Coke Studio to rock India

Published: May 26, 2011
Composer-singer Leslie Lewis will be the technical director of “Coke Studio@MTV”. PHOTOS: FILE

Composer-singer Leslie Lewis will be the technical director of “Coke [email protected]”. PHOTOS: FILE

Composer-singer Leslie Lewis will be the technical director of “Coke Studio@MTV”. PHOTOS: FILE Composer-singer Leslie Lewis will be the technical director of “Coke Studio@MTV”. PHOTOS: FILE

After wooing music lovers in Pakistan, “Coke Studio” is now going to India where it will bring together 45 musicians from different parts of the country who are experts in various genres such as folk, classical and qawwali.

The Indian version is called “Coke [email protected]” and will air on MTV next month.

“We have such a rich musical heritage. It’s surprising that we don’t have a platform to bring this heritage out and show it to the common man. Film music has taken over completely,” Aditya Swamy, who heads MTV India, told IANS.

“The show aims to bring to gather various cultures of the country on one stage, and mix three very potent elements. On one hand, it will have well-known classically-trained singers. On the other hand, we will have folk legends of the country, whether it’s a Bihu singer or a qawwal. The third one will bring young and new talent. We will be mixing all three ingredients together to get something very explosive out of it,” he added.

The show, which first began in Brazil in 2007, will have 10 episodes. There won’t be any judges or voting system. Every episode will feature one established musician, one upcoming artist and one folk legend.

Composer-singer Leslie Lewis will be the mentor and technical director of “Coke [email protected]”.

“We have artists from Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, the northeast, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, so we have broadly covered the main regions of the country to get the flavour of Indian music,” said Swamy.

“We have touched only the tip of the iceberg with the 45 musicians who are a part of this season. But when we do multiple seasons, we will be able to go deeper and bring more interesting and talented people to the platform. This is an opportunity to bring this kind of music to the common man,” he added.

KK, Shaan, Shafqat Aamant Ali, Shankar Mahadevan and Sunidhi Chauhan will also participate.

The show has been produced by MTV India in partnership with Red Chillies Entertainment.

Talking about ratings, Swamy explained: “I don’t think Television Rating Points (TRP) are the only scale to measure success. I’m not doing this show to see whether it will do better than ‘Indian Idol’ or a ‘Sa Re GA Ma’. The objective is to celebrate the music of India and build a community of people who want to listen to alternative music.”

“Having said that, I feel if you hunt for TRPs you never get them. You create something world class, and the TRPs will come,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • May 26, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Kudos to Rohail hyatt and team for making ‘Coke Studio’ a successful and massive thing. It is only because of the success of Coke Studio Pakistan that India too has now adopted the show. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they won’t make it a ‘reality show’ based on judges and all that.Recommend

  • Henna Khan
    May 26, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Who’ll be producing it? If an Indian, then well I can already imagine what’s going to happen. I remember once a very good article by an Indian, written about Rock and Pop music scene in India, which also reviewed Rock and Pop music featured in the movie “Rock On”, the title said,
    ‘”Rock On” rocked like a granny on a rocking chair’…:-D))))))))
    Thankfully, we’re blessed at least in this regard…Recommend

  • Ducky
    May 26, 2011 - 10:26PM

    Well India pretty much “adopts” everything good. I’m not surprised.Recommend

  • May 26, 2011 - 11:00PM

    Sorry but that wasn’t rohail’s idea. This was first done in Brazil, rohail brought that idea into Pakistan.Recommend

  • fantome
    May 27, 2011 - 12:48AM

    I would like to see what different India has to offer other then the Bollywood songs.Recommend

  • Roflcopter2.0
    May 27, 2011 - 2:25AM

    @Danish Mughal: Don’t watch our shows baby…simple.Recommend

  • anil
    May 27, 2011 - 9:48AM

    we don’t need this so-called coke studio ,just make sure that no outsider is in the team otherwise persons like Headly will enter and inspect the whole country.South block won’t allow to enter any foreigner in the name in the name of singer . we already have bunch of singers and they don’t add anythinhg to economy,but sucks from people.Recommend

  • let there be peace
    May 27, 2011 - 11:06AM

    but why does an islamic country needs to have a music show or rather any music?Recommend

  • babar
    May 27, 2011 - 2:17PM

    @let there be peace: why are u even interested to read an article named Coke Studio?Recommend

  • san
    May 27, 2011 - 6:45PM

    ohh no I donot wana Indians to spoil the taste of fusion. They will try to spice coke studio with bollywood actors, actresses & fake judges and their emotional songs.Recommend

  • optimist
    May 28, 2011 - 4:04AM

    @ let there be peace

    Jealous of our music?Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    May 29, 2011 - 8:39PM

    We have our own Hindustani and Carnatic music tradition. We do not need to ape the West for success in music. Obviously, you have not heard of singers from Mohammed Rafi and Pandit Ravi Shankar to A.R Rehman and Illayaraja.Recommend

  • May 29, 2011 - 9:39PM

    India has already been rocked by Coke Studio Pakistan.

    Baaqi. Im sure the spirit of the show will die in India. Baalliwoodistan it is , after all.Recommend

  • Henna Khan
    May 30, 2011 - 11:35AM

    @Cherish Raj:
    If we have not heard of them then it’s your loss, right???
    Plus Coke Studio is all about fusion, hopefully you do understand the term, right??? If not then again it’s your loss…And Rafi, A.R.Rehman and the rest, do you think they would have had made it if not for Bollywood??? Your singers do not experiment because they’re freakishly afraid of being deemed as “Besurra”, the sadder thing is that they can’t even make it to the masses if they aren’t featured in a Bollywood flick. Music is a separate industry, it should be celebrated on its own and without it’s intermingling with any other industry…Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    May 30, 2011 - 1:21PM

    @Henna Khan:
    Once again, Pakistani prejudice against anybody who is Indian, whether it is Sachin Tendulkar or Lata Mangeshkar. Thank God, we are free from such blindness. If you have not heard of them, it is none of our business. People who matters have heard of them. There are reasons why Rehman was awarded the Oscars,Ravi Shankar the Grammy,Zubin Mehta the Hollywood Walk of Fame etc. Bollywood is a music industry too. The reason we do not have a pop music industry is that the independent musicians cannot compete with the big marketing budgets and lavishly shot videos of Bollywood production houses. The albums of independent musicians sink without a trace. Plus, even if they succeed in hitting the jackpot once against all odds, they get sucked into Bollywood and start to toe the safe line as there are mega bucks in there.Recommend

  • Laughing Loudly
    May 30, 2011 - 7:23PM

    @Cherish Raj:
    Other than just being “prejudiced, blind, deaf” remark, you just proved my point…That’s exactly what I said, that a musician in India isn’t deemed as a musician at all if it’s not for Bollywood…Recommend

  • Bilal
    Jun 1, 2011 - 12:56AM

    @ Cherish Raj; very well said agree with most of it, Oscars by the way are movie awards and grammy are for english songs.

    No surprise ppl from subcontienent have not won any, but AR Rehman is a genius and exception. Coke studio India will allow for suppressed pop music, indepenents to flourish, Lets C no movie songs plzzz in coke studio india. Recommend

  • anonymous
    Jun 17, 2011 - 12:55AM

    to all indian losers reading a newspaper article from their enemy country: don’t you have your own websites and articles to comment and read? lol.Recommend

  • Dilip Katare
    Jun 18, 2011 - 12:26AM

    This is the only show which proves music does not require the regional language. A layman can also involves in such musics
    once again great Recommend

  • antiq
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:55PM

    please all pakistani and indians need to seriously grow up.
    people please come out of the useless india-pak debates this is music which cherishes your soul do the artists ever think of the fact that the song they r making is only for pakisitanis or vice versa? let others appreciate usRecommend

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