The Studio is in Session

In her insatiable quest for sound,music composer Sneha Khanwalkar has stumbled upon some rare gems across the country,and two of them are ringing out loud on MTV.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published:May 28, 2012 12:43 am

In her insatiable quest for sound,music composer Sneha Khanwalkar has stumbled upon some rare gems across the country,and two of them are ringing out loud on MTV. Sound Trippin’s Punjab leg saw Khanwalkar place the mike in front of upcoming singers from Jalandhar — 14-year-old Jyoti Nooran and 18-year-old Sultana Nooran for the foot-tapping number,Tung Tung. Already a rage on the internet,it got the sisters noticed and they were called in for the second season of Coke Studio @MTV. Come July,and the girls will be on the show,thanks to Khanwalkar. “We’ve recorded the Sufi song Allah Hoo,” shares Jyoti,ecstatic to be on the show. Jyoti and her sister have been learning music from their father,Gulshan,since childhood. “We only sing sufi qalam. Our grandmother used to sing Bullehshah’s Tung Tung,” says Sultana,the shy one,emphasising how the genre should not be slotted as folk.

It was Nikki Awaaz Punjab Di,a reality singing show on MH1,that also brought the sisters under the spotlight. Khanwalkar got in touch with the family five years back as part of a research she was doing on film music and met them again for Tung Tung. “We have already been to Mumbai three times this year and had great fun recording the song with live instruments and a rock band,” say the girls,who now know that MTV is a music channel.

They are not the only ones in high spirits. There will be 12 producers,200 musicians and 40 original songs from Coke Studio @MTV’s kitty this time. The eighth episode will feature five young,talented music composers touted as potential superstars in the Indian music scenario,and city’s musical duo — Hari Singh and Sukhmani Malik — features on the top. While Malik is a trained Hindustani classical singer from Rampur gharana,Singh is an audio engineer,who excels in electronic music. “We had done some work for MTV earlier,including Sound Trippin,but it didn’t go on air,” says Singh,who feels that many doors will open post the show this July.

It’s been three years since Singh and Malik have been playing their kind of music,entertaining Chandigarh residents with their genre — the Indian Lounge. City-based musicians,producers,singers,composers,writers — the two are revelling in the glory. Back in Delhi for their gigs after recording for Coke Studio @MTV in Mumbai,Singh talks about the live wire studio sessions,the experience,and choosing their song — the evergreen Chhalla. “Our trademark is Sufi,classical and Punjabi folk,and when MTV approached us for the independent section on the show,we were more than thrilled to be part of it,” he says. Chhalla was the obvious choice as “it’s closest to what we sing,is our expression and is a timeless classic with an amazing range and depth of rhythm and raga,” adds Singh. Accompanying them on the song is Arshad Khan on saaj and Iranian percussionist,Fakkruddin Gaffari. If comparisons are to be drawn,Singh agrees that season one of Coke Studio @MTV was nowhere close to Pakistan’s Coke Studio. But this season,he says,is conceptually different. “There are eight episodes of which the last one has been kept for the independent artistes,” says Singh.

He has been flitting between Mumbai and Chandigarh for eight years now,and has found friends in Ram Sampath,Sona Mohapatra and Vishal Bhardwaj. After penning lyrics for Mohapatra’s albums and Bollywood films like Nishabd,Ramji London Waley and Delhi Belly,city-based lyricist Munna Dhiman’s written a romantic number for Coke Studio @MTV. He has written a song which has been composed by Hitesh Sonik (music composer for Pyaar Ka Punchnama). Sonik started off as a rhythm guitarist,and subsequently went on to produce and arrange compositions for films. He is credited with giving the experimental edge to Vishal Bharadwaj’s earthy compositions that represent the sound of India. “It’s a love song called Nirmohi and has Sufi elements to it,all drawn from our folk literature and the love stories we have been brought up with,” says Dhiman.

Finally,Jasbir Jassi,who regaled audiences at Cannes,too,has collaborated once again with Ehsaan and Loy for Coke Studio @MTV. “It’s going to be like Channel V’s V Jammin all over again,” he says. Stay tuned.

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