ISLAMABAD: On October 11th, 2019 Coke Studio’s Season 12 opened it’s latest season on a perfect note with a stunning version of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan hamd, “Wohi Khuda Hai,” performed by Atif Aslam.
Accompanied by modern instruments, and today’s production capabilities, it could be a tricky scenario: one of Pakistan’s (let alone the Globe’s) most beloved musical legend’s passionate praise of Allah being given a modern twist, but Coke Studio and Aslam produced a song that paid heaps of respect to the original and showcased collaborative magic.
Produced by Rohail Hyatt, who has returned to the helm of Coke Studio’s musical direction after several (and noticeable) years away, the track is powerful without attempting to out power or drastically challenge Ali Khan’s version, with the tune of the original not being toyed with too much.
The lyrics of “Wohi Khuda Hai” praise God as the One Creator of a system that runs in balance and harmony, balance and harmony is the exact approach Coke Studio took the song.
Aslam’s voice and vocal range recite the words with joy audibly present, the video confirms as much with Aslam breaking into a smile at various points in the performance. A stunning aesthetic which is sitting at nearly 2.5 million views since debuting last night on YouTube, the video in Coke Studio’s new minimalist studio, has playback singers and musicians all wearing white or neutral colors with simple lighting — balance and harmony outweighing the need for over the top set design.
The song was trending on both Pakistan and India Twitter with many showering Aslam, Hyatt and Coke Studio with praise. The former for his beautiful performance and the latter two for bringing Coke Studio back with a hypnotizing and goose bump inducing bang.