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Sajjad Ali Returns to Coke Studio with ‘Chal Chaliye’ After Six-Year Hiatus

Sajjad Ali

For 90s teens, Coke Studio Pakistan’s latest release, “Chal Chaliye,” offers a nostalgia-filled experience, featuring the iconic Sajjad Ali alongside Farheen Raza Jaffry. The track seamlessly blends traditional sounds with contemporary elements, a hallmark of Coke Studio’s signature style.

The song opens with a mix of ambient noises, including train whistles, chirping birds, and crashing ocean waves, creating a calming and evocative soundscape. This is followed by the introduction of synths and traditional instruments, setting the stage for Sajjad’s vocal performance, which is the heart of the song.

Sajjad Ali, a staple in Coke Studio with memorable tracks like “Tum Naraz Ho” and “Ronay Na Diya,” brings a vocal delivery that harkens back to his 90s heyday. His voice, characterized by its timeless and comforting quality, envelops listeners in a warm, hopeful embrace. His return to Coke Studio after six years is marked by an energetic performance that resonates with both nostalgic and contemporary audiences.

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The song’s chorus introduces modern elements with indie pop-inspired synths, kicks, and claps. This juxtaposition creates a compelling contrast between Sajjad’s emotive vibrato and the ethereal backdrop of long synth notes and flute melodies. His voice dances around the instrumentation, adding dynamic texture and depth to the melody.

Farheen Raza Jaffry’s contribution, though brief, is noteworthy. She first appears with two lines before Sajjad returns to the forefront and then joins him in the final chorus. While her performance is commendable and adds a beautiful layer to the song, it feels somewhat underutilized. “Chal Chaliye” is decidedly Sajjad Ali-centric, and while Farheen’s presence enhances the track, it leaves listeners wanting more of her voice.

The song’s outro follows a familiar pattern seen in many Coke Studio arrangements, with both artists harmonizing over a busy instrumental backdrop and vocal ad-libs leading to a fade-out. While this ending is consistent with the show’s formula, it feels somewhat predictable and safe, not quite matching the innovative spirit of the rest of the track.

Overall, “Chal Chaliye” by Sajjad Ali and Farheen Raza Jaffry is a captivating blend of nostalgia and contemporary music, delivering a powerful punch of emotion and style that will resonate with fans old and new.