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Karan Johar introduces India’s first ‘isspeshal’ music band: 6-Pack Band 2.0

The campaign hopes to raise awareness on mental health and disability — or rather, special needs — and initiate conversations about this with six songs and six music videos, to be released over the next six months.

music Updated: Apr 27, 2018 18:55 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Karan Johar,Hrithik Roshan,Anushka Sharma
Director Karan Johar with the band members, and lyricist Kumaar and director Adil Shaikh.

The music scene in India has become the platform for making some significant social statements, wrapped in the foil of creativity.

After India’s first transgender band, the 6-Pack Band, won millions of hearts following its debut in 2016, we now have the country’s first ‘isspeshal’ (special) music group, the 6-Pack Band 2.0, consisting of autistic teenagers. It’s the success of the first band that has spawned the second one.

The 6-Pack Band came into being as part of a six-film ad campaign, and it won numerous awards. Its collaborations with celebrities such as actors Hrithik Roshan and Anushka Sharma, and singers Asha Bhosle and Sonu Nigam became huge talking points.

Encouraged by the response, Ashish Patil, Head of Y-Films, the youth wing of Yash Raj Films, has got together the 6-Pack Band 2.0, curated by Shameer Tandon. This time, the focus is on mental health and disability. Bollywood producer-director Karan Johar has also joined this cause to change the way we perceive people, especially children, with different abilities.

The ‘isspeshal’ 6-Pack Band 2.0 comprises six teens — three girls and three boys — aged 13-18 years. They have special needs, but also incredible musical talent and passion. Their life stories might appear to us as a struggle, but their infectious energy will inspire everyone. The bandmates are: Ananya Halarnkar, Anjali Ramesh, Maitreya Matale, Paarth Padhye, Prerna Agarwal, and Rishaan Patil.

The campaign hopes to raise awareness on mental health and disability — or rather, special needs — and initiate conversations about this with six songs and six music videos, to be released over the next six months. The band’s first single, Jhakkad Pakkad Dance, is out. Shot all over Mumbai, it shows the 6-Pack Band 2.0 members having a blast, performing without a care in the world. The lyricist is Kumaar and the video has been directed by choreographer Adil Shaikh.

What makes the launch even more special is that April also happens to be Autism Awareness month.

My Name Is Khan (2010), directed by Karan Johar, was one film that showed how a man with special needs could achieve what he had set his heart on, despite the many struggles on the way. Given the extensive research he did on autism, Karan is deeply invested in the cause. He says, “It’s so wonderful to see these young, super-talented kids come together to create something so epic. I’m excited to be a part of something I know will not only change you and me, but also has the power to change the world. I can’t wait to see what these kids do next; they’re here to conquer the world with their talent!”

Ashish Patil adds, “Y-Films has always created content that does more than just entertain. Be it for gender equality, LGBTQ support or sex education, we’ve been at the forefront of getting these important messages across in the most fun manner. Being a special needs parent myself, the theme of mental health and disability is close to my heart. I know what one goes through, as the world judges these kids day in and out. But I’ve also learnt from my son how to take that with a smile, to accept everyone as they are and to spread happiness unconditionally.”

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First Published: Apr 27, 2018 18:55 IST