| 02 Mar 2024
Shankar Mahadevan: "People are hungry for new sounds, only the medium is weak"

MUMBAI: Renowned singer/composer Shankar Mahadevan believes that non-film music is the parallel industry to Bollywood and with digital medium booming, it has a bright future.

"It is high time people understand that there is an industry for non-film and niche music that is not related to bollywood and is being promoted, propagated and reaches out to a wider audience. People are hungry for new sounds, only the medium is weak but I think with digital growing there is a lot of scope and bright future for non-film music," he avers.

The digital and mobile market in India is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to reach about 500mn by 2015. Cashing on its various advantages, Mahadevan has recently initiated 'MOBiSur' with Hungama Digital.

Conceptualised by Mahadevan and Hungama , the property rolls off singing talent hunt through digital and mobile platforms across the country. Elaborating further he states, "It is a first of a kind initiative where we are tapping into the virtual digital world and are giving artistes an opportunity to showcase their talent using mobile phones or computers."

Participants can register and upload their recordings through a mobile code or on the website Entries will be shortlisted by Mahadevan along with a host of eminent personalities from the fraternity. The winners stand a chance to record an album on T-series with Mahadevan and win a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. "I will judge the finale myself and the winner gets a chance to record maybe an album or a song depending on the prize that we put," he shares.

In a time when singing reality shows are reigning on the traditional electronic media, Mahadevan believes that the unique digital concept of 'MOBiSur' will work well. " 'MOBiSur' will be successful because it will be convenient for artistes who stay in the interiors of our country to be noticed. In shows like Indian Idol or Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, it becomes a nightmare and inhibition for people to go to places and here participants can sit in the convenience of their house and submit their voice clips," he says.

Most of the reality shows today focus on the way contestants present, package, and perform while they sing but 'MOBiSur' is tapping into the singing talent and does not bother much about how the participants present themselves. "In the final competition which will be held either in Mumbai or Delhi, they have to perform on the floor. I think at the end of the day it is the voice that counts. The biggest legends of the country like Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi have sung all kinds of songs without dancing or presenting themselves on stage, so it all depends on how you present your voice."

Being nostalgic, the talented singer also expressed that if such platforms existed in the earlier days it would have been easier for singers to gain recognition. "I was born in Mumbai and I credit the city for my success. I don’t know how much effort and time it would have taken for me to come to Mumbai and get recognised if I would have been born in the interiors of a state like Madhya Pradesh . I believe if there would have been platforms like 'MOBiSur' the country would have more efficient singers." Mahadevan also reveals that 'MOBiSur' may be an annual event.

Artist Aloud associate VP Soumini Sridhara Paul who came on board as a special ‘Guest Editor' at’s (RnM) office engaged in a special interaction with renowned singer Shankar Mahadevan and contributed in fifth anniversary celebrations of RnM.