Coke Studio has been around for three successful seasons now, and the promo of the first episode of the fourth season does have a hook in it. Coke Studio sessions have the strength to revitalize even the greats, like Saaen Zahoor and Arif Lohar, and present them in a fresh light.
This time around it seems that the team conducted a rather thorough filtering process before getting artists on board: Rumor has it, that the legendary Amir Zaki was rejected after Coke Studio auditions.
The producer of Coke Studio, Rohail Hayat, denies any rumors of Amir Zaki being rejected from Coke Studio,
“Not true. We were about to experiment with a new concept and I approached him (Zaki) for that. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t materialize due to the shortage of time. We don’t go around ‘rejecting’ talent, and that too, of the caliber of Amir. I’m sure we will work together on the same concept sometime in future,” Rohail told The Express Tribune in an exclusive interview.
On the contrary, when Zaki was contacted by The Express Tribune, he remained a man of few words: “No one from Coke Studio contacted me. I really wanted to be a part of the venture, but no one asked me.”
Zaki and Rohail, who once played together for a brief time with the Vital Signs, have contradictory statements about Zaki’s involvement with the venture. Industry speculation remains that either Zaki got rejected because of poor vocal quality, or that it had to do with something more personal.
However, sources close to Zaki told The Express Tribune about what actually happened.
“Back in October 2010, Amir Zaki and his session players were called up by the Coke Studio people to their pre-production house in Defence. They came there and played four songs , which included the very popular “Mera Pyar”, “Saaen Wadero”, “Mohabbat Blues” and “Jaana”.”
Sources also revealed that after Zaki’s auditions, they never got a call from any of the Coke Studio officials.
In the past year and a half, Amir Zaki was all set for making a proper comeback. Be it The Second Floor, Base Rock Cafe, the Pak-American Cultural Center (PACC) auditorium or anywhere else, he had brought the crowd to their feet in all his recent live gigs. In the recent two day long Tehzeeb Sitar Festival,