Saregama’s Underground series brings to the fore some lesser known talents, says Mangala Ramamoorthy
The concept is interesting and perhaps even unique. For it is not often that lesser known talents get their share of attention, and especially those inclined towards experimental music and not catering to commercial demands. The Underground series by Saregama is an attempt to reach out to those with great talent and little exposure, but have the potential to grow. Ten artistes each from three metros – Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata – have been selected through a series of auditions and demo CDs, and their original tracks have been produced as a three-CD series, The Underground - The Best of What’s Next.
Speaking at the launch of the The Underground Delhi album at Elevate, Noida, Atul Churmani, Vice President, Artiste and Repertoire, explained the reason behind the initiative. “It’s an attempt by Sa Re Ga Ma to reinvent itself, and reach out to the younger audience. We felt there’s a market for original, good music. But most of the time, artistes don’t find a platform to showcase their work. We wanted to take these local talents to a higher level. We kept it to a track each from the 30 artistes, as it will bring out their best,” he said.
The selection process of the bands was based on only one criterion – originality. “Actually, every band had sent more than one song, we chose what we felt was a better song. We chose those we felt would walk the mile. We wanted sounds that represent the future music,” explained Atul.
Andto reiterate the fact that every kind of music has its place in the market, the three-album series is not restricted to a genre or language. If Cyanide’s “Tomorrow” represents rock n roll, Jalebee Cartel’s “In and Out” is all about techno and dance music, while Milli Bhagat’s “Kudha Kushi” is a melange of sounds. “The Journey” by Kapil Srivastava, “The Wind” by Thomas Tajo, Oritus’s “1000 Miles”, Sawan Dutta’s “Virtual Love”, “Animal” by Radius and two tracks by East India Company “Omo” and “Jhuki Jhuki” are the other songs that make up the Delhi album.
“Khudha Kushi is a track we had originally composed for our album but when this opportunity came about, we decided to use this song as it represents ourstyle of music. The song comes under no genre, it is just a free flow of sounds,” says Pankaj Awasthi, founder, Milli Bhagat.
Most music albums are supported by one or two music videos, but the Underground series is setting a precedent by giving each track a video. Sa Re Ga Ma roped in students from CRAFT (Centre of Research in Art of Film and Television) and AAFT (Asian Academy of Film & Television) to shoot the 10 music videos. “We thought this would be different, and at the same time it will give an opportunity to these students to bring their talent to the fore,” explained Atul.