Coke Studio 2020: Yaqeen by Wajiha Naqvi

Written, composed and performed by Wajiha Naqvi herself, Yaqeen, from Week 2 of Coke Studio 2020, is the artist’s personal journey about self-belief. Carrying a modern pop-rock style, the song has pronounced elements of Indian classical instruments, thus classifying as “raga rock”, a popular musical genre from the 60s. 

Yaqeen by Wajiha Naqvi in Coke Studio 2020

Video Credits: Coke Studio

According to Naqvi, the song has a contemporary western vibe but is composed in raag jog inspired by her training in eastern classical music. The song has elements from both “raga rock” and its modern version in “Brit-pop” creating a classic East meets West fusion as demonstrated through the riffs played in the same manner by the guitars, sitar and rabab. Moreover, the dholak retains the song’s eastern roots and drives the rhythm of the song making it upbeat and groovy.

Explaining the message of the song, Naqvi said, “I realized that no matter how difficult a time one goes through, ultimately you have to have faith in yourself. And if you don’t, you will keep spiraling down a black hole of negativity. Only you can save yourself.”

Written from the perspective of today’s changing times and as a conversation with herself, Naqvi says, “Just as our society is evolving, the meaning and content of our songs are changing too.Moving beyond romantic, pining love songs to a message in which I’m saying I’m good enough for myself. That is the spirit in which the song was written.”

The opening and departure of the song suggests an inward reflective journey, also includes a tarana composed by Zara Madani. The added bells played by Nepalese musician Siddhartha Maharajan give this part an other-worldly experience. With its powerful lyrics, Yaqeen tells the story of a person showing resilience and self-reliance in the journey of life. Naqvi, hopes many will be able to relate to the song said, “Being a female myself, while this song is written from a feminine perspective, this song could relate to the experiences of both men and women where many times we are told what to do and who to be, rather than accepting ourselves wholeheartedly.”

The song illustrates how important it is to believe and accept oneself including one’s strengths and weaknesses. Releasing ourselves from a relationship isn’t a declaration that we no longer love the person, but that we love ourselves enough to let them go, even if it hurts us. It is the realization that the way we love ourselves is the foundation upon which we love others in life.  In the end, the song re-affirms Naqvi’s ultimate faith in the Almighty that in fact, it becomes easier to believe in yourself when you know that He (God) will always be beside you. 

“If men and women are not encouraged or taught to rely on themselves or have faith in themselves, this usually leads them not really knowing who they are and what they are truly capable of. If each person is given the opportunity to explore and discover his/her own self and true potential, they can contribute to society in a more informed manner”, said Naqvi.

The backing vocals for Yaqeen have been given by Kumail Jaffery, Nimra Rafiq, Shahab Hussain and Zara Madani. The house band includes Asad Ahmed on electric guitar, producer Rohail Hyatt himself on acoustic guitar, Serbian musician Goran Antovic on keyboards, Turkish musician Volkan Öktem on drums, Shehroze Hussain playing the sitar; Nawazish Nasri on rabab; Siddhartha Maharajan (from Nepal) on bells, Abier ‘Veeru’ Shan playing percussions and Babar Khanna on Eastern percussions.

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