These last couple of weeks I have been engrossed in playing catch-up with some Indian Music Reality shows on youtube, to an extent that I have not had time to do my regular blog posts. It has been an addiction, and I am writing of it today as a catharsis so I can get back to my normal pursuits in life!
It all started with this young boy’s singing I heard from a Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’Il Champs 2009. Hemant Brijwasi, a little lad born in 1998, has been gifted with a Voice (capital intended). I trawled Youtube, listening to all his performances from 2009 and enjoyed most of them. Look how he sings when he was just 11 :
I ask you, what should a society do when they notice a talent such as this in a young boy? Should society not nurture him, send him to a Guru who would enhance, enlighten and hone his skills until it burns bright, giving light for all his life? Yet that doesn’t happen in India! The boy is still singing in the reality music circuit, selling his promise of an extraordinary future for the short term glow of television. To my mind, a sorry waste.
From there, I went to play catch-up with Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar 2012. It has started coming on Star here in Europe (Sundays at 10 pm). Youtube carries all the old episodes; for a link to the appropriate channel, click here. I like the format of this show with a competition between the ‘champions’ and the ‘challengers’. The judging panel is good, with Shaan, whose singing I admire a lot, Music Director Shantanu Moitra, one of today’s composers that I admire the most thanks to his link with tradition, melody and lyricism, and Swanand Kirkire, winner of two National Awards, with his gasp-inducing penmanship. However, I found the judgements to be very questionable at times. I fail to understand why they play to popular appeal of competitors and ignore the serious pitching problems of some. Surely, being besura is inexcusable? The competitors who impress are Aneek, Sriram and Anwesha.
For a happy change from Bollywood music, I saw a number of episodes from Carnatic Music Idol 2012. What a change in style! Here too the judging panel was excellent, with illustrious musicians. The attitude of the participants made all the difference – no signs of competitiveness or one-upmanship, no signs of arrogance and a respectful attitude to both the music and the judges. The contrast between the new brash India-of-Bollywood and the old world India-of-the-classics is so very evident when you watch the Idol show and then the Carnatic show.
Of course, the Carnatic Music shows are for viewers who understand at least a bit of Tamil.
Note: The videos for the section below are no longer available on youtube; I have left it here for reference only.
I recommend you watch the Semi-Finals and the Finals; the contestants are very good indeed. The winning performance by Vishnudev Namboodiri is convincingly good.
I also saw selections from Tanishq’s Swarna Sangeetham which are available in this channel. Again, a very good judging panel, an excellent selection of guest judges, very good attitude and skills in the competitors and fair judgements makes this a treat to watch. I have embedded the finals below :
I hope I have made you aware of the many hours of viewing pleasure (and addiction) which awaits you in Youtube. Enjoy!