Singer Sunidhi Chauhan tells Suranjana Biswas why she is excited to be a judge on Amazon Prime Video’s original series, The Remix
Singer Sunidhi Chauhan cannot contain her excitement. “I was totally excited when I got to know about the concept. The fact that the show does not have any kind of emotional back story of the contestants and is purely about music, is refreshing. This is the best part and the USP of the show, which is why I said yes to it. Also, it is not just about remixing songs but making the songs sound absolutely new,” she gushes.
Talking about why the show will stand out, she says, “This show is quite different from other shows, the major difference being that there is no public voting system. It is based purely on comments given by the judges and the decisions made by the panel. A voting system makes viewers a part of the judging and they might not necessarily know the technicalities of what goes into making a song. In this show, we have contestants from different backgrounds. We will have behind the scenes footage where viewers can actually see the process of making a particular song. It will be quite interesting for the audience.”
About the style of remixing that is in the show, she says, “The show is not restricted to remixing a song. In an existing song, there will be some new parts and improvisations will be made to the original piece to make it sound absolutely new. For example, you might come across an item song being sung like a jazz song or a romantic song in an R&B style. All these amalgamations and twists are going to happen.”
But Sunidhi is not very fond of recreating old songs, saying, “Recreating old songs displays lack of originality. I do not understand why people do this when we have so much talent in India that is just waiting for a break. I feel some people just want to play safe. They are looking for a song to become a hit. Or should I say that they don’t have faith in each other? I think it’s important to have faith. If you believe that somebody is talented, you should take chances and see where things take them. Remixes are not bad but it is just that they are overdoing it now. And that’s bad I guess. There is a lot of originality. I just feel we should explore more of that instead of recreating old songs.”
About reality shows giving the industry sustainable talent, she opines, “Absolutely. They do give us real talent. I mean, it depends a lot on the contestant, how talented he or she is. If you have talent you will shine. If you do not have talent you will get eliminated. Reality shows do their best to showcase a contestant’s talent. At the end, it all comes down to the contestant, if they are able to bring out their best.”
So what does she look out for in a winning contestant? “Honestly, my only expectation is to listen to some good music. If it is great then I will appreciate it, if it is average, I will help the person make it better. On this show we are mostly celebrating music. We have made all efforts possible to make a song that has already been heard so many times, to sound new. That has been quite a task because any kind of change to a song can break it.”
She is unapologetically vocal about the challenges that the music industry is currently facing. “There are too many cooks spoiling the music. Everyone wants to give their opinion when a piece of music is first created. It has become a khichdi. Earlier, it was just the director who would brief the composer or singers about what he wants from them. Now, it has become a mix of reactions from anyone involved in the film. This creates a lot of confusion and disrupts the functioning of musicians to deliver their best,” she says.
One thing she wants is to be more involved in the indie music scene. “Over the past 15 years or so, we have witnessed a certain amount of dearth in the independent artiste circuit. I feel it is getting better now; people are concentrating on the indie music scene with platforms like Coke Studio. An artiste is much more than a playback singer. These platforms actually help musicians express what they want. I really feel happy seeing so many people coming together at music festivals and various other platforms to perform an unplugged version of their songs. The audience does enjoy such music. I myself am looking forward to releasing my own individual album and do something in the indie space.”
On her future projects she says, “I have recorded a couple of songs for some upcoming movies but I don’t really know the names of the songs.”
By line: Suranjana Biswas