In the race to become an ‘Indian Idol’

Call it the influence of music reality shows on television or the hidden musical talent of GenNext, Delhi University (DU) colleges were flooded with applications under the category of music rather than the other two popular sections – drama and debate. The aspiration to become ‘Indian Idols’ is high among these budding performers and they want to make music their career.

Around 400 budding musicians applied to Kirori Mal College (KMC) while 276 applied for drama and 359 for debate under extra-curricular activity (ECA). “The craze for music is growing every year as the number of such applicants have increased by 10-15% as compared to last year,” said Virendra Kumar, vice principal, KMC. He further said, “These applicants, however, want to pursue a regular course in Humanities or Commerce than go for a Music (H) course.

A large number of applicants have turned to music recently with the help of rock bands – both English and Hindi. Majority of the applicants want to become popular singers like on ‘Indian Idol’ or release their own music albums and want to pursue a career in music. However, there are few who also have a strong classical base and have been learning music since childhood.”

Echoing Kumar’s views, R.P. Singh, convener, admissions, Sri Venkateswara College, said: “We got the highest number of applicants under music and dance as compared to all other categories – debate, drama, photography, painting and prequiz.”Around 108 have applied for ECA admissions, showing their interest in music while 90 had applied for debate, 70 for creative writing, 65 for drama and 36 for painting this year. Out of 108 around 45 applied under the section of Indian vocal, 35 for Western vocal and 38 for instrumental.

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Citing the reason for such large number of applicants under the category of music, Singh said: “Those who sing get a lot of opportunities to perform both individually and also with a band of musicians at college and even outside.”

Moreover, students get a lot of incentives like prize money and if the performance is impressive they get good breaks from sponsors at intercollegiate and outstation events,” Singh added.

Agreed Jatin Aggarwal, a KMC applicant. “College festivals give budding musicians the opportunity to showcase their talent. Also, these performances give us the confidence to enter reality shows on television.”

The all-women’s team of Western music in Gargi College reveals the craze for Western and rock numbers among its students. “Singing is much in demand as a profession these days among the youth and the trend is reflected even in ECA admissions. Our Western music society is run by young girls who are interested in Western and rock music,” said Meera Ramchandran, principal, Gargi college, which allows walk-in candidates to appear for trials.

For admission under the music category in Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, this year a good drummer had better chances than a vocalist. “Our music team is short of a drummer,” said S C Garg, principal of the college, which receives more than 25% of the applications from musicians.