So the unanimous verdict is that Coke Studio India (first aired on the Friday that went by) is no match for Coke Studio Pakistan [Wikipedia]. For some it’s been like an India-Pakistan match – I’ve seen Indian congratulate Pakistanis on Twitter for the ‘Coke Studio victory’ and others ask Indian musicians and singers to listen to Pakistani singers and hang themselves. For most, this was not surprising – Coke Studio Pakistan has showcased some of the best music you’ve heard in recent times and it raised the bar too high for Coke Studio India. There’s also the problem of Bollywoodisation of music in India, of dumbing down, producing music aimed at the marriage market and livening up the moods of those stuck in traffic. A celebrity culture has taken the passion out of music in India – it does not seem to come from deep within. New popular music in India leaves you with the kind of feeling that a mall does. Loud and empty.
Coke Studio, Pakistan, which has over seven lakh Facebook fans, is after a long time a major cultural export of Pakistan into India, and the first such to be solely through the internet. There was even a Facebook group called I Want Coke Studio in India. Even the Pakistanis were looking forward to it. But the first show left everyone disappointed. You can copy the format of a show but you can clone the artists.
Then there are those, in India and Pakistan, who rue the ‘corporatisation’ of folk music that Coke Studio results in.
Then again, there are still some people who ask, what is Coke Studio?
For what it’s worth, here are the first six sings of Coke Studio India for those who missed them.