QUEEN’S ROAD: Kannada music has an exposure problem and it shows.
According to Naveen Shauri, who worked as an RJ for nine years, just two of the city’s eight FM channels play new Kannada songs. Now, he and a few others have decided to take matters into their own hands through Audio Nildana, an initiative to promote Kannada films and songs.
“Through the years I worked as an RJ, I understood that there is no encouragement for Kannada films or music. Today, out of the eight FM stations, they have allotted only three for Kannada music. Of them, one plays retro music, songs from films released before 1986. And the other two are limited to Bengaluru. In fact, there was a huge debate over this and people like Agni Sridhar and Lahari Velu fought against FMs that don’t play Kannada music. But as they are privately owned, no one can force them to change. They play only Hindi songs and we can’t do anything about it.”
Under Audio Nildana, Kannada songs are being played in KSRTC bus stands across the state during the breaks between schedule announcements. When the idea dawned on Naveen, he shared it with Jeevan Pawar of Vritti i-Media, which owns the exclusive rights to announce bus schedules in 120 KSRTC bus stands across the state. By November, the number will be 160.
“There is an 8-10 minute gap between bus schedule announcements. I got in touch with them and explained about Audio Nildana. I also took permission from audio companies including Lahari and Anand Audio,” Naveen said.
This way, at least 50 lakh people across Karnataka will listen to the latest Kannada songs. According to Naveen, the first film whose songs were played under Audio Nildana was Buguri. “We are seeking permission from audio companies for a period of 30 days. In one month, we will play songs from just three to four films so that they stick in people’s minds. On an average, every song we are allowed to use will be played around 20 times a day in each of our 120 stations. This way, each movie will have its songs played around
4 lakh times a month. When the movie date is announced, we will announce it with the song,” he said.
He added that Audio Nildana will also give publicity to those behind the songs. “With each song, the credit roll including the names of the producer, director, music director, lyricist, singer and audio company will be announced. We will also mention the caller tune download codes of the songs. This will bring in additional revenue to audio companies,” he said.
For now, he is not looking at Audio Nildana as a profit-making venture. “That is only if some producers want to get into the act. We just want to give promotion to Kannada music in a big way,” Naveen said.