection of fugitive Indian billionaire to be auctioned

  • Auctioneers say the sale is the first of its kind in the country
  • The sale in Mumbai of some 68 works is expected to fetch anywhere between $4.4 million and $7.3 million

MUMBAI: Indian tax authorities are hoping for a windfall with the auction on Tuesday of rare oil paintings that were once part of fugitive billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi’s collection and have been seized by the government.
Auctioneers say the sale is the first of its kind in a country where tax authorities have usually auctioned property, gold and luxury items, but not art.
After a court order allowing the auction to take place, tax authorities, who are pursuing Modi over the country’s largest bank fraud, appointed professional auction house Saffronart.
The sale in Mumbai of some 68 works is expected to fetch anywhere between $4.4 million and $7.3 million (300 million and 500 million rupees).
“Until a few years ago, the tax authorities really didn’t know the value of art,” said Farah Siddiqui, an art adviser who is advising clients eyeing Modi’s collection.
The 48-year-old Modi, whose diamonds have sparkled on Hollywood stars, is one of the primary accused in a $2 billion loan fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank. Modi denies the charges and believes they are politically motivated.
The auction comes just weeks before a national election and as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces pressure to bring back Nirav Modi (no relation), who fled the country last year and has been residing in the United Kingdom.
He was arrested last week by British authorities and remanded in custody after he appeared before a London court. India asked Britain last August to extradite Modi.
The auction includes works by Raja Ravi Varma, a 19th century painter considered among India’s finest, and V.S. Gaitonde, a modern artist known for his abstract and often monochromatic paintings.
“We believe that the collection’s intrinsic value will garner a positive response from collectors,” said Saffronart Chief Executive Dinesh Vazirani.
India Law Alliance, a law firm representing the company controlled by Modi that owns the artwork, said it was challenging the court order that allowed the auction. The case will be heard by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, a lawyer at the firm told Reuters.
Vijay Aggarwal, a lawyer for Modi, declined to comment.