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Coke Studio Season 11 is scheduled to release in August but Coke dropped the first song today, just an hour ago. In sync with the tradition of kickstarting the season with a patriotic anthem – in time for August 14 – this time the anthem also comes a few days before the National Elections and hopefully preludes a new future for a new Pakistan. Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge‘ – could there have been anything more poignant?

Hum Mehkoomon ke paaon tale

Yeh dharti dhar dhar dharkegi…’

It’s an emotional time for Pakistan; August usually is but the elections and hope that always comes with them just adds to the sensitivity of the moment. Add to that the fresh new sound of CS11 and the young artists it is introducing PLUS the older ones it is bringing back…zabardast. Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi need to take a bow for introducing this level of newness to the program. Newness as well as new ideals.

‘Aur ahle hakam ke sar oopar

Jab bijli kar kar karkegi…’

There’s Ali Azmat with rockstar vocals as well as Ahad Raza Mir’s music debut. We see Haniya Aslam return to the stage as do Hassan Jahangir, Abrar ul Haq, Jawad Ahmad and Ataullah Esakhelvi. Sounds of Kolachi, Khumariyan, Lyari Underground, Young Desi and Mughal-E-Funk cut it some edge. There’s the fantastic Chand Tara Orchestra. I love that CS11 introduces artistes from Coke Studio Explorer as well as Naghma and Lucky, two transgender debutants, who sing to the lines…

‘Aur raj karegil khalq e khuda

Jo main bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho’

There could not have been a more perfect beginning to the season. Let’s just hope that we get to see a better tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can hear the song here…