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MTV launches new reality show to form desi rock band

Alka Shukla Sep 26, 2009
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Television worldwide has been seeing a glut of reality shows. And the latest entrant is MTV’s Rock On, which is a hunt for the hottest “desi rock band.” Where the new show claims to be different is the format: Rock On will see the three judges ”“ Kailash Kher, Ram Sampath and Nikhil Chinapa ”“ audition individual musicians who would then be grouped into bands, rather than pit bands against each other. Kher says, “Musical reality shows until now have been mostly restricted to singing, that too mostly film songs. But here, even if you are a musician, even if you play a non-mainstream instrument, you can be an equal part of the band.”

The judges auditioned participants in four cities ”“ Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai ”“ in July and selected 50 of the best, who will now come and stay in Mumbai for the rest of the duration of the show ”“ until they start getting eliminated. Over the next few weeks, Kher, Sampath and Chinapa – with the help of guest judges – will pare down this number to form a band of hopefully likeminded individuals. “Kailash, Ram and I were mandated when we came on this show to put together not necessarily the best individual musicians, but a band that will hopefully endure 25 years and more, like an Aerosmith or the Rolling Stones. Now, I don’t mean that from day one, they will be as good as Aerosmith or the Stones. But as a band, they will hopefully stick around for that long,” says Chinapa. Obviously, for a band to stick around for that long, members will have to have good chemistry as well. “We are also looking at how they get along with each other,” he says.

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The trio have had the chance to meet interesting musicians over the course of these auditions. “There is a rapper from Bangalore, who started off rapping in English. But his real strength comes to the fore when he starts rapping in Tamil and Malayalam. And 50 Cent can’t do that! He’s so engaging and not cheesy at all.

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