Srinagar: Coke Studio Pakistan on Wednesday released the much-awaited Kashmiri song “Ha Gulo Tohi Ma Sa Wuchwan Yaar Meon”, penned by noted Kashmiri poet Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor and sung by Muzaffarabad-based Anantnag native Altaf Mir.
Mir, associated with Radio Pakistan, leads the Kashmiri band “Qasamir”. In the Coke Studio recording of the song, Ghulam Muhammad Dar plays the Sarangi, Saifuddin Shah plays the the traditional Tumbaknari, and Manzoor Ahmad Khan plays the Garha. The song was released at 3:30pm IST simultaneously on YouTube and Facebook.
“#HaGulo by Qasamir steers the listener towards the richness and power of Kashmiri folk music and poetry. Altaf Mir’s emotion-packed vocals are anchored by the gentle Sarangi, the pulsating Tumbaknaer and the iconic Garha. An effortless mix of traditional and electronic, get ready to groove to this song,” Coke Studio announced while releasing the song.
The song instantly received massive response on YouTube as well as Facebook pages of Coke Studio.
In the initial four hours after its release, the song had received almost 2.5 million views on Facebook. On YouTube during the same time, it had been viewed by 30,000 people. The song was shared massively across social media platforms.
One hour ahead of releasing the song, Coke Studio released the story behind the song, as they have done in other releases of this year’s “Coke Studio Explorer” season.
“#CokeStudioExplorer brings you the story of Qasamir – representatives of Kashmiri folk music. Using traditional age-old instruments, combined with timeless poetry, this act is one to watch,” it said.
Coke Studio also wrote a note of appreciation for the talent in Kashmir. It wrote: “The culture and talent of Kashmir was so beautiful and amazing, we had to bring it to you :)”
In response to a comment by Nowsheen Mushtaq: “Most awaited song is finally here. Much love from IoK”, Coke Studio responded: “And we are sure it was worth the wait. Lots of love from Coke Studio Pakistan.”
“That’s the reaction we were hoping for. Coke Studio will always try to bring people closer with its music. Its the one language that everyone understands and we are honored to bring such talent forward,” Coke Studio responded to Adil Bashir, a netizen in Srinagar.
In a sarcastic post, Kashmiri journalist Sofi Ahsan wrote: “In yet another act of terror, Pakistan (Coke Studio) has successfully managed to infiltrate a song into Kashmir. I’m sure India won’t think of any retaliatory action given the performance of its own Coke Studio over the years.”
On July 3, Coke Studio kicked off their new series, Coke Studio Explorer, under new producers Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza. Coke Studio Explorer featured five sets of musicians this year, each from a different region.
“Qasamir, a band of four musicians from Kashmir, performs surreal songs dealing with love, beauty and harmony. A lot of people talk about their love for Kashmir and its cause but few have heard the language of the region. The programme will change that in its own small way. We have tried to capture the true essence of the language by recording the poetry of famed Kashmiri poet Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor. We are confident that people will love the sound of the Kashmiri song,” Ali Hamza told a Pakistan-based newspaper last week.
“The search for musicians was both extensive and expansive. It covered the remote mountains of Kalash, the scenic valley of Muzaffarabad, the vast landscape of Baluchistan, and the deserts of Sindh, not to mention the infinite virtual terrain of the internet. A lot of time, effort and energy went into the search, which was, fortunately, both productive and rewarding. We are very pleased with the results,” Hamza said.
Meanwhile, New Delhi-based journalist Aditya Raj Kaul tweeted: “Coke Studio comes up with a fantastic Kashmiri folk song ‘Ha Gulo’. A song of love and longing. Beautiful composition on a Sarangi and Tumbaknaer. Interestingly, this has been shot in Muzaffarabad of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).”
Peoples Democratic Party youth president Waheed Parra tweeted on the song: “An effortless mix of traditional and electronic instruments adds beauty to this Kashmiri song. Soothing to ears and soothens the mind.”
Hamza and Kazi were all praise for Kashmir. “Visiting Kashmir and experiencing the unique beauty of the region and its people was a genuine pleasure,” they said.