DEEPA NATARAJAN Reality BITES Do you remember the time when you would finish all your work and rush to the living room to catch the latest episode of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’? How about the days when you would wait an entire week to catch the next episode of the programme? Hosted by the then fresh face and now much sought-after Sonu Nigam, a mere mention of the show brings back a host of memories for all those who are old enough to remember the 90s. Giving some tough competition to this show was ‘Meri Awaaz Suno’, hosted by actor-singer Anu Kapoor who was also the warm host of the extremely popular ‘Antakshari’. Now here’s a little trivia for you. Did you know that the two most popular female playback singers of today – Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan were both participants of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ and ‘Meri Awaaz Suno’ respectively? We bet some of you do remember these divas as chubby little teenagers who sung like a dream on these shows and shot to fame. Shreya was handpicked by filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to sing all the songs of his magnum opus ‘Devdas’. The music of the movie became a big hit and the rest as they say is history. Shreya went on to win numerous awards including the National Award. Sunidhi Chauhan’s musical journey, a tad bit different, nevertheless started from the stage of ‘Meri Awaz Suno’. Though she first sang for a film called ‘Shastra’ and went unnoticed, it was her effortless rendition of the songs of ‘Mast’ that made her a household name. Not to forget, host Sonu Nigam himself who was a cut apart and delivered hundreds of hit tunes in various film industries as well as an indi-pop singer. 16 The Score Magazine highonscore.com As the 90s came to an end and the millennium began, there were competitions for the cooler lot – the budding ‘pop stars’ who were inspired by a generation of Western musicians. Channel V’s ‘Popstars’ was watched by millions of people across the country in 2002 and lived up to its promise – that the winners would work with the who’s who of the music industry. And ‘Viva’, the girl band that was formed with the five best singers chosen by the judges, not only rose to fame overnight but also worked with the likes of Shankar- Ehsaan-Loy, Javed Akhtar, Salim-Suleiman and Jatin-Lalit and produced a wonderful album as a result. The promos of ‘Popstars’ also promised that the first concert by the winners would be a grand success. And that’s what happened when ‘Viva’ took to stage for the first time in Mumbai. There were crowds waiting and the band itself was stuck in a traffic jam that was a result of their show. Oh, what a grand finale it was! Season two of ‘Popstars’, though a little lukewarm, saw a good band in ‘Aasma’ who had popular songs like ‘Chandu Ke Chacha’ and ‘Tumse Hi Pyaar’. Sadly, both ‘Viva’ and ‘Aasma’ didn’t stick together for long and disbanded soon after. Fortunately, some of the singers in both these went on to create a niche for themselves as solo performers. The first edition of ‘Indian Idol’ too was a grand success in 2005 with winner Abhijeet Sawant becoming the talk of the town overnight. His album ‘Aap Ka Abhijeet Sawant’ that came out as a result was quite a soulful one too and emerged as a big hit. Its sweet melodies like ‘Mohabbatein Lutaungo’ and ‘Lafzon Mein Keh Na Sakoon’ became quite popular among the love-struck. The seasons that followed also produced some well-known names like Monali Thakur and Karunya.