Three budding singers from Nagaland along with 21 others from India, and their mentor AR Rahman, feature in the cover photo of the March edition of the Rolling Stone India magazine. The 24 young musicians are being mentored by the Oscar and Grammy Award winner for the second season of NEXA Music, the nationwide talent discovery platform in partnership with Qyuki Digital Media.
The three musicians from Nagaland are Mokokchung’s very own Sunep A Jamir, Dimapur-based Temsu Clover and KL Pamei.
A jury led by AR Rahman shortlisted the Top 24 artists for Season 2 in the month of October last year. Among the 24 artists, the Top 4 will be chosen and dubbed the Super Winners of Season 2. These artists will get the opportunity to compose an additional new original English song under the mentorship of the music producers, with a feature in it. The winners will also have the opportunity to participate on the album “Elevate” with AR Rahman.
Sunep A Jamir, one of the Top 24 competitors in Season 2 of NEXA Music and the front man of Mokokchung-based band Tune Up Channel, said that everyone in the Top 24 is given a chance to “write and send another song, which they will produce.”
According to Sunep, the artists are required to submit one of their original songs for audition. He added that a jury chooses the Top 500 from among the thousands of participants across India before narrowing down the pool to the Top 100 and then the Top 24. He also said that the Top 24 would be invited to Mumbai for shooting.
“Right now, we’re awaiting the top 4 results,” Sunep said.
Expressing joy at being part of what he called “the incredible experience,” Sunep said that he never anticipated he’d be listed in the Top 24.
“Meeting so many great people from all around India has been a tremendous experience for me, and the nicest part was meeting AR Rahman sir,” said Sunep.
Another artist in the Top 24 from Nagaland, Temsu Clover said that the Top 24 were hand-selected by AR Rahman for the nationwide talent platform, Nexa Music.
Sharing her experience, the Dimapur-based artist said, “I’ve met a lot of people from outside my group, and it’s also been wild to meet and speak with the most respected AR Rahman.”
“It’s been wonderful! The experience has been educational,” she said.
Also, KL Pamei stated, “That was an overwhelming experience for me.” He added that he had recently seen an Instagram advertisement for the second season of NEXA Music and that he hadn’t initially expected to make it to the top 100. “I simply enrolled myself and soon forgot about it,” he admitted.
Out of more than 2500 entries, KL Pamei stated, “the top 100 to top 50 were declared,” and to his surprise, he says that he was one of the Top 24 finalists.
He also mentioned, “Having the opportunity to speak with and meet with AR Rahman was a huge break in music so far.”
More than writing and filming the song, KL Pamei said, “Meeting the Nexa crew and my fellow cast members at the set was the best experience.”
NEXA, a lifestyle brand from Maruti Suzuki India, in 2019 introduced Nexa Music, a music platform aimed at creating original music of global standards and promoting Indie-English music in India. NEXA Music is an initiative by NEXA to discover, celebrate and create original international music in India.
The initiative has been curated to provide a platform to budding musicians to compose original lyrics. It is managed by Qyuki Digital Media using its expertise in proprietary technology and analytics across traditional and new media platforms. Qyuki is a creator-focused new media company.
The second season of NEXA Music is spearheaded by global icon AR Rahman. The Nexa Music Season 2 is the brand’s first attempt to provide a specially curated platform for Indian musicians to showcase their skills and talent for creating original English music of international standards. It is a platform that encourages music lovers and artists to express themselves through self-composed English music. The shortlisted artists will have the opportunity to create original English compositions of global standards and share them internationally under the mentorship of AR Rahman.
Meanwhile, the Rolling Stone India magazine on March 7 announced that music legend AR Rahman has graced its March digital cover along with the Top 24 artists he is mentoring from NEXA Music, a nationwide talent platform which scouts, mentors and amplifies independent musicians writing and performing in the English language.
According to the Rolling Stone India magazine, the Grammy and Oscar-winning composer says, “I’m glad I’m part of this revolution. India is known for film music, classical music and folk music. But independent English-language music is probably the orphaned area, the ignored space.”
Rolling Stone India also said that, according to Rahman, the time has arrived to create the breeding ground for the next generation of artists.
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