The concept of Coke Studio is always acclaimed by music lovers across the world. Rohail Hyatt was the mastermind behind its concept. His entire journey is very interesting and full of ups and downs.
Coke studio’s popularity is because of its display of Pakistan’s cultural diversity. It stands as the franchise featuring top names of the Pakistani Music Industry. Furthermore, the emerging artists also get a chance to present their talent.
The best aspect of Coke Studio music is augmenting different regional languages. The resultant productions are an amalgam of contemporary music style and tradition. Thus, you can listen to rock, pop, and hip hop music alongside qawwali, ghazal, and bhangra.
You may have thought Nadeem Zaman of the Coca-Cola Company is the man behind this unique platform. But, there is an important name whose endeavors have taken this brand to heights. Yes, he is none other than the founder of Vital Signs, Rohail Hyatt. In this article, we will talk about his life and his contribution to the Coke Studio Brand.
Many of you won’t be aware of the fact that Rohail Hyatt comes from the family of Sir Liaquat Ali Khan. Born in Rawalpindi, he got his early education from Saint Mary’s Academy. Besides being good at studies he was always fond of music from an early age. The best part was his parents’ full support for his career in the music industry. They bought him a keyboard with which he started producing Pakistani Sufi music. Although, his mother used to arrange music lessons for him on a regular basis. His interest in western music started with Pink Floyd’s album ‘The Wall’, gifted by his aunt.
There were many musicians who inspired Rohail Hyatt to pursue his music career. Nusrat Hussain, the bassist of an underground band, encouraged him to learn music compositions. Soon, Rohail Hyatt started to consider forming his own band. Meeting Shahzad Hassan through the band ‘Crude X’ made his decision firmer. Rohail was ready with his composition, but he remained undecided about a name for the band. His decision on the name got finalized when he met his band members.
Pakistan was going through a conservative regime of President Zia ul Haq. This was the time when Rohail Hyatt came along as keyboardist with his band fellow members:
- Nusrat Hussain as guitarist,
- Shahzad Hassan as bassist and
- Junaid Jamshed as the vocalist
Rohail identified charm in Jamshed’s voice when he heard him sing ‘Careless Whisper’. That was the beginning of a worthwhile journey for this band. Junaid Jamshed’s voice became a sensation soon.
Vital Signs was unique in its choice of music as the songs blended rock and pop music styles. The traditional and classical music techniques were also integrated by the band. The initial performances were in college and university concerts. Soon, Rohail Hyatt along with his fellows started to gain nationwide attention.
The band brought a revival of pop music culture in Pakistan. The renowned director of PTV, Shoaib Mansoor realized the potential of this band. He wrote the famous song ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’. The band went on to new international heights with this patriotic fame. The name of Rohail Hyatt became a household discussion.
Later on, Rohail Hyatt with Vital Signs came up with albums like ‘Aitebaar’ and ‘Hum Tum’. These albums were also a hit right from the moment they came on the market. The band got a chance to perform in concerts held worldwide. As a result, they marked their name among the most popular bands in the world. This band made Pakistanis proud.
The band stayed together for a long time. They saw a rise in their fame with the huge appreciation received from different parts of the world. But, Rohail Hyatt and his team ended their long journey to pursue their separate passions. It was through a mutual agreement that they parted from one another. Junaid turned into a solo singer coming up with his own productions. Shahzad Hassan became a music producer. Rohail Hyatt continued his musical journey by opening up a production company.
Rohail Hyatt and Nadeem Zaman got inspired by Brazil’s concert-like performances. They wanted to provide a similar platform to the rising talent of Pakistan. That is how they established the Coke Studio as a brand starring legendary singers.
The forum provides a launching pad for the prodigies of music. It is also a site to witness the melodious diversity hidden in the different areas of Pakistan. The great performers come with their unique instruments. Together, they create a composition combining classic, Sufi, folk, pop, hip hop, and rock. Rohail Hyatt premiered the first season live in front of a voluminous audience. Later on, the format of Coke Studio changed to being a closed studio. This allowed the least noise and interference within the compositions.
Coke Studio was a unique initiative by Rohail Hyatt. It won him and Coke Studio huge appreciation from different strata of the society. The seasons were broadcast and rebroadcast on TV and Radio at the same time. Everybody used to wait for each episode. Its episodes are available on the Coke Studio website and on YouTube.
Rohail Hyatt continued leading the forum as executive producer till the sixth season. The ‘Strings’ band took over in 2013 and managed the following Coke Studio seasons till 2017.
After the production of season 11 by Ali Hamza, Rohail Hyatt returned back with season 12. Once again it was a huge success. Thus, Hyatt will always be the maestro behind Coke Studio. We are happy to see him back in action once again.
Now you can understand the hard work and effort behind this entire show. If you have not seen any episodes of Pakistan’s Coke Studio yet, then we recommend you to watch one. It will appeal to your musical sensibilities.