Fakir Juman Shah
Led by Fakir Juman Shah, the Shah Jo Raag Fakirs are continuing the over 250-year-old tradition of singing at Bhit Shah, the fakirs’ voices piercing the air at the shrine every single night. Each fakir, in fact, performs a different day of the week from sundown to sunrise, for life. Custodians of one of the greatest mystical traditions, the rhythmic kalams they recite in praise of the great mystic Shah Abdul Latif, accompanied by the unique five-stringed instrument, dhamboora, entrances one and all. Despite belonging to one of the remotest corners of Pakistan, the fakirs have visitors from the West and also travel abroad to showcase their unique work.
When pop ruled the airwaves, these men made the nation rock and groove to their thunderous drumming and electrifying guitar-playing. Regarded as Pakistan’s premier rock band, Karavan with some shuffles now comprises of guitar guru Asad Ahmed, powerhouse vocalist Tanseer Dar, groovy bassist Sameer Ahmed and popular drummer Alan Smith. With four albums under their belt, they are gearing up for the release of their latest album Saraa Jahaan.
Brought up on a solid grounding of arts, culture, acting, singing and dancing, Meesha Shafi’s work encompasses all this and more — she holds a degree in art from the prestigious National College of Arts and also models. Indeed, her multifaceted personality and versatility add to her image. Shafi is currently the lead vocalist for the percussions-based fusion band Overload, where she is equally at ease setting her powerhouse vocals to Urdu, English and Punjabi poetry and prose.
Noori, Ali Kazim and Noor Zehra
As one of the leading names in Pakistan’s music industry, Noori is often credited for revitalising rock music for Pakistan’s youth with the release of their first album Suno Ke Mein Hoon Jawan (2003) and then their second album Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jani Ki Gol Dunya (2005). Over a span of seven years the band has put out two albums, have performed in more than 400 concerts, self-produced 10 music videos, won three major music awards and are currently working on their third studio album. Joining the brothers this season are their parents, Ali Kazim as vocalist and Noor Zehra on sagar veena.
Rizwan & Muazzam
To carve one’s own niche when you hail from the lineage of the iconic Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is an uphill task, but that is exactly what his nephews have done. Rizwan and Muazzam lead the five centuries old gharana, following the traditional qawwal arrangement replete with a chorus, tabla, harmonium and choral. The two released their first album Sacrifice of Love in 1999 and are currently signed to Peter Gabriel’s influential Real World record label. The group aims to broaden the appeal of traditional qawwali and garner international appreciation.
Sanam Marvi is one of the youngest and most popular classical singers from the interior of Sindh. Her father was the renowned singer Fakir Ghulam Rasool and hence she was inculcated into classical singing at a very young age. Having studied Sufi poetry extensively, Marvi aims to spread the Sufic belief in love and peace through her music to global and local audiences. Marvi is in her element with compositions of mystics such as Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Sheikh Farid, Sachal Sarmast and one of the greatest poets of the Sindhi language, Shah Abdul Latif
With Coke Studio 2010, Tina Sani not only makes her first appearance in the series but also returns to a recording studio after a hiatus of 16 years. Sani’s distinction has been her contempoary outlook to ghazal-singing, which has been refreshing all the way. Be it the haunting “Bahaar Aye”, the melodious “Koi Baat Karo”, the poignant “Chotti Si Ghalat Fehmi”, the lively and soulful “Kharee Neem kay Neechay” or Iqbal Bano’s inimitable and haunting “Dasht-e-Tanhai”, Sani’s refined and measured experiments have made even the harshest critic concede her flair.
Zeb & Haniya
One glance at the body of their work and it registers immediately that the duo delve and excel at being experimental. Be it English, Urdu, Persian or Dari, Zebunissa Bangash and Haniya Aslam can reset their mode both musically and vocally with great ease and deliver brilliant performances. A household name across Pakistan with their debut album Chup