There are composers, then there are singers and finally there are entertainers. Meet Arif Lohar once and you know that he is an amalgamation of all of the above -an artist extraordinaire. His jovial personality, the highly-infectious grin he sports and the trademark chimta, which he inherited from his father and always accompanies him in a performance, simply sets him apart from other exponents of folk and Sufi music.
His last album Jugni came out in 2005, which was highly popular. A recipient of the 2005 President’s Pride of Performance Award, Lohar is well-known on the international circuit and has performed for various state dignitaries.
1. How was the experience of being a part of Coke Studio?
It was absolutely amazing! I think with this project, Rohail Hyatt has started something which will be remembered by many generations.
2. Whose performance are you looking forward to watching at Coke Studio?
Everyone on Coke Studio has worked really hard and has done an amazing job. I will be tuning in to watch all the performances.
3. In the past two years, Coke Studio has introduced a different brand of fusion music to Pakistanis. Is this the only platform left for folk and indigenous music to thrive?
I personally think Coke Studio is really different from all other platforms and it has done a great job in promoting our rich folk music culture but I do think there should be more platforms for folk music in the country.
4. What was the highlight for you this year?
As an artist whatever I have achieved from this project and the reaction of people to my performances will be the highlight for me this year as this is something which I have never done before.
5. You have worked with younger artists before, but this was an entire cast of young new musicians. How was your experience?
Performing with this great ensemble of artists was an experience I will never forget. Every single houseband member is uniquely talented in their own way.
6. An entire generation of young people were introduced to your music via state-run television. Do you feel that there are enough platforms for musicians of your generation left now?
I think Coke Studio is an excellent platform for musicians like me also; It gives us an opportunity to experiment and present our music like never before but like I said earlier, we need more of such platforms in the country to promote folk music and our culture in general.