The project is an initiative to recognise forgotten musicians of the industry and help them live with dignity
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | September 2, 2013
Sony Mix, the Hindi music channel from Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), just celebrated its fifth anniversary. The channel that launched in 2011 marked the event by announcing ‘The Dhun Project’, an initiative to recognise the forgotten musicians of the industry and honour India’s rich musical heritage.
Through the initiative, the channel intends to recognise artists who need help and assist them in living a life of dignity. As a part of the initiative, the channel will contribute Rs 10 lakh every year for the uplift of artists.
Speaking about what prompted the idea, Neeraj Vyas, Senior EVP & Business Head - Max Cluster & Sony Mix, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), said, “I strongly believe that there is a lot that music has contributed to entertainment in India. But the credit for that is essentially given to probably just a few people. Very few people realise that in a composition of a ‘dhun’ or tune, there is a whole lot of orchestration. Many years back all of this was played live, which means that each of them had to be pitch-perfect. Most of these musicians today have no work and they are in a bad state. We felt we needed to do something for them and that is essentially the essence of ‘The Dhun Project’.”
NP Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), said, “Music is a terrific medium of empowerment and we, at Sony Pictures Networks, are proud to espouse an art that aligns with and supports our business. With ‘The Dhun Project’, we want to encourage talented musicians, to help them further contribute to music in India and inspire society with the melodies they create that harmoniously unite us.”
Roshan Ali, a dholak player, is the ambassador for ‘The Dhun Project’ this year. Ali who has played with the likes of RD Burman suffered from a paralysis attack that rendered him unable to play the dholak. To kick start the first leg of the initiative, Sony Mix will contribute Rs 10 lakh towards helping Ali.
The project is also leveraging the crowdsourcing platform Ketto.Org, co-founded by actor Kunal Kapoor, to raise funds for Spic Macay to organise a series of events across the country that will enable heritage musicians to perform in schools and colleges.
As part of the project, a unique lyrical composition has been curated to serve as ‘The Dhun Project’ anthem, championing the cause. Sony Mix has brought together stalwart CXOs from the advertising and media industry to record an exclusive music video for the anthem. CVL Srinivas (GroupM), Vikram Sakhuja (Madison), Shashi Sinha (Lodestar), Sandip Tarkas (Future Group), Amin Lakhani (Mindshare), Anupriya Acharya (Zenith Optimedia), Shuchi Singhal (Idea Cellular), Harish Shriyan (OMD), Sonal Dabral (Mudra), Rohit Gupta (SPN) and Neeraj Vyas (SPN) are the 11 CXOs featuring in Dhun Project music video.
Shedding light on their five-year journey, Vyas said, “These five years have been very interesting and happy. There was a reason for launching this channel. The need gap that we identified was that most music channels say a given hour had 25 minutes of advertising, 5-10 minutes of free promotional songs and then probably one or two songs. Clearly there was very little variety. So, at a hygiene level, we wanted to do somethings right and not deviate from that. So we decided to have not more than 10-12 minutes of advertising, to play more songs than anybody and very critically we mood-mapped the whole day. These are the simple things we did, and that has been the journey. We try to be as musical as possible.”