Will ‘Coke Studio 14’ bounce back after opening track faces plagiarism charge?

Coke Studio 14

Coke Studio 14 premiered on January 14 with Tu Jhoom sung by the legendary singers Abida Parveen and Naseebo Lal. ‘Tu Jhoom’ has been credited as written by Adnan Dhool, composed and mixed by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan (Xulfi), arranged, and produced by Xulfi and Abdullah Siddiqui.


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A post shared by Xulfi (@zulfiqarjkhan)

The song became an instant rage amongst listeners and was trending on top globally. Coke Studio fans were happy that the lost glory of the popular music franchise was finally revived. The fresh music, eye-catching visuals, captivating sets, and the grandiose left them awestruck.



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A post shared by Xulfi (@zulfiqarjkhan)


The Controversy


Season 14 stumbled badly after opening track ‘Tu Jhoom’ faced a plagiarism charge.

Nirmala Magnani, an aspiring singer from Umarkot accused Xulfi of plagiarism, claiming that the director lifted the ‘Tu Jhoom’ melody from a sample she had sent him back in June 2021. Meghan was aiming to bag a slot in the upcoming season.


Xulfi denies allegation


Express Tribune reached out for a comment on the matter, (Xulfi) denied any such accusations and said “I produce and collaborate in the spirit of inclusivity and my work with Coke Studio holds the same philosophy.”


Mentor at defense


Nirmala’s mentor Yousaf Salahuddin (Mian Salli), came to her rescue and wrote, “The composition has been copied from Nirmala Magnani, who is a singer and composer from Umerkot, Tharparkar, she had sent to Xulfi for consideration in the then-upcoming season of Coke Studio,” he commented. “Zulfiqar (Xulfi) instead changed the words and sold this as his own to Coke Studio. This is highly inappropriate and legal action will be taken very soon.”

Listeners are divided


Several social media users, along with Coke Studio’s former producer Rohail Hyatt, defended a melody sounding similar to another work, citing the Raag-based folk tunes, and asserting that it’s the lyrics that matter more.


User Junaid Alam said, “Credit must be given where it’s due.”


Another user Raza Beena termed it a “strange coincidence” that the two melodies sound similar


Junoon fame musician Salman Ahmad asked Xulfi to give credit to Nirmala Magnani


Some users demanded a proper investigation of the matter


Be the Judge Yourself


The 20-second sample of a song with altered lyrics shared sounds remarkably similar to the opening half of ‘Tu Jhoom’, so much so that if you change the melody to fit Nirmala’s pitch instead of Naseebo’s, it almost sounds the same. Now listen to both the version and decide


Nirmala Maghan’s sample


Tu Jhoom on YouTube

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