Nokia launches Music Theatre, unveils "Asha-Discovery of the Peninsula"

Artistes performing at the launch of Nokia Music Theatre initiative in Delhi on March 6, 2012.
Artistes performing at the launch of Nokia Music Theatre initiative in Delhi on March 6, 2012.

Mobile telephone handets manufacturer Nokia India has launched Nokia Music Theatre, a first-of-its-kind platform for discovering and nurturing musical talent from the grassroots in the country and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their talent.

The project was piloted in Rajasthan in 2010 where 17 artistes were handpicked from small towns and villages across the state. The pilot culminated with the launch of the first music album – "Asha – discovery of the Peninsula" under the banner of Nokia Music Theatre and published by Universal Music. The album is also available for download on the Nokia Music Store.
A Nokia press release said the project was in line with its strategy to connect people to their passions.
The release said Nokia Music Theatre, the result of a partnership between Nokia India and The Peninsula Studios, was an effort to nurture the rich and diverse musical heritage of India.
"Nokia Music Theatre aims to provide a 360-degree support to talented musicians across the country transcending boundaries of languages, genres and musical forms," it said.
“Nokia has a formidable musical legacy – from Nokia Music Store, the largest repository of legal and digital Indian music, to offering DRM free music on our recently launched Nokia Asha series of feature phones – we have built a strong music connect with Indians. India is one of the key markets for our music portfolio and, with the Nokia Music Theatre, we aim to discover the musical talent at the grass root and provide these budding musicians with a platform to nurture and showcase their talent," Viral Oza, Marketing Director, Nokia India, said,
According to Sita Raina, Chief Operating Officer, The Peninsula Studios, “The Peninsula Studios is a content creation company that is aimed at facilitating, mentoring and curating quality music from across the peninsula. We are a unique studio where aficionados enjoy live performances while being recorded in a single take. Nurturing diversity in music and reviving forms of music on the brink of extinction is our vision. Nokia is an ideal partner in realizing this vision because of its own formidable musical legacy and a strong commitment to connecting people to their passions.”
Speaking of the launch of the first Nokia Music Theatre album - ‘Asha – discovery of the Peninsula’, Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director, Universal Music India & SAARC, said, "Universal Music is most known for breaking more talent than any other label the world over. This project is very close to our heart and we think that the Nokia Music Theatre along with The Peninsula Studios (TPS) and us will be a major paradigm shift in the music publishing scene in India. I expect to see a brand new set of musicians that have never had the chance to showcase their art before be discovered and published due to this great initiative and `Asha’ - the first album is exactly this. One listen and you will experience the brilliance of TPS as well as the exceptional raw and untapped talent that’s brought in as part of the Nokia Music Theatre album."
After the Rajasthan success, culturally vibrant Uttar Pradesh will be the next stop for Nokia Music Theatre which takes off in the Autumn of 2012.
Conceptualized in partnership with “The Peninsula Studios”, Nokia Music Theatre has taken the role to discover musical talent from all over India and present it to the world. The Peninsula Studios has been set up in the National Capital Region as a centre which will curate music, facilitate content creation and mentor talent to present the Nokia Music Theatre. It provided artistes with the opportunity to interact with other artistes and the unique experience of recording in a studio in front of a live audience.
The 17 artistes selected from the auditions of about 700 musicians representing a diverse array of alternative genres of music from folk, classical, spiritual, tribal, sufi, thumri, khayal to instrumental, were mentored by some of the heavyweights in the music industry including Shuzaat Khan, Zeb and Haniya among others.
The Nokia Music Theatre finalists performed to an enthralled audience on the occasion.
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