Great musicians not confined to Bollywood: Shankar Mahadevan

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Look beyond Bollywood for great musicians, says composer Shankar Mahadevan, who believes there is a huge talent pool in the country and that is yet to be fully tapped.

"There is so much talent in the country and not all of that necessarily is confined to Bollywood. There are some great musicians from the independent music scenario in India making some great music," Mahadevan told IANS.

"I'm a proud mainstream musician, but having said that, I do firmly believe there is much much more musical talent waiting to be discovered by the masses," he added.

To promote this cause itself, the 45-year-old, known for songs like "Breathless", "Mitwa", "Jhoom barabar jhoom" and "Desi girl", is collaborating with fusion band Indian Ocean. They will perform together for the grand finale of the second edition of Storm Music Festival.

This is the first time that these two powerhouses of the Indian music industry are collaborating. Mahadevan says he has "great respect for the music that members of Indian Ocean make".

"I really wanted to collaborate with them. I love them as people as well as for being the wonderful musicians they are. Lavin (Uthappa, festival director, Storm), whom I have known, called me saying he would like me to perform at the festival with Indian Ocean and there we are," he said.

Talking about their performance, he says it will be a mix of best of their compositions.

"We will be doing three to four songs together, including some of my music and some of theirs. We will have fun performing interpretations of each other's music. 'Bhor' is one of their songs which we will perform and I really like it. We will also be doing a rendition of 'Breathless' and an old Kannada folk song," said Mahadevan.

The two-day fest, scheduled for Feb 1-2 in the misty landscape of Napoklu in Coorg, is expected to witness a melange of bands, singers, songwriters as well as electronica artists from the country and abroad across four stages.

Mahadevan feels such music festivals are doing a "fantastic job in promoting young talent".

"Music festivals are coming up everywhere in India and that is the only way to go ahead. People are exposed to a wide variety of music and the experience of being at a music festival itself is unique. It is an experience, unlike any other," he said.

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