When Rohail Hyatt handed over the Coke Studio reins to Xulfi, many were skeptical about the change, unsure if Xulfi could maintain the brilliance of Hyatt's brainchild. Promising to "transcend boundaries", Xulfi started season 14 with a bang, silencing all those who doubted him with Abida Parveen and Naseebo Lal's 'Tu Jhoom.' His latest production is 'Kana Yaari', which promises a new genre for Pakistani listeners — B-pop (Balochi pop).
Coke Studio released 'Kana Yari' on Wednesday. The song fuses together traditional and modern sounds and features Wahab Bugti strumming his tambura, Kaifi Khalili, and Eva B rapping in Balochi.
Abdullah Siddiqui, the electro-pop prodigy who's been working as associate producer for Coke Studio this season, posted a clip from the song as well with a long caption that shared some behind the scenes info and his experience working with Xulfi on this song.
Commenting on the music-making process, he shared, "My favourite moment while working on this song was when [Xulfi] and I were looking through samples and found this one honking shehnai [trumpet] sound — for me that was the moment this song fell into place."
Siddiqui said there is more input of unconventional sounds in the music, calling them "little otherworldly textural hits peppered throughout the song like that shehnai" because the team was on a mission to design "a new sonic vocabulary by using local sounds in ways that they’ve never been used in before."
The process makes sense because the artist lineup alone seemed to suggest Xulfi was going mesh together different genres to produce "real magic." The 14-year-old music platform promised a "new vibe" in its latest season, conscious of the kind of music listeners crave in 2022 — music that is "direct and uncensored, the way creators intended it to be" and that is exactly what they're delivering.
"It was Xulfi’s thought that there’s no reason a Balochi pop song can’t have the same global appeal as a K-Pop song (he calls it B-Pop)," added Siddiqui. Associate Music Producer Arsalan Hasan said that Xulfi wanted a Balochi song under the pop genre — the kind of song that could be played in the background in cars.
The 'Resistance' singer agreed, calling Jamal Rahman's music video "really really cool" and "with incredible artists on board, like Wahab Bugti who brings so much life with his beautiful vocal texture, Kaifi Khalil who is absolutely primed to become the preeminent pop star in Balochi music and Eva B who is just hands down one of my all-time favorite Pakistani artists."
Xulfi commented under Siddiqui's post calling the experience with him a "complete" and unforgettable one. Singers Ali Sethi and Nimra Rafiq also showed love for the project.
It is great to see Balochi music being highlighted and given a platform to grow. The first two Coke Studio songs from season 14 already have everyone excited and we can't wait to see what else is in store for us this season.