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MTV Video Music Awards India Nominees Announced

Voting closes on March 18th, followed by the awards show on March 21st

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Mar 12, 2013
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The first thing that struck us about the Indian edition of MTV Video Music Awards [VMAI] is how it breaks away from the US format. Unlike what its name suggests, the award show also includes non-video award categories [such as best lyricist, album, male/female vocalist and band] and features nominees who haven’t released videos for their music [“Dust Particles” by Kohra and “Before Sleep” by Suman Sridhar].

With the award show’s India debut, it seems that MTV wants to promote the alternative music scene alongside Bollywood, what with equal number of categories [five each] for Bollywood and alternative or independent artists making up the first edition of the Video Music Awards India [VMAI].

However, MTV India wants to make the awards show as memorable as their US counterpart’s – promising “cheekiness, iconic moments, musical highs [and] inconsistency while being firmly individualistic,” as it mentions on their website. Forget musical highs, we’re not sure what the Indian award would look like, considering the original award features MTV’s Moon Man Statuette.

Indie nominees for the first MTV VMAI include Bengaluru folk rock band Swarathma, Mumbai’s rock vets Indus Creed, electro rock band Pentagram and vocalists such as Siddharth Basrur [also vocalist for alt metal band Goddess Gagged], Vasuda Sharma and Suman Sridhar. Delhi’s fusion act Advaita, dub/ska band The Ska Vengers and EDM artist Madhav Shorey aka Kohra are also nominated.

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A few nominees such as singer Jasleen Royal, Bollywood singers Neeti Mohan [nominated for Best Bollywood Song – Female and Best Indie Artist – Female] and Sonu Kakkar featured on MTV India shows such as Coke Studio, Unplugged and Roots, which explains the nod. Despite all the controversies surrounding his misogynistic lyrics, Punjai rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh is one of the nominees in the Best Indie Artist category competing against Rabbi, Basrur, Dayal and Kohra.

In addition to public voting, the award show also has a jury in place to select winners in all the 10 categories. The jury comprises a mix of Bollywood and alternative music artists including Indus Creed vocalist Uday Benegal [who is, oddly enough, also nominated], Only Much Louder CEO Vijay Nair, former vice president of music label Saregama India Atul Churamani, director Anurag Kashyap, lyricist and writer Prasoon Joshi, guitarist and composer Ehsaan Noorani, multimedia company Wizcraft’s founder director Sabbas Joseph and MTV India head Aditya Swamy.

Voting for MTV VMAI is open till March 18th, 2013. Vote here. MTV VMAI 2013 takes place on March 21st, 2013 and airs on April 7th on MTV. 

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