New Delhi: In early 2002, Channel [V] India ran a forty-five-day search throughout the nation to search for contenders who would match the profile of an all-girl Indian pop group.
The hunt got here to an in depth on 11 April 2002. The music channel had discovered its “chosen 5” in Pratichee Mohapatra, Neha Bhasin, Mahua Kamat, Anushka Manchanda, and Seema Ramchandani. Collectively they shaped India’s first mainstream woman group ‘Viva‘ – carefully resembling a desi avatar of Spice Women or Future’s Baby.
The ladies have been the winners of Channel [V]’s Coke V Popstar – the official Indian model of the British actuality TV present ‘Popstars’– and have been put collectively right into a band by the present’s judges.
For early ‘90s children – who had entered a brand new millennium only some years in the past – it was their first brush with actuality music exhibits, that featured the audition course of and interviews of contestants.
All 5 women within the band had grown up with musical affect and have been skilled in music, which helped them go the gruelling auditions and safe a spot within the band.
Manchanda, an 18-year-old on the time and the youngest of the group, had put her research on maintain to pursue a profession in music. Kamat, 20 then, was formally skilled in Hindustani classical music and eager about R&B and hip-hop. The divergent music pursuits and coaching allowed her to be one of many extra dynamic members of Viva.
Bhasin, who was 19 at the moment, was pursuing a level in Sociology. She was pitched to the general public because the extra mature one of many group. Ramchandani had come from a musically-inclined household and was large on a profession within the trade. The oldest of the 5, Mohapatra, had skilled in Classical music for six years. Very like Ramchandani, Mohapatra was additionally pitched to be a fun-loving and carefree member.
“We could also be from assorted backgrounds, but it surely’s our unity which is essential if we’ve got to succeed as a band,” the group had told The Hindu in 2002.
After choice, all members have been groomed by music director Sandeep Chowta, singer Shubha Mudgal, mannequin Sushma Reddy and clothier Manish Malhotra. Over the course of eight episodes, these women underwent rigorous music coaching and a makeover to suit the pop star picture.
Viva’s hit discography & progressive lyrics
Their debut album titled ‘Viva!’ was additionally out in the identical 12 months. Launched underneath the Occasions Music label, the album featured compositions by eight music administrators – together with Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy and duo Jatin-Lalit – with lyrics by Javed Akhtar.
Their debut monitor ‘Hum Naye Geet Sunaye’ grew to become their trademark music and the band continued to be related to it for years, lengthy after they’d referred to as it quits. Composed by the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the music was first launched as a single and later added to the album. Viva additionally launched different catchy numbers together with ‘Jahan ho Pyaar ka Mausam’ and ‘Jaago Zara’ – arguably a feminist anthem.
Their first present, which was held in Mumbai on April 2002, created a brand new Limca Record with 50,000 attendees. Nonetheless, their reputation wasn’t because of their music alone. Viva’s entry into the mainstream Indian music trade introduced a much-needed breath of contemporary air for listeners. For years, the nation hadn’t witnessed a band as vivacious and daring as them.
On the daybreak of the brand new century, the women grew to become female youth icons within the Indian popular culture scene. They weren’t shy of risque style and developments like sporting metallic eyeshadows and halter tops, and have been celebrated for being outspoken. They have been unapologetic about their behaviour and have been making waves, for all the precise causes.
And their music amplified what they stood for. The ladies have been singing about smashing patriarchy and the significance of getting a ‘woman tribe’. Their ‘Jaago Zara’ was about reclaiming your life and selections and a reminder to struggle oppression and query societal norms. Together with ‘Jaago Zara’, their debut album featured ‘Kali Mai Diya Salaai’, a music on ladies empowerment that rejected bigotry and the absurd expectations that patriarchy lays on ladies. Paradoxically, this music is not out there on YouTube.
At a time when boy bands like A Band of Boys, Euphoria, and Pentagram have been ruling the Indian pop music scene, Viva efficiently contested their dominance and staked their declare.
Disbanding of Viva
Nonetheless, cracks throughout the group quickly surfaced. Solely six months into the band’s rise to stardom, Ramchandani determined to half methods.
“I don’t know whether or not she’s obtained presents to go solo, however the motive she has left Viva is in order that she will be able to observe the Artwork of Dwelling course, which she may be very connected to and needs to finish a trainer’s coaching course in,” their supervisor, Lydia Fernandes, had stated on Ramchandani’s exit. Submit her departure, the band continued to provide music and tour as a 4-member group. As of 2013, Ramchandani was nonetheless an Artwork of Dwelling trainer and continued to pursue her ardour for singing.
The ladies went on to launch a second album ‘VIVA-Reloaded’, however their journey got here to an finish in 2003. The band cut up and the opposite 4 members went their very own technique to pursue solo careers in music. For the longest time, there was no official assertion on why the band had damaged up. Nonetheless, in an interview in 2014, they stated that they had disbanded as a result of “they have been uncomfortable having to fulfill unattainable magnificence requirements”. In addition they claimed that they have been continually body-shamed and lived underneath a scanner.
In 2020, followers noticed a mini reunion because the 4 members got here collectively to sing ‘Jaago Zara’ on Instagram. When requested a couple of potential reunion, Mohapatra told Hindustan Occasions in 2021, “Possibly a live performance will occur sometime. Who is aware of!”
At present, Manchanda is a singer and actor. She has acted within the movie Indignant Indian Goddesses and continues to create music. Bhasin can be a well-liked Bollywood playback singer, with hits similar to ‘Asaalam-e-Ishqum’ in Gunday and ‘Dhunki’ in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Kamat can be a singer, having sung for motion pictures together with Dev and Pressure. She is, nonetheless, largely seen posting covers on Instagram. Mohapatra has additionally had a profitable playback profession in Bollywood and dabbled in performing.