With a host of global rages like DJ Hardwell, Kygo and Martin Garrix coming to India and pulling huge numbers, the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is slowly but surely picking up. And it shows no signs of a 'drop', with the advent of India's first OTT talent show The Remix.
Amazon Prime Video India introduces the international format in India, wherein vocalists and music producers collaborate to churn out a 'remixed' track that sounds as good as the original. Judged by popular singer Sunidhi Chauhan, acclaimed music composer Amit Trivedi and the forever-in-vogue DJ Nucleya, the show will see 10 pairs battle it out across the console on the stage.
But there's a catch. Though the emotion is in sync with the degree of energy of the show, the 'battle' is not in accordance with the tone of this project. Unlike countless reality shows that Indian audiences have been force-fed on their TV sets, The Remix does not conform to the formulaic dramatization of competition between the contestants. A lot of which has to do with the platform.
Entry of streaming giants has had a content overhaul across the nation. Whether it is sitcoms, films or talent shows, streaming sites like Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime have helped producers steer clear of age-old diktats that the revenue-driven industries like cinema and television subject them to.
Popular series Sarabhai vs Sarbhai is the best example in this case. Years after it went off the air because of a discord with demanding broadcasters, the show found a new lease of life on Hotstar. The platform gave it a chance to retain its original lighthearted, slice-of-life tone and attract its target audience.
The same effect has permeated the talent show space too. With every channel boasting of a minimum of three to four shows, which will get replaced by another in a cyclic phenomenon that only makes all of them redundant, the said genre has reached its saturation point.
Thus, in order to grab eyeballs, the makers are compelled go a 'pitch higher' so that their voice is heard among all the chaos.
Karan Tacker, the host of The Remix, recalls how it was a breath of fresh air to be on the sets of this show. "Unlike the reality shows on TV, I did not have to force-flirt with Sunidhi ma'am. I know that's another form of entertainment altogether, but I'm glad we all stuck to what we signed up for— music."
Tacker's confession points out the glaring disadvantage of reality shows on the small screen. All the shows, which display immense potential on paper through path-breaking concepts, fall prey to the drama that takes the driver's seat. All the unique, innovative ideas, formats, and challenges get lost in translation. Singing reality shows end up with a crescendo in drama and diminuendo in music.
The Remix, however, promises to pave way for an interesting trend with a hopeful response from the digitally literate audience who seeks leisure from their tablets and phones.
Cue *possible flip side*
Given the pitch and visual appeal of the show, it is not the best form of entertainment to enjoy on your smartphone screen. Irrespective of how 'kickass' the sound of your phone is or how 'smooth' the screen is, you would want to set yourself free of those earphones, put your phone away and dance to the irresistible beats, only to realize that the music is no longer playing.
Though a singing reality, the show relies heavily on its experiential output. It caters to the viewer's nostalgia and the resultant adrenaline. A hand-held won't do justice to the skillful cinematography, tight editing and impactful production design offered.
While rehashes have become a hot property in Bollywood now with every music composer being instructed to spin a number 'inspired' from a popular old one, The same trend, if not forced down the producer's throats is likely to make way for quality content and increased viewership.
So far, The Remix treads on that middle path between television and cinema where it can conveniently grow immune to the creativity-killing pathogens. It heralds a fresh format that can be enjoyed nonetheless, without the drama and the scale, purely because of its intent.