It’s about time I blog about the new season of Coke Studio Arabic. The popular show where various artists work together, collaborate and record a unique, fusion song that combines two or more different music genres started on January 15, 2016 on MBC4. Before the season even began, we expected to see different international and recognized artists working together with Arab singers. During the previous three seasons of Coke Studio we have had the opportunity to see famous artists such as Nelly, Jay Sean, Flo Rida, Naya, Yves Larock, Kool & the Gang, and Jason Derulo.
Unfortunately, all of us who expected to see international stars collaborating with Arab singers were left disappointed after it was revealed that new season of Coke Studio will feature Arab performers only. If you haven’t seen the new season just yet, the show sees return of Maya Diab and Balqees Fathi, other performers including Ramy Sabry, Bahaa Sultan, Rami Ayach, Amal Maher, Wael Jassar, and Amina. The 4th season is hosted by host duo, Mahmoud El Esseily and Bushra. The duo has a special chemistry that really brightens up the show.
Season 4 is filmed on the streets of Middle East and aims to show different cities, their architecture and landscapes. This was done as a means to explore different Arab countries, their cultures, and music that are unique to each of these countries. Even though the format of the show allows singers and performers to directly connect with fans, this new concept doesn’t even match the title of the show as they moved performances from studios to the streets.
Personally speaking, I love all types of music collaboration, even if its strictly Arab performers. However, Coke Studio had a unique concept which makes it different compared to all other shows we get to watch on the TV. You can’t help but wonder now: what’s the deal? It seems like producers are taking a big risk to promote the brand, Arab music, or to experiment with a different format that viewers don’t really approve. Is it possible that the network and the producers had a limited budget which prevented them from offering the high-quality show and the international singers we used to watch previously in the other seasons?
After watching a few episodes, people took their disappointment to Twitter and other social networks, and for a good reason. Maybe the producers made a mistake by introducing too many changes at once. We shouldn’t forget the fact that other music shows are thriving now and Coke Studio probably wanted to beat the competition by changing the entire concept of the show. Unfortunately, all these changes made the show lose its identity. Decision to make all these alterations backfired and it became evident that new season can’t match the quality and atmosphere previous seasons had. By numbers, comparing the number of the viewers of this season to the previous one, make this season a complete failure. For example, the song that was done by Sherine and Nelly had around 15.5 million viewers and non of this season’s songs is expected to reach near this number.
You can watch Coke Studio on MBC4 as well as on YouTube. Have you seen new episodes? What’s your opinion about their altered concept?