In 1993, India’s pioneering rock outfit Indus Creed’s song, Pretty child, bagged the Asian Viewer’s Choice Award at the international MTV Video Awards. The black and white video was also ranked among the top 10 videos of the year.
The years that followed saw an array of music videos from the many pop stars emerging on the scene. The success of songs such as Alisha Chinai’s Made in India and Daler Mehendi’s Bolo tara tara had as much to do with their appealing videos as their catchy tunes. That was the time when music channels played videos.
So it may seem ironical now that MTV took almost two decades to introduce the Indian version of the global awards to honour indigenous artistes here. That too at a time, when channels don’t devote the kind of airtime to music that they earlier used to.
Ask MTV business head and EVP, Aditya Swamy, about this and he says, “As opposed to popular perception, we play a lot of videos. Yes, a lot of it is Bollywood music because people love it. But in the past two years, we have done our best to push independent music, with Coke Studio and MTV Unplugged.”
MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) will cover both Bollywood and independent music, and feature 18 categories. Besides the Best Album and Best Indie Artiste titles, the honours also include the category of Best Regional Video. There are also Technical Awards for video direction, editing and sound design. “Regional music is exploding in India.
It really has no language.
Honey Singh, who started out as a regional artiste, is a big name today,” says Swamy. The awards will also honour an indigenous artiste, who’s made it big on the digital platform as well as an international artiste, who’s been a hit in India. Any artiste/band who has released music in 2012 is eligible to submit entries.
“Through VMA, we want to give something back to the musicians who have given us excellent music. The voting process is online and transparent, and the voice of the audience will be heard too,” adds Swamy.