Coke Studio Season 15 released its eighth song, “Jhol”, taking a captivating dive into the depths of love and loss, featuring Maanu and Annural Khalid. “Jhol” re-tells the classic subcontinental tales of tragically bent love stories, like Heer Ranjha, through a captivating retro imagining.

Shot through a vintage lens in smoky undertones and directed by Jamal Rahman [who also directed Kana Yaari in Season 14], “Jhol” unfolds against the backdrop of a parallel Pakistan, where bygone train stations and metropolitan club culture collide. Curator and Producer Xulfi (Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan), and co-producers Abdullah Siddiqui, Abdullah Kasumbi, and Talal Qureshi, bring the spotlight on Maanu and Annural Khalid. Having composed “Jhol” as a monologue originally, Maanu transformed it into a duet on Xulfi’s recommendation and both take on dual roles, captivating viewers as both singers and actors in a silver screen musical depicting the agony of unfulfilled love.

Director Jamal masterfully orchestrates a series of flashbacks, beginning with Maanu’s arrival on a reimagined Orient Express-inspired railway platform. His heart-wrenching vocals immediately capture the essence of the lovelorn poet as he sings of his yearning and despair.

Production Designer Hashim Ali and Art Director Sara Vohra paints a picture of a bygone jazz era as the scene shifts to Annural. Like Maanu, the more she pines for affirmation, the more she is met with smoke and mirrors.

Despite their anguish, their voices intertwine beautifully, creating a tapestry of emotions that transcends language. The narrative progresses to backstage at a club, where fate continues to conspire against them. A chance encounter is thwarted by a meddling club manager, played by the real-life talent manager Sikander Ali (Sikki). Their paths come agonizingly close, only to be separated by unfounded suspicion. Indeed, Maanu and Annural’s raw emotions translate effortlessly to the screen.

Annural Khalid is an Islamabad-based singer with a powerful voice, who’s musical journey began with cover songs, each showcasing her uniquely evocative and powerful voice. She is driven equally by art and music. Rehman Asfar, known professionally as Maanu, is a versatile hip-hop artist hailing from Lahore, recognized for his original music across rap, EDM, hip-hop and R&B influences and style.

Produced and Arranged by Xulfi, Abdullah Siddiqui, Talal Qureshi and Abdullah Kasumbi, “Jhol” can be heard here: