When Coke Studio @ MTV premiered in India last year, it brought together eclectic artistes, mainly singers, to collaborate on diverse songs. In its second season, which premieres tonight, the focus will be on composers.
The eight-episode series will feature 12 producers and their respective teams of musicians — over 200 in total. While the list includes established Bollywood composers such as Ehsaan-Loy, Shantanu Moitra and Amit Trivedi, names such as Karsh Kale and Nitin Sawhney will also feature in the show, presenting original compositions.
Tonight’s episode will see composer Clinton Cerejo performing six tracks. “The show is a great platform to showcase my compositions. It gives the artistes the freedom to do what they want,” says Cerejo.
“It’s a blank canvas we are working on, unlike what we usually do in Bollywood and the ad world. Also, one gets a high by performing these songs live and having them shot at the same time,” adds the producer, who is known for his work in films like Vicky Donor, Kahaani, Rockstar (2011), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), Bodyguard (2011) and Ishqiya (2010).
Currently, he’s working on Vishal Bhardwaj’s next, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, which stars Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma.
One of his originals, a folk track Madari, will feature Vishal Dadlani and Sonu Kakkar on the vocals. “Vishal initially wasn’t sure of doing this song, but it turned out to be amazing."
That artistes, who are typecast to a certain genre (in this case, Vishal to rock), are able to hop across musical boundaries to explore more, he feels “is the best thing about the show.”
In another track, Dungar, he has experimented with a 30-member choir backing Rajasthani folk artiste Sawan Khan. “It is fantastic to work with musicians who haven’t been seen before.”
The session will also feature Canadian cello player, Jake Charky, who’s made Chennai his home now.
With Coke Studio Pakistan already having made a mark, does it bother him that the second season will bring back all the comparisons that were drawn last year? “I can speak only for myself, and promise that what I present on the show has never been done before,” says Clinton.
Aditya Swamy, EVP and business head, MTV India, says, “The most exciting part of this season is the making of over 40 original songs. It’s been hugely creative and collaborative.”
Rogan josh rocks
For folk singer Sawan Khan, who comes from a small village in Rajasthan and is used to performing live at local events, being on a full-fledged music set was an overwhelming experience.
While recording for the song, Saathi Salaam, he had a few hiccups trying to grasp the cue and required more than 30 retakes, before the crew decided to break for lunch.
However, it seems that Khan’s favourite dish, Rogan Josh, which was on the menu, did the magic trick! When he returned to the studio after lunch, he nailed the song in a single take and received a standing ovation from everyone present.
Also watch out for:
Ashwin Mani Sharma and Ash Roy