Going digital


Shankar Mahadevan is looking to reach a wider audience with a new digital talent search

With Mobisur, a new digital talent search, singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan’s transformation to tech evangelist is complete. The contest, which derives its title from a portmanteau of the words mobile, internet and sur, allows anyone to participate by either uploading recordings of their singing on the website or through their mobile phones. “Sit in your house, sing a line or two and send it to me, and we’ll see what happens,” said Mahadevan over phone recently. “It’s very simple. We’re using technology and the alternate digital world to find talent”. But with the talent hunt format gaining popularity in the country, what distinguishes this one? It’s the digital platform, according to the singer, and the consequent convenience. He also thinks they can reach a wider range of potential contestants. “There is a plethora of talent searches, but how much have they penetrated? Geography can be a major restriction for people to not be able to showcase their talent.”

It’s not just classically-trained or well-established singers the contest is looking for. Mahadevan said the contest also hopes to win participation from bathroom singers and other shy crooners. “There can be inhibitions, but there are millions of people who like to sing,” he asserted. The winners, one male and one female, will be selected and will undergo training with Mahadevan, besides singing a song composed by him. He doesn’t have a specific sound in mind, he said. “Sing anything you want. Something that touches my heart…something that stands out”.

The singer also has an online music academy, and he suggests that he’s found the digital medium perfectly suitable to teaching classical and light vocal music. “I can’t tell you how happy I am. I always believe in using technology for a positive result. And I have students from 42 countries,” he offers, as proof of the school’s success. But do these traditional forms adapt well to the digital medium? Mahadevan puts it in perspective: “If you can learn music, sitting at home, versus not being able to learn, isn’t it positive?”

The Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio has a few films coming up: Rakesh Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Kamal Hassan-starrer Vishwaroopam. So where did the idea of a talent search spring from? Mahadevan will only say that he believes ideas are his business. “Ideas are what we make a living out of. Whether it’s a song or a talent search, we are in the business of thinking”.

To register and upload a clip, visit or dial 546465. The contest is open till August 26.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 10:01:04 PM |

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