By: Muhammad Raza Haidery
KARACHI: Renowned Pakistani musician Salman Ahmed has strongly defended Coke Studio’s rendition of Sayonee.
In an exclusive interview with www.samaa.tv, the Junoon guitarist said that Sayonee has 3.3 million views online with an 85% approval on Facebook.
“With 3.3 million views in 5 days, Sayonee is the fastest climbing song of Coke Studio Season 10, yet for some strange reason, it has been unjustifiably attacked for ruining the original. Some of the criticism is honest but a lot of it has nothing to do with music,” he said.
The Junoon guitarist stated that when he composed the original Sayonee and Allama Iqbal’s Khudi in 1997, it was banned and Junoon was ridiculed and attacked by disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government for ruining the legacy of Sufiism yet it became a classic.
Commenting on the criticism towards Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Salman Ahmed asked what sin did Rahat committ by honoring a classic Junoon song as it has been sung by over a hundred artists in the past 20 years including Sonu Nigam, Euphoria, Usha Uthap, young singers on SA RE GA MA in India, by Chinese, Japanese & western people while some people have even named their daughters after this song.
“Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a Pakistani Legend. He and I are the only Pakistani artists who have been invited to perform at the UN General Assembly in New York and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway.”
He added, “In addition I started my music career performing with Rahat, his father Farrukh and the great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In fact, Junoon’s sound was heavily influenced by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.”
He said that the people should try their best to highlight the culture of the country.
“The whole Coke Studio band and tech team led by Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia comprises of over 75 hardworking men and women, have put months of hard work in making Season 10 a success. All of them also feel puzzled why one song has been attacked viciously. Frankly, I’m confused as well,” Ahmed said.
He said that we should learn to celebrate music, not make it a reason to spread hate, division and negativity.
The musician further said, “God exalts those who remember the Shaheeds. We honor Junaid Jamshed, Amir Zaki & Amjad Sabri with our music.”
He also mentioned Wasim Akram congratulated him on his rendition of Sayonee while Vital Signs member Shahi Hassan stated that the song was very well done and probably the best song from Coke Studio so far.