Season 7 Artists

Babar Ali Khanna

The individual that keeps musical timing intact at Coke Studio is Babar Ali Khanna. An integral part of the House Band, Babar is a seasoned Dhol and Dholak player who has received awards for his performances and has played with a myriad of musicians both within Pakistan and internationally. He can be credited for bringing the wealth of Eastern percussion to Coke Studio. Today Babar is regarded as one of the country’s finest Dholak players due to his sense of musical diversity and finesse. Eastern percussion became his lifeline through his family history, the learning of which led him to take on the craft professionally – initially making a mark in the music scene due to his work with Jawad Ahmed, Abrar-ul-Haq and Shazia Manzoor, among others. Years later and with much acclaim to his credit, Babar now runs his own music academy in Lahore where he teaches the Dholak.

‘It’s not easy to put Western and Eastern together because some parts of Eastern rhythms need to be understood in depth before you attempt to do so. It is sensitive. Yet there are grooves in Eastern that are like Western but people in the East don’t realize that this feel is Western. Now as you change an instrument, the sound changes so while Western and Eastern feels do meet, it is difficult but Eastern has some feels that you’ll feel are Western. It is only because of my experience that I’m able to recognize or understand this.’

With a journey that spans over twenty years, Babar’s work demonstrates a deep and ever growing understanding of eastern rhythm.

Coke Studio is proud to welcome Babar back to the mix this Season with his treasured Dholak