Coke Studio: Are we Going Too Far with Our Criticism?

By Hammad Faisal

We Pakistanis have always been a passionate nation. No matter what the matter was, we’d always be the ones who’d go to extreme lengths to make our points, our thoughts and our feelings known to the masses.

This passion has grown to extreme heights no matter what the issue has been, whether it be politics, cricket, football and specifically music.

Coke Studio, is no different. The musical masterpiece played a big part in our journey towards the revival of Pakistani Music.

The concept was new, unique, exhilarating & exciting. What started as an adaption to help improve the Pakistan Music Industry turned out to be the single greatest thing to happen to it, escalating us and our music beyond our wildest dreams and dare I say it, beyond our neighbors as well.

The show has given us a revival of old legendary songs as well as an introduction to genre of music we weren’t familiar with. It combined with what we knew, and what we were new to, to create something… Amazing.

And we loved it, we shared it with our friends, we went on to social media to talk about it. It was a fever that was slowly shaping the nation and was presumed to be the focal point of old and new artists to showcase their talent.

Fast forward 10 years later, the 10th season of the show. The fever is just as high as it ever was, and with that comes expectations. Fans eagerly await the next song to dazzle them, but this time what I saw astounded me.

Posts after posts of insensitive, mind blowing hatred for the 10th season of the show. People straight up calling it “unwatchable” and “the worst thing on social media” is a bit much even for a passionate nation such as us.

It’s astounding that a show which has given us introductions to such acclaimed and widely recognized new talents like Momina Mustehsan and Ali Sethi, who I could have sworn everyone was swooning over, was so excruciatingly criticised.

From people calling Coke Studio, the best thing to have ever happened to music and then calling on Strings to “quit ruining the show” is just plain disrespectful.

We are all allowed to criticize, criticism is fair game. But there’s a thin line between criticism and disrespect. These artists are here for YOU, they are performing for YOU, YOU matter to them more than you realize.

One song, that you apparently “hated” as you want to ban the whole thing? Need I remind you of the state of our music industry before Coke Studio dropped into the fray?

We were floating, unable to recognize what we wanted to do with our talent. Some of it was “escaping” to India to earn and get recognition while some just faded into oblivion, Coke Studio gave the industry (and me) hope that we are finally on the right track.

Look at some of these masterpieces. Works of art like this have earned Coke Studio Pakistan a reputation. We’re not just a Bollywood rip off anymore in terms of our music, we’re finally standing on our own two feet.

We’re doing it through our own talent and our own hard work. You can’t tell me we would have unearthed the talent we currently have on any other platform other than Coke Studio, the same Ali Sethi that everyone around me swoons and goes to concerts for became even more prominent BECAUSE of Coke Studio.

You don’t “cancel” it all because you didn’t like a song. You don’t abuse artists because you didn’t like a song. You don’t ridicule talent because you didn’t like a song.

Support the industry with criticism, support the show with criticism but draw the line when it comes to said criticism and hatred for the sake of hatred.

We need to understand that we look up to some of these artists and we’d always want more outstanding performances from them so I’d wind in the abuse and hatred if I were you.

The hate made me upset and I know we’re all very passionate and we feel for the things we watch. We want the best, but there is better way to go about things. The human way. The Pakistani way.

About the Author:

Hammad Faisal is a freelance writer who loves putting into words everything he is passionate about. Sports, music, tech, pop culture and current affairs are subjects that fire him up.


  • Farrukh Khalid

    Welcome to the internet

  • Kisi Ko Saza Dena Hoto
    Us K Hath Pao Band kar CokeStudio Season 1 Se Sunao
    Is Se Bari Saza Koi Nahi

    • Owaiis

      Khair aese bhi baat nahi hai Abdul bhaiye. Mujhe bhi kuch gaana coke studio ke pasand nai aate magar yeh dehaan me rakhen ke Coke Studio dekh kr India aur Arab Africa etc me coke studio copy hua hai. Coke Studio is pretty successful in what it does.

      • yar abdul bhai ko mere lund ka pata hy…inki fikr na kia karo aap log, ye to kuch bhi boltay rehte hen

        Coke Studio has produced some of the most remarkable songs in the history of music.

        • Owaiis

          Absolutely it has. It also has helped build up a better image for us.

        • Honsla :D

      • Farrukh Siddiqui

        Bhai we are pioneer of the coke studio brand ache bure ke baat nai its our asset we should praise and be pround on it.

        • Owaiis

          Yes It is our asset. It has created a better and positive image for us.

      • Ha Kuch Songs Ache Hote hai :

    • Qaisar

      Sir aap apne alfaaz bacha k rakha karen shayd kahin koe achi baat hi karni par jaye aap ko. Fazool bolna b insan k image ko kharab karta hy.

  • Amin Islam

    Despite a good show here that the writer plays in favor of the Coke studio, I hope everyone understands the game here. Do you know why most Pakistani Music channels dont work anymore? Do you see unrelated new talent on Coke studio? Most stars are into the media either in the mainstream or somewhere behind the curtains. Letting people know that coke studio is the best music thing you can get around in Pakistan is like getting people in North Korea know that they have free media Television with only two channels. I believe that the only reason we dont see as many new artists popping as in the 90’s or the early 2k in Pakistan is the Very market that Coke Studio has captured. Their quality of work has improved but is slowly losing the charm of creativity and like a Jargon that seems very attractive but is not understandable to common people. Music is a language that relates people with their emotion, their culture and a lot more. I believe that the sheer reason for Coke studio having this so called “Back Fire” by the Public, is the missing element of new artists, new minds, and creativity.

    • Owaiis

      Everybody has some negative in them and positive. You are highlighting the negatives. I’d request you to be a bit more optimistic.

  • Shafiq

    Agree with the writer, tbh. Our fans go too far with their criticism. Constructive criticism is justified but many of the comments on the songs and for the artists are down right insulting.

  • Faisal

    Parchi singers are destroying it, and I bet Mr. Free Lancer is getting paid by Coke Studio!

    • Farrukh Siddiqui

      bas yehe soch rahege jab tak tum logo ke is country ka kuch nai ho sakta har ache cheez ko band kerea doo tum log.

  • DawnTech

    Coke Studio is a complete success story and awesome initiative and the Rivival of Pakistani music industry
    People who are criticizing coke studio are the losers of all time, people who doesn’t even know sh****t about music.
    Mentally frustrated and unsuccessful people, who only point out %1 of negative and ignore 99% of success and positivity.
    Salute to COKE Studio ❤️?

  • DawnTech

    And yes I LOVE the above article written by Hammad Faisal. Keep it up dear.

  • Farrukh Siddiqui

    Thank you propakistani ye kerna buhat zarori tha aap log late hue ho kafi. Aaj me sara din isi talash me tha ke kab ap loog post keroge or un bathroom singers ke zaban ko lagam do gee.
    Issi baat ka darr he ke pehle Rohail Hyatt gaya sirif issi fazool cricticism ke wajah se ab Strings bhe left ker gaye to Coke studio ko taala lagg jayega. Jahilo me ek Ali azmat ke sayonee ke tribute ke chakkar me sara Internet pe zaleel kerwa diya.
    Kal see is awaam ko samjha raha hoon ke apni ek line me reh ker opinion dein pore studio ko gaaliyan de rahe he just because of Non apperance of Ali azmati in CS10 without knowing the fact ke it was Ali Azmat who refused to perform with Salman in CS10.

  • Shahid Iqbal Butt

    I appreciate you views and we are extremist nation in all matter as positivity is not in our mind.

  • Eli Ehsan

    one of the two masterpieces was produced by Sir Rohail & people who’re criticizing strings, are only doing it because of the Great wall of china like difference between the two Masterpieces you’ve pasted here. and FYI Fusion wasn’t something we pakistani were not aware of but more like we sort of pioneered the genre in sub-continental music lore and while post Rohail CS has given us “GOOD FACES” but none can match the talents of Sanam Marvi, QB or Zeb & Haniya et al.

  • Qaisar

    Very well said. The people who want to criticize just do that but without hurting anyone’s feeling. Or we can assume your parents wasted a lot of money on your education.

  • ImranG

    I like Jal Pari and Jugni Ji. Tried to find same height in many other songs but couldn’t like even Momina debut. But thats to say I only checked around 5% of whats came from Coke Studio. Could anybody suggest truly great highs like mentioned above.

    • Qaisar

      Sub Aakho Ali, Sammi meri waar — just pop up into my mind for now.

  • Sulaiman Lalani

    i guess coke studio pakistan is much better and hit songs then CS india

  • Qasim Ayaz

    The criticism is necessary because coke studio is not a strings initiative. Music is created not for the musicians own amusement but for the public, hence public criticism is necessary for coke studio to correct itself. The blame is not on the musicians participating, rather on strings that they have managed to ruin such a good quality product. Rohail left Coke when he realised the music was not good enough anymore. But at least he tried to rectify the problem by hiring foreign musicians to bring some new music. CS is roping top singers not but the direction is ruining it.

  • Mehroz

    Some idiots have posted same comments through every season . came back rohail hayat . for those idiots i want to say strings put the coke studio to another level . millions views are aded n more hits created in strings era . chek the rohail hayat’s coke studio views n see the recent years views

  • Hassan

    Sorry to burst your bubble but we are increasingly becoming a nation of hate and intolerance

  • Muslim

    What rubbish? Pakistan is an islamic country, based on religion Islam. Atleast all muslims should listen and read Quran to sooth their ears and soul. This is one of the only purpose of a muslim here in this temporary world. Many and most of us are still sleeping and ignorant about our way of life. “GHAFLAT ki zindagi” guzar rahay hain.

  • SHADOW WALKER

    Well most of fans including me are critizing strings not CS and the writer of this article is trying to hide the imperfections of strings in the cloak of Coke studio and emotional attachment

  • Abu Ali Muhammad Sharjeel

    For a country which foundation was laid on two nation theory, Singing songs, dancing on music are not talent but it might be hobby for some people which in the end bring a lot bad thing which never belongs to Muslim.

  • Sarfaraz Hussain

    one word ! “Ghatya”

  • M. Salman

    we don’t want CS to quit, we just want Strings “out” and Rohail back “In”, He created and took CS to the top of the world due to Original content, as Strings with their commercial mentality took CS down in dumps and hence all the criticism and hatred towards it.

  • Sal Kais Orakzai

    Totally disagree with the narrative tried hard to be imposed in this article. Criticism is just as much important as it is the praise. In fact the author here does not have the heart to take the criticism well.
    Im wondering why this author never bothered to write an article on why Coke Studio had extravagant praise been given in the past?
    Criticism was always part and parcel of TV shows from the world around. People like a certain show for certain uniqueness it has and have faced extreme criticism if producers tried changing the idea. ‘The Apprentice’ which was once a successful show under Trump’s act lost all its ratings after it was given to other hosts. Even Arnold cudnt save it.
    Pointless article, rather a crybaby chronicle.