Etc Punjabi to scout for musical talents

MUMBAI: Seems like star hunts are the order of the day. So while the Hindi mass channels are gearing up to launch their versions of talent hunts, Etc Punjabi promises to launch the biggest musical talent hunt in Punjab.

Touted as one of the most popular channels in Punjab, Etc Punjabi's next mission is to scout for the next superstar of Punjabi music through its programme, Pepsi Ban Ja Stara Yaara II.

The massive two-month long exercise has already started with the channel inviting all budding singers to send in their entries along with a sample of their voice in an audio cassette.

According to ETC Punjab president Rabindra Narayan was quoted in a company release as saying, "It is our constant endeavor to discover and nurture new singing talent in Punjab and put them on the national and international stage."

According to the statement, a unique feature of the hunt is its ability to reach the maximum number of people all over Punjab. Besides calling in the entries, the channel has also made provisions for aspiring singers living in remote areas of Punjab to enter the contest by simply calling up 309 and recording their voices on the phone.

The channel will also start mobile recording van services. The vans will be traveling all over Punjab to enable people to enter the contest.

Sponsored by Pepsi and co-sponsored by Ajit, Whirpool, Music Today and Alpha TV Punjabi, the contest is based on a rigorous process of selection. Out of the thousands of entries received, 100 contestants will be screened and called for auditions.

The auditions will be held by Punjabi music director Atul Sharma at his studio in Chandigarh, says the release. Out of these 100 aspiring singers, 24 will be selected to progress to the semi final stage. These 24 will be provided extensive grooming and training by Sharma before the semi-finals.

The semis will be four mega events to be held in Bhatinda, Amritsar, Jalandhar and for the first time in the city of Jammu on 21, 24, 27 and 30 May, respectively.

Says Etc channel Punjabi vice-president, programming, Rajiee M Shinde, "For the first time an event of this stature is being held in the city of Jammu, as part of our continuing effort to cater to the huge popularity of Punjabi music even outside Punjab."

The entire process from the semi final stage onwards will be judged a set of jury, including likes of famous singers like Hans Raj Hans, Sardool Sikander and Dolly Guleria, apart from Punjab's most famous lyricist Shamsher Sandhu and music director Sharma.

The semi finals will feature performance by some of the biggest names in the business, including Mika, Malkit Singh, Jazzy B, Amrinder Gill, Rani Randeep, Pammi Bai and Sarbjit Cheema.

The grand finale will be held at Ludhiana on 4 June, where the new star of Punjabi music will be crowned and will get a chance to record an album with Music Today.

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