KARACHI-Following the release of its season opener, Wohi Khuda Hai, earlier this month, Coke Studio is all set to release the first episode of Season 12 featuring Dam Mastam by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ram Pam by Zoe Viccaji and Shahab Hussain, and Maahi Diyaan Jhokaan by Barkat Jamal Fakir Troupe. This episode of Coke Studio Season 12 will air on 18th Oct.

Adding to Season 12’s canvas of hues and elements is Dam Mastam, a song that celebrates Shahbaz Qalandar’s love for Maula Ali. An expression of love and devotion, the song uses the metaphor of being mast, a state of forgetting one’s self in the love of the Divine and His representatives on this Earth. The piece is composed in raag Bhimpalasi, a passionate and tender raag that accentuates the expression of adoration in its poetry. For Javed Ali Khan, who penned the lyrics for the piece in Punjabi and Persian, this is an outpouring of divine inspiration that can only be achieved through complete, unwavering faith.

The song expresses a loving dedication to Maula Ali, proclaiming him to be the Lion of God and the King of the Brave. Dam Mastam brings qawwali to the present day, something Khan Sahab considers the core of his message – the art form must continue to live on, to bring peace, love and ultimately Divine Truth to the world today.

“As long as a spiritual artist respects their craft, peace prevails. It is wonderful when a singer has a noble cause, when they are spreading a message of love, peace, and brotherhood as presented by our saints, without greed of money or the world. This is the real purpose of qawwali.” said Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Zoe Viccaji returns to her Coke Studio family this season in Ram Pam, a light-hearted take on love written by Sahir Ali Bagga, in Urdu and Punjabi that tells the story of a love-struck girl confiding to a wise Baba about the state of her enraptured heart.

Joining Zoe on stage is Coke Studio’s very own backing vocalist Shahab Hussain, who lends his voice to the eccentric Baba Bhatti in his first ever performance as a featured artist on the main stage. As our protagonist confesses her feelings to Baba Jee, he in turn promises to support her in this budding romance and so follows the playful conversation between the characters. For both Shahab and Zoe, this performance displays their ability to cross genres, singing melodies that weave between eastern and pop music accents, all the while maintaining a chemistry that shows the unique, quirky relationship between their characters.

“I think people are trying to come back to Eastern music. There’s this thirst to know our roots again, what we originated [from] in this part of the world. That’s what I’m trying to do with new music. I will write something in a Western way because that is what I was brought up with, but my instrumentation [is inspired by] theory of raags and notes. I’ve grown up with Western styles; the idea is to see how I can make that fuse with Eastern. At the end of the day what is music? It is something which is emotionally transporting you. How do you do it? I don’t know if there are any rules, but my mission is to try and find a new way of doing it.” said Zoe Viccaji