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Friday Sep 16, 2016

Meet Coke Studio stars Asim Azhar and Rachel Viccaji

As music lovers across the nation get ready for the latest Coke Studio episode today, we caught up with none other than young Coke Studio stars Asim Azhar and Rachel Viccaji, two music prodigies making the Pakistani music landscape really exciting to observe.

Asim, son of renowned pianist Azhar Hussain, shot to fame with his Urdu remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A-Team’ and starred in his first ever Coke Studio season last year. And he’s back again this year. Yes, watch out for his performance of ‘Nawazishein’ with new singing sensation Momina Mustehsan on today’s Coke Studio episode!

Rachel Viccaji, best known for her work on Coke Studio, needs no introduction really. She has starred on the hit music show six times already and has no intentions of slowing down.

So guys, tell us about your Coke Studio experiences?

“It’s my sixth time on the show, I’m so comfortable with it already,” said Rachel.

“But it’s totally different for me,” Asim said, who debuted on Coke Studio only last year. He wasn’t really expecting to be featured in the latest season and had the best surprise of his life when he was told he would star on the platform again. “It’s been so exciting, an emotional rollercoaster really,” he laughed.

At 19, he’s got to be the youngest ever Coke Studio singer, surely?

“Yes, I was definitely the youngest vocalist last year,” Asim said. But he’s not sure he still holds that record as someone even younger is reportedly starring on the show this season.

How long have you guys been into music?

Since forever, Rachel said, reminiscing that she started singing when she was just four.

“But I wasn’t into singing initially, I was a dancer,” Asim piped in, adding that it was when his parents gifted him an MP3 player that he got into music.

Favourite bands?

“Too many,” says Rachel, “but I’m a big fan of oldies, especially The Beatles and Michael Jackson.”

Asim mentions Faakhir, Haroon, Sajjad Ali among his favourites, along with contemporary artists like Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran and Justin Timberlake.

We asked Asim about his motivation behind the Urdu remix of Ed Sheeran’s The A-Team.

“I wanted people here to understand the emotions in that song better, it’s a beautiful song,” said Asim. It went on to be a hit and attracted Ed Sheeran’s attention, who contacted the young artist on Twitter.

Favourite hobbies?

Singing, acting, animals, nature, mountains for Rachel. Cricket for Asim. Here’s an interesting tidbit for the fans out there: Asim has played cricket for PIA Under-16 and even considered it as a career at one point.

“But then I thought, 200 million people in this country and only 11 get selected, so yeah, I dropped the idea,” he laughed.

Well, we’re sure glad he did what he did. Music in Pakistan is so much more exciting with adventurous, innovative singers and musicians like these two!

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