After øIndian Idolø, itøs time for øNepal Starø

IN Media Practice | 03/01/2005
"Nepal Star" is being organised by Nepal One, the Indian TV channel headed by Nalini Singh


Sudeshna Sarkar

Indo-Asian News Service 



Kathmandu--What with the stupendous success of "American Idol" and "Indian Idol", now it`s time for Nepal to join the fray. Nepalese living in the kingdom and even outside are set to hit a high note at "Nepal Star", the nationwide contest in which viewers will choose the next singing sensation in the country.


"Nepal Star" is being organised by Nepal One, the Indian TV channel headed by Nalini Singh, with Nepal Lever`s Lux beauty soap being the main sponsor. The two-year-old channel in Nepalese says it is scouting for latent talent especially in the "underprivileged segment of society" who otherwise would have very little chance of getting a leg-up.


Nepalese have music in their blood, says Nina, coordinator of "Nepal Star". "While India has less than 100 FM radio stations, Nepal has nearly 500 and look at the size of the two countries," she says.


"Walk into any school, college or office and say you want to organise a concert and five people will immediately stand up to volunteer. There is immense musical talent here but probably because they have been living with it, people here are not so conscious of it. But to outsiders like us, it is a revelation."


Less than a week after the contest was announced, applications started pouring in from all over Nepal and outside as well. There are over 2,000 applications already and some of them sent by Nepalese living in India, Britain, the Middle East, Thailand and Hong Kong.


Applications can also be sent online via the contest`s website,  The auditions start on Jan 3rd. The first round will be held in Biratnagar in the south, near the Indian border, the second in Pokhara in western Nepal and the third in Kathmandu.


The winner gets music contracts and a Bollywood offer but Nina is not divulging the details immediately. "The winner gets to cut a CD which Nepal One will help market," she says. "The recording company is based in Nepal since we want to promote Nepal. However, Bollywood is there since that is the ultimate aspiration level for all performers."


The prize might not seem as glittering as the contract worth Rs.10 million with Sony Entertainment that "Indian Idol" is offering along with a recording contract with a major Indian music label but it is definitely a step towards stardom for aspirants in the poverty and insurgency-wracked country.


Besides, "Nepal Star" is also open to blind contestants, in keeping with Nepal One`s employment policy. In 2005, Nepal One is gearing up to launch many more events, including musical programmes, Nina said. 


Indo-Asian News Service

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