Chennai: It's a talent hunt with a difference. It's a musical talent hunt that's for the non-filmi crowd. It's exclusively for music bands and judging their caliber would be music director A R Rahman and actor-turned-singer Vasundhara Das.
And it was the music maestro himself who was getting emotional as he recalled his early days in the world of music.
"In those days, anything other than films were not respected. Now, people are opening up and are seeing more. People want to see more stuff. Though I am in films, I would like to see more young people perform," says he.
He said that he and a friend of his had formed a band called River on the lines of world music. It was the first band he had and there was a lot to learn.
"We had an all girls rock band that's become famous for many reasons, and more recently, me and my partner Roberto Narayan formed a band called Arya," says he.
Having been through the regular grind in his early days, Rahman will not be conservative when it comes choosing the sound that he likes best.
"I think music is a gift - whatever form it's in - it could be a composition of films, it could be a band playing or it could be a folk song. All the forms have to be encouraged. One of the forms is a band playing live," says he.
And if you're wondering why this talent hunt is being launched in south India, both Rahman and Vasundhara Das have their reasons for it.
"I could say that Chennai is the cultural capital of India, in Carnatic music and so many other things.So being in the South and being launched from here is very important," says Rahman.
"I've grown up in Bangalore and I can see what comes out of the city. It's just huge, the potential. There are so many people and so many different forms of music playing for underground audiences who don't listen to mainstream music," adds Vasundhara.
But music enthusiasts in the north need not worry, as this hunt for the best music band will soon be extended to other parts of the country as well.