The full line-up of performers for the first Coke Studio Live in Dubai, featuring top Pakistani music stars from the series, have been revealed. The show, set to take place at Coca-Cola Arena on October 14, will also feature special performances, including one by Norwegian dance troupe Quick Style, who started a viral TikTok trend set to a Bollywood song.
Ali Sethi and Shae Gill, the Pakistani singers behind the viral song Pasoori, were among the first batch of headliners announced earlier. The pair will be joined by sisters Sania Sohail and Muqadas Jandad, who go by the name Justin Bibis, as well as singer and rapper Hasan Raheem.
Scroll through the gallery above for more pictures of the performers for Coke Studio Live in Dubai
Joining them on stage will be neo progressive music group Karakoram, rap duo Young Stunners and Faisal Kapadia, the frontman of acclaimed group Strings.
Kapadia and Young Stunners will perform their Coke Studio collaboration Phir Milenge, among others.
Karakoram will bring their signature rock style, as well as their metal hit Yeh Dunya.
Meanwhile, Quick Style, who went viral after a video of their performance at the wedding of one of their members went viral, will perform to Raheem and Justin Bibis's song Peechay Hutt, among others. Their dance move, set to the song Kaala Chasma, has now inspired millions of TikTok videos.
But the biggest names of the night will undoubtedly be Sethi and Gill, whose song Pasoori has been viewed more than 389 million times on YouTube alone.
The track has become one of the most successful singles in Coke Studio's history, and also sparked hundreds of covers from singers even across the border in India, where Pakistani artists are still banned from performing.
The song, which roughly translates as “difficulty”, was inspired by the difficulties Sethi encountered trying to visit and perform in India. The lyrics draw on the age-old story of forbidden love, and are written in Punjabi, a language spoken in both India and Pakistan.
“It’s been a theme running in my life for several years; I’ve had to engage with my Indian fans and friends through veils, lest we draw the attention of extremist elements whose job is to maintain the rigid boundary between India and Pakistan,” Sethi told The Guardian. “So I’d been mulling the theme of prohibition for many months.”
Pasoori was also featured in the hit Disney+ series Ms Marvel.
Peechay Hutt, the song featuring Justin Bibis and Raheem, has also been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube.
Season 14 of Coke Studio Pakistan had its premiere in February and received wide acclaim. The YouTube show pairs established artists with new faces, often from starkly different genres, who perform original songs together. While the format exists in other countries, the show has struck a chord especially in Pakistan, where it's been lauded for bringing together artists from different religions, backgrounds, regions, genres and languages.
In total, Coke Studio Pakistan videos have amassed more than four billion views online since February.
“Music is a language that transcends cultures and boundaries," said Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, who assembled, produced and curated Season 14 of Coke Studio.
"Whether someone is performing a song or listening to one, music provides an opportunity for real and meaningful connection. With Coke Studio Live in Dubai, we want to give the richly diverse population one more reason to open their hearts and connect through their love for music."
Tickets, starting at Dh179, are available on coca-cola-arena.com.
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A version of this article was first published on August 25, 2022