When advertisers turn singers for Sony Mix's 'Dhun Project'

MUMBAI: The folks at Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) are in a celebratory mood not just for one but two reasons. In an all cash deal worth $385 million, the network has recently inked a pact to acquire the Ten Sports channel portfolio which was with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL). Second, it is the fifth anniversary of its music channel Sony Mix.

To commemorate its birthday, the network has initiated The Dhun Project. Through this, the channel intends to pay tribute to Indian musicians and aims to give back to India’s rich musical heritage by raising funds to empower those musically oriented and donate to educational initiatives across levels.

"This is our way of giving back to music, by empowering its creators, curators and everyone associated with the art in India," says SPN senior EVP and business head Max cluster, Sony Mix Neeraj VyasI. "It is a tribute to the musicians of Bollywood. Several things go into the making of a song which do not get recognised. The name ‘Dhun’ because it is a key word for music and also goes with the channel’s name. We had launched in 2011 because we clearly saw a need gap wherein music channels were providing everything else but music. We came with an aim to play more music, with a clear mood map to match music with various moods and 12 minutes of advertising. There was very little variety. The last five years have been exceptional for us. ”

“Music is an integral part with or without Bollywood. We always wanted to grow music in this country. According to me, this is a good way to contribute and I hope to make some difference through this initiative. 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. The advertisers featuring in the video have identified the cause, they connect to music and will take the communication ahead from there,” adds SPN CEO N.P.Singh.

The new initiative will be promoted on the various channels under the network and by featuring the CXO’s of media and entertainment industry, the initiative hoped to get a push through each one's Twitter and Facebook page. Championing the cause, it has brought together stalwarts from the advertising and media industries to record an exclusive music video for the anthem. Senior executives like GroupM's CVL Srinivas , Madiso's n Vikram Sakhuja, Lodestar's Shashi Sinha, Future Group's Sandip Tarkas, Mindshare's Amin Lakhani, Zenith Optimedia's Anupriya Acharya, Idea Cellular's Shuchi Singhal, OMD 's Harish Shriyan, Mudra's Sonal Dabral, SPN's Rohit Gupta and SPN's Neeraj Vyas feature in Dhun Project music video. The project will also be played live during Goafest in front of the entire media and entertainment industry.

The first leg of project involves the channel’s contribution of Rupees 10 Lakhs towards helping a musician who needs medical support every year. The ambassador for this year is Roshan Ali (a dholak player). Ali has recorded with artists like R.D.Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal, etc. The project is seeking help from the Indian Cine Musician Association head who suggests them a name which the channel will filter further and pin down on a person.

It is also leveraging the crowdsourcing platform Ketto.Org, co-founded by actor Kunal Kapoor to raise funds for Spic Macay to organize a series of events across the country that will enable heritage musicians to perform in schools and colleges. Young students will be exposed to music performed by nationally celebrated musicians, who in turn will continue to earn a living from this artistic endeavour.

To catch a glimpse of the music video, visit:

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