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News |  07 May 2011 18:45 |  By swapanjari

Coke Studio will be a revolution in Indian music industry: MTV head Aditya Swamy & Leslie Lewis

Pakistan's pioneered musical show Coke Studio has finally made its debut in India 'Coke Studio@ MTV (India)' which is produced by MTV India in partnership with Red Chillies Entertainment and is under the mentor / technical director Leslie Lewis. Coke Studio@ MTV (India) flagged-off with Shafqat Amanat Ali, Advaita, Pankhi and Shruti Pathak in Mumbai.

Swagata Panjari caught up with Leslie Lewis and MTV India head Aditya Swamy for a quick chat at the Cherish studios.

Tell us about Coke Studio@ MTV (India)?

Aditya Swamy: Coke Studio is a gateway for Indian Music Industry to explore beyond Bollywood music and cater the essence of Indie, classical, folk, pop and others, a platform for new artist to expose their talent along with popular singers. The main aim of Coke Studio@MTV is to give Indian Independent Artist a platform to explore the roots of our regional music. Coke studio regarded as a jam session has been applauded for bringing together different genres of music in Pakistan and has now come in India.

How much time went in the pre-production process?

Leslie Lewis: The idea behind setting up Coke Studio@ MTV was to offer something unique and innovative to the audience. India has various genres namely Bollywood, folk, classic and it took nearly five- six months for us to decide and accumulate from such a wide diaspora of genres.

How did MTV come up with the idea of getting Coke Studio in India?

AS: Indian soil consist of rich music with varied genres and when Coke came out with the initiative, MTV grasped the opportunity to lead a musical revolution with Coke Studio launching in India  Inspiration arose from the fact that the Coke Studio is not only popular in Pakistan but even Indian audiences are aware of it.

Has producer Rohail Hyatt contributed in the Indian production of Coke Studio@ MTV (India)?

LL: Indian content of music is wide and diverse; each and every region has its own sound. We could have taken help from Rohail Hyatt, who has produced the show in Pakistan but we thought that we should produce the show keeping in mind the likes and dislikes of Indian audiences.

Is the format same as the original? When will it be on-air?

AS: The basic format of the show remains the same as of Pakistan; the first season will consist of 10 episodes and it will be an hour long show featuring four-five artists. The show will be on air from Friday, 17th June 2011 on MTV.

LL: There are six songs per episode and the whole idea is not to have just a one man show, so it won't be about Shaan or Shankar Mahadevan.

What is the content of Coke Studio@ MTV?

AS: In Coke Studio@ MTV we are looking at three aspects of music, bringing old songs back to life, creating original songs and recreating popular songs. Coke Studio is a jam session which will have collaboration of two artists on a track, a renowned singer and an upcoming singer or a folk singer  Each episode will also have one original track composed by the artists together.

Coke Studio@ MTV will be recreating the existing popular and old folk songs in a fresh way.

Which singers will be participating in the show?

LL: Coke Studio@ Mtv will feature best artist from the country including Shaan, Shankar Mahadevan, Kailash Kher, Richa Sharma, Sunidhi Chauhan, KK, sufi singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, classical musician Bombay Jayashri along with folk singers Papon, Raghu Dixit Project, Sabri Brothers, Advaita, Pankhi and Shruti Pathak.

which genres of Indian Music are featured?

AS: There are 400 genres in Indian Music and MTV has tried its best to accumulate most of them. There are about 40 artists who are participating in the show along with house bands, and every episode has multiple artists with multiple genres, everything from qawwali, carnatic, Bengali, Asamese is mixed in Coke Studio India.

Tell us something about the house bands?

LL: My team is an interesting blend of new talent with old musicians and getting all artists together as a team, who belong to diverse genres was challenging, but through the process we have learnt a lot from each other.

How is MTV promoting the show?

AS: The ground level promotion has already started; MTV has launched its facebook page and will go on Twitter and YouTube, as youth are the main consumer of these channels.

How is Coke Studio@ MTV different from other shows?

LL: Coke Studio@ MTV is purely a musical show dedicated to musician. There is no competition where they will be judged and their fate will be decided by the amount of SMSes. Artists can be themselves and give their best in Coke Studio without the fear of elimination. Coke Studio is the best platform for unknown artist to make themselves noticed as featuring with Bollywood singers like Shankar and Kailash will definitely give these artist the deserved recognition.

Any plans to feature Coke Studio@ MTV on Radio?

AS: We are currently looking into the TV show but we are in talks with radio partners to make it on radio as well.

What are your expectations from Coke Studio?

LL: I don't want Coke Studio to be just music with more beats, and more drums I want it to go artistically at a new level with sounds of Indian folk, classical etcetera.

AS: MTV is known for multiple seasons and I would like to see Coke Studio for years. We wish to cover numerous new talent in the next multiple season and hope to receive great response from our audiences.