Coke Studio is all set to release the second episode of Season 12 featuring Billo by Abrar Ul Haq, and Roshe by Zeb Bangash. This episode of Coke Studio Season 12 will air on 25th October 2019.

Abrar Ul Haq takes the stage this season in a whirlwind of rap and bhangra by opening a gateway to the past with a remake of the iconic song that started his musical career: Billo. Released in 1995, Billo took the country by storm with its quirky lyrics that talk about a young man’s infatuation with his Billo; a girl who is famed for her beauty, and whose house the young man is determined to visit. The young man declares his intentions of taking a marriage procession to her home and winning her as his bride, cursing everyone and anything that stands in the way of this pursuit. For Abrar, Billo was the song that changed everything. It brought him overnight fame and turned music from a hobby to a lifelong calling. Abrar has been wanting to take this visit into the past, to recreate this memory using the melodies, rhythms and instruments that now populate the world’s musical canvas. Coke Studio’s rendition of Billo stays true to the nostalgia of the tune, offering listeners a space where they can relive a time in which bhangra-pop enlivened Pakistan’s music channels.

“Music is spiritual. It comes from within a person. Sound can create such a strong impact; this is something you feel in music. You’ll hear something and get goosebumps. If you’re sad, a song can uplift your mood. In a way, it’s a cure. It has the power to induce nostalgic feelings and has a spiritual side to it that brings you closer to God ... There’s something extraordinary about music.” said Abrar Ul Haq

Zeb Bangash returns to Coke Studio this season with a Kashmiri ode to loss: Roshe. The song first caught Zeb’s attention when she came across a video of Ali Saifuddin’s version of it on YouTube. For Zeb, this was the fortunate outcome of an exploration into Kashmiri music that had been sparked when she met a group of Kashmiri students in Delhi, who requested that she perform a song in their native tongue. So began the process, nearly four years ago, of working on the song with house band member Zain Ali, who presented it to Coke Studio this season. For Zeb, this has been an experience of trusting the destiny of a song – that it was meant to happen when the time was right, and when the world was ready for it. The song speaks of love and loss. Its poetry was written by the Kashmiri poet Mahjoor, who lived in the early 1900s. Mahjoor was greatly inspired by the verses of Kashmir’s last empress Habba Khatoon – whose own verse has been used in the chorus of this song. Coke Studio’s rendition of Roshe offers an ambient space in which the poetic themes of nostalgia and separation are meant to be contemplated upon. Zeb encapsulates the song’s melancholy feel vocally, while she once again, takes on a language that is new to her repertoire with the sheer meticulousness she is known for.

“I decided to pursue music professionally when I saw how it enables you to connect with people. It’s a beautiful feeling. You can move people; you can talk to them. You sing a song and someone connects to it and you don’t even know about it. That’s really lovely for me. That someone is having their own relationship with a song sung in my voice.” said Zeb Bangash

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The King of Bhangra, Abrar Ul Haq, returns to the Coke Studio mainstage in a whirlwind of upbeat nostalgia. Starting his journey from Narowal, Punjab, Abrar studied social sciences at university and later became a teacher at the prestigious Aitchison College in Lahore. However, one thing that prevailed alongside the academic route was Abrar’s passion for music – something that manifested itself in his first song, which was released in 1995. With 24 years in the music industry and numerous albums to his name, Abrar Ul Haq remains one of Pakistan’s most prolific artists, particularly in the Punjabi tradition. Abrar is also an avid philanthropist and humanitarian – he is the founder of SAHARA for Life Trust, as well as the Sughra Shafi Medical Complex in Narowal. He aims to encourage the promotion of health and education in the country’s most remote areas.


Zeb Bangash is known for her diverse music which is sung in a multitude of languages along the spectrum of folk and Eastern Classical genres. Zeb first came to the forefront of the Pakistani music industry as a part of the duo she formed with her cousin, Zeb and Haniya. The duo has created hits that have been performed all over the world, starting with their debut single Chup, released in 2008. Their first album led to hits like Bibi Sanam Janam and Paimona, both of which were later featured on Coke Studio. In 2014, Zeb struck out on her own, and has since launched Sandaraa – a Brooklyn-based project that brings together musicians from different genres, showcasing the many ways in which music travels across civilizations. Zeb is an avid culture and language enthusiast, and has been exposed to languages like Pashto, Dari, Persian, and Turkish from a young age. She continues to explore her musical roots, learning Eastern Classical music, in the tradition of khyal gaiki, under the tutelage of Ustad Naseeruddin Saami. For Zeb, music is a tool for studying human history, depicting just how connected cultures and civilizations have been in their evolution through time. This season, Zeb returns to the Coke Studio mainstage, discovering previously undiscovered territory in the ever-expanding map of her musical exploration.