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‘We are not a Bollywood show’

Coke Studio director Leslie Lewis clears the air about show’s alternative music programming; informs Colonial Cousins will be back on air soon. Will Coke Studio India do as well as Pakistan?

music Updated: Jun 08, 2011 14:16 IST
Sharin Bhatti

After spending three decades shaping the Indian music industry, from Hindi pop to folk rock, musician Leslie Lewis is back in the “driver’s seat” with Coke Studio @ MTV. “I am driving the bus and everybody is hopping on board,” says Lewis, who is directing the show and arranging the music as well.

“We’ve deliberately attempted to make sure that Bollywood aside, the alternative unknown artistes also take stage alongside them,” describes Lewis, whose band with playback singer Hariharan, Colonial Cousins, will also be a part of the show. “Hari and I haven’t had time to work together. We are one of those strange artistes who are so big in what we do individually, that Colonial Cousins gets sidelined in the process,” says Lewis, adding that though the band hasn’t been visible on air much, they have been around all this while. “In the past two years, we even composed the music for two Tamil movies — Chikku Bukku (2010) and Modhi Vilayadu (2009). With Coke Studio, we’ll be back on TV,” says Lewis. Colonial Cousins will perform with Kavita Seth and Gujarati folk singer Praful Dave on the show.

The musician, who is responsible for bringing artistes like KK, Sunita Rao and Asha Bhosle to TV in the ’90s music video era, is happy helming “TV’s return to music. We never took a break from music, TV did,” says Lewis, explaining that even though Bollywood is a big feature on the show, it won’t be its mainstay. “We are not a Bollywood show. We are pairing artistes like Shaan and KK with folk singers like Saurav and Raghu Dixit Project. They’re sharing the same platform. It’s a great showcase for the unknown talent and for playback singers who have forgotten how to perform live,” says Lewis, whose composed eight original songs for the performing artistes to collaborate on each of the eight episodes of season one.

Will Coke Studio India do as well as Pakistan?