By Jubin Mehta:
Pakistan and Coca-Cola definitely hit a melodious note when they came up with their television series, ‘Coke Studio’. The show was incepted on June 8, 2008 and now is in the third season and it has been on a high ever since it began. This show airs live performances by renowned as well as upcoming artists. Their hall of fame boasts of names like Atif Aslam, Ali Azmat and Ali Zafar amongst many others. The program showcases the Pakistani musicians in all their glory. The music is diversified and is a perfect fusion of classical, folk and contemporary music.
What is revolutionary about the show is that all the songs are available online on their website for free downloads. This is an excellent way to boost young talent and make them more visible. When the question of revenue arises, it has been noticed that making albums available online may augment the sales. This theory has been supported by the famous writer Paulo Coelho who himself had made his books available online. To his publishers’ dismay, the sales of the print version had risen after making available the online copy for free!
Well, it might not work for the music industry but upcoming artists would not mind a few of their works being circulated in this way. India should definitely take a lesson from this and come out of the delusion that has been created by the plethora of reality shows that have been scourging Indian television ever since Indian Idol- Season 1. These shows in place of promoting new talent, have been promoting melodrama and have themselves led into the making of a new genre of shows, ‘The fake reality shows’. None of the singers from these programs have been able to make a mark on the bigger platform. Leaving that aside; none of them even manage to knock on our mental mindscapes doors except maybe Abhijeet Sawant (him being the first of the lot).
Maybe this decadence can be stopped if we can get rid of the SMS menace that seems to be the root cause of this problem. If for once we can stop competing and just appreciate the beauty of music without marring its magic, maybe we can truly bring out what we’ve been aiming for. When singers start singing for the joy they derive out of it and stop going out to every nook and corner begging for votes that is when the true spirit will rise and music will be the ultimate winner. Hail music!
And just as a gift to all the readers of this article, below is a video of one of the popular songs of Coke Studio by Ali Zafar. Enjoy!