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Indie music makes a comeback on television

October promises to be a musical month with two big TV music series going on air featuring independent artistes.

music Updated: Oct 01, 2011 17:26 IST
Nirmika Singh
Nirmika Singh
Hindustan Times
MTV Unplugged

If the lack of non-Bollywood music on the air puts you off, this is your time to rejoice. You’ve probably seen the trailers for two music shows that have been doing the rounds across TV channels for the past few days. MTV Unplugged, based on the popular international format where artistes perform acoustic version of their compositions, goes on air today on the music channel.

“It’s a good time to launch the series because there’s a hunger among the audience for a new kind of sound. The show has been a process of discovery because it has pushed the musicians to think out of the box,” says Aditya Swamy, EVP and business head, MTV India.

Rabbi Shergill, who will feature on the first episode, says, “Working on this show was loads of fun because the house band comprised some of the best instrumentalists in India, and music producer Ranjit Barot brought a personality into the production.” After this 10-episode series ends, the channel is planning to follow it up with multiple seasons and more artistes.

The other show, The Dewarists, a music series that commanded huge viewership on YouTube before being turned into a TV programme, will premiere on October 16, on Star World.

What makes the series different is its documentary style of production with artistes from diverse musical backgrounds collaborating to compose an original song while on an Indian road trip. “We are glad that the show can contribute towards the independent music scene,” says Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, director of the series and vocalist of metal outfit Scribe.

The first episode will feature music director duo, Vishal-Shekhar, travelling to Samode Palace, near Jaipur, along with Grammy Award-winning British singer Imogen Heap. Other collaborations include those between Indian Ocean and Mohit Chauhan, and Agnee, Parikrama and Shilpa Rao.

Rao, who has been featured on both the shows, says that working on the projects was a satiating experience, adding, “Performing at MTV Unplugged was like a creative challenge. I has to present my known songs in a different form altogether, without losing the vibe of the original. The Dewarists, on the other hand, is an amazing concept, because we got to compose our own track while on a refreshing journey.”

Coming up soon
Smith & Jones Music Ka Tadka will hit the small screen in November.
“The multi-modal series which also has presence on internet, radio and mobile, will feature more than 14,000 artistes and over 1,000 original songs across genres,” says Ajaay Gupta, MD, Capital Foods (brand owner of Smith & Jones).
Artistes include North East Breeze, Faridkot, Bhayanak Maut, Paravayu, Machas with Atitude, Ankur Tewari, Taufique Qureshi, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigaam and others.