Decoding musical legacy of 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) It was in 1995 when "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" embarked on a musical journey on the small screen. Since then, the show has transformed and adapted with changing times, but without losing the essence to the core idea to entertain people with music minus too much of reality show drama.

And that's probably why even after 25 years, the show is going strong and has a mass following, especially at a time when many contemporary shows have fallen by the way despite dramatic and emotionally-charged flares.

The first episode of the show went live on May 1 in 1995 with singer Sonu Nigam as host. Kumar Sanu, the late Aadesh Shrivastava, Raam Laxman and Khayyam were the judges.

At that time the show introduced a format of talent hunt in the Indian television space, unlike today when almost every channel has a talent hunt and is busy scripting new moves to get ahead in the TRP race.

" ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' has been an excellent platform for giving birth to new talent as far as the music industry is concerned. I feel really great to have been associated with the legacy of such an iconic show in recent times," judge and singer Udit Narayan told IANS.

"In fact, the musical franchise has always been very special to me as apart from giving our music fraternity some of its finest talent, the show has even launched my son Aditya as a host," he added.

Do you know what's common between Shekhar Ravjiani, Shreya Ghoshal, Kunal Ganjawala, "Chori chori jab nazrein mili" hitmaker Sanjivani, National Award winning Bela Shende, and "Ishq Sufiyana" singer Kamal Khan? They all started their musical journey on this show.

The show has turned out to be a big platform for many aspiring singers to make a name in the music industry, and helped them hold onto the fame they garnered through the show.

Music stars like Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, Shaan, Javed Ali, Aditya Narayan and actors Purab Kohli and Manish Paul have hosted previous, and many music maestros including Lata Mangeshkar, Pandit Jasraj and Zakir Hussain have graced the stage of the show, which has branched out in multiple languages and formats like versions for children and the challenge one.

Shaan said: "The legacy of this show is unparalleled. What a treat ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' has been to everybody! To be honest, I've been associated with the show for quite a bit now and I have hosted it several times and every time I was on stage, it was a breath-taking, beautiful experience. I get nostalgic every time I even remotely think about the show."

"Back in 2002, when I came onboard as a host of the show, I didn't know 18 years later, I'll be hosting a grand initiative for the musical franchise as it completes 25 years. From hosting the show to judging it, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' has been a huge part of my life and career," he added.

Javed Ali said: "The hardwork that the singers put in and the talent that was showcased is unthinkable. It's commendable that the show has given birth to so many talented singers over the past two decades. I feel it has served as a pathway to fame and success for many aspirants."

Talking about her association with the show, "Sajdaa" hitmaker Richa Sharma said: "There is an originality in the show. People from different corners of the country come, their talent gets nurtured, and 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' has been doing all this. Since 2005 to 2018, I have been a guest judge on the show. Then, for two seasons I was a judge. This show has given great talent to our country."

"I really feel a part of the rich legacy of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' which has truly helped the Indian music industry thrive," she added.

Now, the iconic music show "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a 25-hour virtual music marathon, which will also raise funds to aid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Titled "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Live-athon", the music marathon starts on May 23, and will include over 350 performances by popular singers. It will culminate on May 24 with a grand concert "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Ek Desh Ek Raag concert". Musical stars, including Udit Narayan, Shaan, Richa Sharma, Himesh Resdhammiya, Javed Ali, Kamal Khan, Vijay Prakash and Debojit, will be performing from their homes. The 25-hour music marathon will be aired on Facebook and the musical concert will be aired on Zee TV and 18 other Zee channels.

With the initiative, viewers will get the opportunity to do their bit for the underprivileged by contributing to charity during the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa LIVE-athon.