DD1 to launch a big ticket music reality show with AR Rahman

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 15, 2008
Phat Phish and A R Rahman have come together to launch The Big Band, a reality show that is pegged to be worth $10 million

AR & #BANNER1 & # Rahman and Phat Phish, an integrated entertainment and communications company, have joined hands to launch a reality show, The Big Band on Doordarshan. According to industry sources, the show is pegged to be worth $10 million. Beginning in the first week of December, the show will be aired in the prime time slot.

The objective of the reality show will be the hunt for the biggest music band. Therefore, the show will be a combination of a travelogue and a reality show, set in the studio and outdoors.

The show will encompass a pan Asia hunt. Apart from India, it will also go to Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Talking about the show, KR Harish, managing director, Phat Phish informs afaqs!, "Through this show, we aim to give ethnic and contemporary musicians a platform to showcase their talent, and at the same time, allow India to discover music that will enliven its hopes, dreams and aspirations."

Anand Surapur

AR Rahman

KR Harish
Based on an indigenous format, this hunt aims to provide a platform for nurturing talent across different genres of ethnic, regional and contemporary music. According to Harish, more than 2,000 bands are expected to perform at various stages of the show.

The winning band will be awarded a three year recording contract with Phat Phish Records. This will include end-to-end artist management, three albums and six music videos, tours and concerts across the world and mentoring from leading musicians. The top bands will also get prizes (including cash) worth Rs 1 crore, awarded proportionately through a pyramid structure.

The last date for receipt of applications from aspiring contestants is November 15, 2008.

The show will not only focus on music but will have a humane angle to it as well. The lives of the contestants and their families will also be showcased.

"Unlike rest of the reality shows, after the limelight surrounding the show fades, the participants are lost somewhere; but with this contest we aim to pioneer alternate music by organising various initiatives for them. Plus, we have a record label to help them as well," says Harish.

A R Rahman will be the sutradhaar of this travelogue, which will traverse the journey across 15 Indian cities through his eyes. In an official statement, A R Rahman says, "The Big Band is a unique stage that will give local bands a chance to dive deep into their true artistic depth and create original music, which transcends language and that is universally accessible. We want to present to India and the world at large the story behind what forms and binds a band and how they can be mentored to become world class talent."

Phat Phish will refrain from following the format of other reality shows - instead of launching the popular SMS voting and inviting celebrity judges, they will invite common people like homemakers and teenagers to judge the show. "We are including common people, as we want to engage people who listen to this type of show in our unscripted show. But of course, there will be popular category for audience poll as well," says Harish.

Talking about associating with Doordarshan and not some private channel, Anand Surapur, chairman, Phat Phish says, "Doordarshan has the kind of reach we wanted. And the whole process will be more than just music."

Phat Phish has tied up with many popular music channels, which will showcase the promotional videos of the contest. Though Harish denied that the show would be on the lines of Channel V Launch Pad, he admitted that one or two elements would be similar.

Surapur says in an official statement, "We think the timing is right for people to be exposed to a wider choice. There is an unbelievable amount of talent available and it is just a matter of bringing it out, nurturing it and presenting it to be recognised. We have constantly endeavored to promote music that emote the sounds which are heartbeat of India. This band hunt is our next step in this direction."

The company has planned a two phase marketing strategy to promote the show. In the first phase, it will work on creating awareness about the show amongst the prospective contestants. This campaign will rely on web, print and TV commercials. Even musicians will be roped in to promote the show unofficially during interviews and concerts. During the second phase, many on-ground activities will take place to elevate the scale of the show.

Phat Phish is an integrated entertainment and communications company based in Mumbai. It has three divisions - Phat Phish Motion Pictures, Phat Phish Films and Phat Phish Records.

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