2018 was a year of corporates giving us music goals with epic seasons of Coke Studio, Pepsi Battle of the Bands, and Levi's Live. A year full of amazing music has finally come to a close and instead of being sad about it, we are actually very enthralled to witness what 2019 has in store for us.
Starting with Coke Studio Season 11, it did not live up to the expectations because the bar was raised so high by Season 10 that we were just not ready to accept anything lesser.
However, there were a few songs that are pure gold like Shikwa Jawab e Shikwa, Jind Mahiya, Ya Qurban, Dildar Sadqay, Ballay Ballay, Ilallah just to name a few. We, Pakistanis, always take the trolling game to the next level while completely neglecting the positives and same has happened with Coke Studio Season 11. It is true that Ko Ko Korina was not good enough but just for one song, it is not justified to strike off the whole season. This season saw some of the most mesmerizing voices coming to mainstream and making a name for themselves and Natasha Baig, Sounds of Kolachi, Khumaariyan are few of the biggest examples. Coke Studio Explorer was also a great experiment to discover the unsung voices that can make it big if polished well and proper guidance is provided. Ali Hamza & Zohaib Kazi may not have been able to create a memorable season but they surely gave us a few songs to cherish for the rest of the year.
Pepsi Battle of the Bands was arguably the musical highlight of the year with Bayaan emerging as winners of this season. In the beginning of the show, it was expected that the bands appearing in this season don't have the same potential as seen in the previous bands but the performances given by Xarb, 21, and Khamaaj changed this mindset. The early part of the season was not that exciting; however, as soon as Strings joined in, the excitement literally blew the roofs off. Both performances given by Strings were outstanding in every way possible. Here the medley needs a special mention that had a touch of nostalgia and took us back to the past. Shahi Hassan's heartfelt tribute to Junaid Jamshed left everyone spellbound with teary eyed. All in all, it was a great season and full marks to Pepsi for giving us a chance to enjoy Pakistani music in its true colors.
Next comes Levis Live - an initiative by Levis and spearheaded by the maestro Farhad Humayun kept the spirit of live music alive with back to back live sessions hosted at Riot Studios. Two music videos were also released under the label. Abdullah Qureshi, Arsalan Hassan, Anna Salman, and other musicians also performed in front of a charged up crowd of Lahore and warmed them in the chilling weather. The Round Two of Levis Live continues and some more sessions will follow in this year.
Lastly, Cornetto Pop Rock gathered big names like Strings, Ali Sethi, Asim Azhar and QB for a musical treat to their enormous followers.Let's all just hope that 2019 brings a plethora of amazing music and contributes more to the Pakistani Music Industry.