Media honchos sing to the tune of Sony Mix's DHUN

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | September 02, 2016
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Sony Pictures Networks India has launched the initiative DHUN to support musicians who have faded into oblivion.

Did you know that CVL Srinivas, Anupriya Acharya, Shashi Sinha, and Vikram Sakhuja can sing? Well, they are big names in the world of advertising, and are brand custodians and masterminds of media planning in India. So, why have they picked up the microphone?

In a rare gesture, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI)'s music channel Sony Mix, on the occasion of its fifth anniversary, has launched DHUN, an initiative to help and support lesser known Bollywood musicians, who today, for reasons of illness, or lack of work due to the advent of technology into the world of Bollywood music, have passed into oblivion and live in penury.

Sony Mix's DHUN

As part of the initiative, the channel will donate Rs 10 lakh to one such musician every year. "We have associated with CMA (Cine Musicians Association) which will identify and shortlist such musicians, one of whom will be supported every year until Sony Mix exists," says Neeraj Vyas, senior executive vice-president and business head - Max Cluster and Sony Mix, Sony Pictures Networks India. "And, we are starting with 'dholak' player (percussionist) Roshan Ali," adds Vyas.

Sony Mix's DHUN

Ali, who has worked with almost all the music directors in Bollywood, but was never mentioned by any of them or by the singers ever, and whose name, if it at all appeared, was on the credit roll of a film at the end of a film by when the audience would file out of the theatre, was struck with paralysis. With that, his career came to a halt, and he lost his source of income, plunging him into a state of misery and poverty. Like him, there are several Roshan Alis who live in a state of penury today. No one remembers them and they have passed into oblivion.

The story of Roshan Ali

In order to generate awareness about the initiative, Sony Mix, has created a music video involving the who's who of the media, advertising, and marketing industry rather than get a popular face as ambassador. In order to promote it, the initiative's anthem 'Jab Dhun Baje', will be aired on all SPNI channels.

NP Singh and Neeraj Vyas

'Jab Dhun Baje' stars CVL Srinivas, chief executive officer, South Asia, GroupM, Vikram Sakhuja, Group chief executive officer, Madison Media and OOH, Shashi Sinha, chief executive officer, IPG Mediabrands, Sandip Tarkas, chief executive officer, sports, media, and special projects, Future Group, Amin Lakhani, leader, South Asia Mindshare Fulcrum, Anupriya Acharya, chief executive officer, Publicis Media India, Shuchi Singhal, senior general manager, marketing, Idea Cellular, Harish Shriyan, chief operating officer, Omnicom Media Group India, Sonal Dabral, chairman and chief creative officer, DDB Mudra Group India, Rohit Gupta, network sales president, SPNI, and of course, Vyas.

"All that you see in the video is absolutely real and not just lip sync or dummy movements. They are friends from the industry who will help us reach out to the brands of which they are the custodians. The brands, with their support, can take the initiative to a new level and that is why we decided to make the video involving them," says Vyas.

Going a step further to help such unknown musicians who dedicated their lives to music, Sony Mix has also joined hands with the crowdsourcing platform Ketto.Org, co-founded by actor Kunal Kapoor, to raise funds for SPIC MACAY. SPIC MACAY is a non-political nationwide voluntary movement that organises classical music programmes and other cultural events. The funds raised will go to SPIC MACAY and will be used to empower and educate people.

"This is just the beginning of the initiative; there is much more that can be done. We are not saying that we will change the world with this initiative. But, this is our way of giving back to music which we love and live by," Vyas asserts.

Sony Mix started its journey in 2011, a time when Vyas feels everything other then music was shown on music channels. "There was very little music. Instead, there were animated characters cracking jokes, and several other elements that had nothing to do with music. We, therefore, decided to dedicate a channel to music, and told ourselves that we will not air more than 10-12 minutes of advertisement per hour. We did so for five years, and will continue to do so," informs Vyas.

The advent of digital was considered to be a major threat for the music broadcast genre as well. Streaming platforms like, and came in with a huge music library to cater to music fans. But, Vyas feels that there is no threat for the genre as both digital and TV can co exist. Explaining the role television plays in the audience's music journey, he says, "A song has four cycles -- when it is first discovered, then liked, then listeners fall in love with it, and eventually own it. Television plays an important part to help discover a song with listeners eventually liking it. Then, if you really love a particular song, you access it through digital platforms and eventually own it by paying for it and downloading. Therefore, 50 per cent of its value does stay with the TV channel."

It now remains to be seen if this new melodic avatar of our advertising honchos manages to popularise the initiative and serves its purpose to extend help to our unsung artistes.

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