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.


R&B star Alicia Keys to host 2019 Grammy Awards

Updated 16 January 2019
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R&B star Alicia Keys to host 2019 Grammy Awards

  • Alicia Keys will replace James Corden, British-late night comedian, who hosted two years in a row
  • Numerous female performers are contending for the awards this year

LOS ANGELES: American singer and songwriter Alicia Keys will host the Grammy Awards next month, she announced Tuesday, one year after the gala came under fire over diversity concerns.
Keys -- herself a 15-time Grammy winner -- will be the emcee for music's biggest night, which this year features a diverse slate of women and hip hop artists as leading contenders.
"I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I know what it feels like to be proud of the work that you've put in and to be recognized for it," Keys said in a video posted on social media.
"I feel like it's the perfect opportunity for me to give the light back and lift people up -- especially all the young women that are nominated," she added.
"To me, it feels like sister vibes."
Keys replaces James Corden, the British-late night comedian who has hosted the awards the past two years.
Since releasing her blockbuster album "Songs in A Minor" in 2001, classically trained pianist Keys has sold more than 30 million records and become a successful film, television and Broadway producer.
Her appointment as Grammy host comes after the Recording Academy -- which organizes the event -- faced backlash that the show is consistently too male and too white.
Academy head Neil Portnow said in May he would step aside when his contract expires later this year, after he triggered outrage after saying women artists should "step up."
"A dynamic artist with the rare combination of groundbreaking talent and passion for her craft, Alicia Keys is the perfect choice as host for our show," Portnow said in a statement.
Rap superstar Kendrick Lamar is leading the Grammy pack with eight nominations, propelled mostly by his work on the "Black Panther" soundtrack.
Women performers also boast a heavy presence in top categories after being largely snubbed a year ago.
Rapper Cardi B, pop diva Lady Gaga and folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile all nabbed key nominations for the show, which will take place on February 10 in Los Angeles.