After much speculation, Coke Studio is officially coming to MTV with Leslie Lewis and as anyone else who listens to Saari Raat at least once a week like its my duty, I am super excited at the least! Leo Burnett has been hired for its promotion, so we should expect some eye catching initiatives. Plus, Coke is soon going to launch Coke Studio promotional half litre bottles. So that takes care of the millions of Indians in every corner of the country. Marketing shall be heavy for this once a week show for 8 weeks. All this from an article in Business Standard.
MTV I believe has plenty of slots on its schedule to allot an hour to this. Infact, it'll be a splendid replacement to one senseless reality show that would have otherwise caused someone to vomit on their Christie's Persian Rug. Watch the sneakpeak of the 1st episode with Shafqat Amanat Ali (Tum Mile and Bin Tere fame) and Shruti Pathak (Tujhe Bhula Diya fame). The stage looks more impressive than the one in Pakistan. Strangely, I didnt know about Coke Studio starting out in Brazil initially after moving to Pakistan.
And as a stupid and curious kid living in Ranchi, I am encouraged to doubt everything that comes my way. I reserve my doubts about India appreciating CS(Coke Studio is too long to type). I, till now, couldn't recognise Shafqat Amanat Ali nor Shruti Pathak. Are we ready to look at the singers singing for 1 hour without any auditions, judging, controversy, prizes, SMS votes or contests in the commercial break? Are we ready to watch artists who perform well, not necessary look good or make us laugh? CS is a big break from regular television in the country at the moment and I wonder how we'll react to it. Downloading the episodes from the internet and watching it is different from watching it on Tata Sky. There won't be any bollywood guests on the show to promote their latest movie, not even cricketers from the IPL. Just music for one hour.
And that too, fusion music. Not the desi beats with Hard Kaur and Alyssa Mendosa to bollywood songs. Are we ready to listen to fusion music again after Colonial Cousins, Sagarika, Asha Bhonsle, Raghav Sachar etc. all failed to make us do it in the 1990's and early 2000's? Or is it about time we see a revival in the genre?
I for one am very excited about it. It'll be exciting to see SEL jamming with the other masters of music. I wish Anoushka Shankar, Karsh Kale, Raghav Sachar, Rahul Sharma among others also feature in the coming seasons. MTV should do well to revive its falling image of becoming RTV (Reality TV) instead of its actual full form. As much as MTV needs CS, India needs it too. To wake up and realise music beyond polyphonic ringtones of item songs, beyond the confines of local folk music with the same instruments and same beats, to open up to a world of unknown artists who never would've made it to the mainstream otherwise.
I await Coke Studio India with bated breath.