The Rhythm of Love, the very first episode of Encore, is a beautiful medley of romantic Telugu songs composed and performed by a popular band from Hyderabad, Capricio. What’s so special about that you ask? Well, Encore marks the first dedicated musical web series in Telugu on the lines of Coke Studio or MTV Unplugged.
It is powered by Tamada Media and the show is the maiden project of Chitraastra. The makers—digital agency Chitraastra headed by youngsters Lohit Phogaraju, Prudhvi Gagari and Nayanesh Devarakonda—don’t intend on slowing down. “We’re all engineering pass-outs,” shares Lohit, “and like every other engineer, we wanted to do something different besides the 9 to 5 job.”
While Lohit and Prudhvi, who were friends initially, decided to turn partners with a start-up, Nayanesh—who has a musical background—joined in bringing shape to their plan. “We did a market research on the kind of content that hasn’t been touched. We realised that despite Telugu people being music-lovers, their music is strongly confined to Tollywood jukeboxes alone,” says Nayanesh.
The first season of the show features Capricio, whose forte is medleys and Telugu covers. “Capricio comprises a young bunch too and they are open to experimenting just like us, so we got along instantly,” Lohit says.
The video, beautifully visualised by Himanshu Sahni of Sahni Studio, features the band performing at Bottega Cafe. “We call it the first-ever unplugged show because the audio is generated during the live show at Bottega Cafe, mixed and mastered, and is later used for recording a video for YouTube,” explains Lohit.
Although Encore’s first season will feature covers by a single band, Chitraastra intends to promote independent musicians and originals eventually. “To bring traction, it is necessary to cater to the popular taste. But we will slowly introduce independent music too,” adds Nayanesh.
They already have a registration process in place where local musicians or bands can register after which auditions will be conducted to find their strengths. “If some people register solo, we will band them together for new music. If they register as bands, we will showcase their work as a band,” explains Lohit.