After much speculation about who would replace Coke Studio maestro Rohail Hyatt as the show's producer, it's now been made official that ace singer-songwriter, guitarist and music producer Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, popularly known as Xulfi will be taking over the reins for the show's 14th season.
The announcement doesn't come as a surprise to many as after Hyatt stepped down following his much-anticipated return to seasons 12 and 13, he called Xulfi the best option for his replacement.
The official announcement was made by Xulfi on his social media channels when he shared a picture of a Coke Studio season 14 branded folder. "Beyond the Wave," the folder read with the tagline "transcending boundaries".
"The journey begins," wrote Xulfi.
The announcement was also made by Coke Studio on social media. Tagging Xulfi in a tweet, the music show asked, "Shuru karain? [Shall we start?]"
Xulfi replied to the tweet with a smiley emoji.
The move comes after speculations that Xulfi would take over the reins of the iconic show.
Xulfi is a tried and tested fan favourite in Pakistan. In his younger days, the musician played for acts like Call and EP — two bands that recorded hit after hit — performed across the country and even garnered fame across the border. Since then, Xulfi has established himself as a respected producer and working with Hyatt, Strings and Noori.
He previously worked with Nescafe Basement, producing some fan favourites that now have millions of views. The 'Laree Choote' and 'Dharkay Jiya' singer also ran the show at Pepsi Battle of the Bands, putting together a fresh rendition of the super-hit 'Hamesha' as EP made a comeback for a special performance.
Hyatt has been a longtime admirer of Xulfi and had given him his vote of confidence to run the show at Coke Studio following his exit.
A fan wrote to him when the news of him stepping down from responsibilities at Coke Studio for a second time broke, asking, "who will be producing Coke Studio?"
"There are many candidates for Coke Studio," he replied, confessing "Xulfi is the best option in my opinion."
We're extremely excited about the prospects and cannot wait to see what Xulfi has in store for us.