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A host of new singers have arrived, but longevity is missing: Bipin Pandit

Bipin Pandit
Bipin Pandit

Bipin R Pandit, COO, The Advertising Club and avid music lover, is back with yet another edition of his annual musical extravaganza – Khumaar. Khumaar, means the intoxication, the hangover that comes with something so enchanting that one would want to experience it time and again. And so is the musical nite that sees a host of singers bring alive different emotions with their performance amongst an audience drawn from India’s music, advertising and marketing industries. 

As Pandit gears up for Khumaar, which will be held in Mumbai on February 10, 2018, Adgully caught up with him to know where the music maverick unfolds his idea behind his musical endeavour, his thoughts on promoting new talent in music, his association with The Ad Club and much more. Excerpts: 

How do you look back at your over two-decade long association with The Ad Club?
The Advertising Club is rightly said to be the biggest and busiest kind of Club in the world. It is always on a hyperactive drive. I look upon my association of 20 years with The Advertising Club with a lot of pride and satisfaction. I have been in a unique position as I have had 16 bosses over the years, nobody below the cadre of CEO, MD, CMO and Director. I have enriched myself staying in their elite company and what is truly satisfying is having contributed to The Advertising Club big time in these 20 years. It is the urge to approach and do my job differently, accept new challenges and take pride in the sense of achievement that keeps me going as also my genuine love for people. The entire list of contributions made to the Advertising Club is on my website, www.bipinpandit.com. 

Khumaar will be completing 12 years of mesmerising its audience. How has the journey been so far?
It gives me a lot of pleasure and delight whenever I speak about Khumaar, my musical nite, which by God’s grace and good wishes of friends all over has gone on to become a brand. Today, I am in the 12th year of Khumaar and the graph of the show has moved upwards over the years. This can be gauged from the fact that I started the show at Welingkar then went on to MET, a slightly bigger place, then Savarkar Hall which has a capacity of 477, followed by Manik Sabhagriha at Bandra, which has capacity of 800, and my 12th year show is happening on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 5.30 pm at the Ravindra Natya Mandir auditorium, which has a capacity of 900-plus. It is extremely satisfying to declare that my show is housefull without a single newspaper advertisement, bus-shelter or outdoor hoarding. 

The journey has been truly satisfying. In fact, I will be moving to different cities like Baroda, Nasik, Indore, Bhopal, Pune, and Ahmedabad to do my shows in future. 

Celebrating music, your musical group – Khumaar – consists of members from across the music fraternity. How has the diversity with the versatility shaped up over the years?
I have always belonged to the music fraternity as a professional, who has been doing shows actively either as a compere or a mimic or both for the past 30 years. Since the day I floated my group, Khumaar, I have been in a space to which I belong, I have got a flair for communication, my familiarity with languages and fondness for them add to it the tadka of mimicry, which has helped me a great deal. I guess, God has given me this gift and recognition as an artist besides being the COO of The Advertising Club. 

What will be the theme of the show in its 12th edition?
In the 11th year of the show, which was held on February 5, 2017, the theme was ‘Valentine’s Special Romantic Songs Only’. This year, the show’s theme is ‘Dil Mein Khumaar Jagaanewale Songs Only’. 

What are the differentiators that make Khumaar stand apart from the plethora of musical events?
The biggest difference between Khumaar and other musical nites are:

  • My show is well segmented – Solo & Duets, Classical Segment, Qawwali Segment, New Songs Segment, Regional Songs Segment, Dance and Mimicry Sequence. There is also a segment called ‘Khumaar Ki Khoj’, in which I provide a chance to an upcoming talented artist to perform on the Khumaar platform.
  • While compering, I keep on narrating interesting anecdotes, narrate Urdu Shayari and do some mimicry imitating film stars that people enjoy. I am strong on my research.
  • I like to interact and mingle with the audience, which gives my show an informal touch which is loved by the audience.
  • Some people love to shake a leg on some peppy number. We provide them with colourful elements that look good.

Who are the advertisers and producers on board for this event? 
I am extremely thankful to all the sponsors who have supported my event. Some of them have been with me for 12 years. This year, the Presenting Sponsor is Colors, the ‘Powered By’ sponsor is Mahindra & Mahindra, the ‘Co-powered By’ sponsor is Vodafone India. The Associate Sponsors are Tata Salt, Chitralekha, Jaya Advertising, Dainik Bhaskar and Ultratech Cement. 

How are you promoting this event across media?
The promotion has happened only through social media and the show is housefull. 

The event has mostly focused on the advertising and media industry. Any plans to open the event to a larger audience in the future?
I started this event primarily for the Advertising, Media & Marketing industry but today it is a ticketed show and the tickets are sold to the general public as well as due to which my show has presence of some die hard Khumaar loyals and a great number of potential Khumaar loyals. It is gaining in popularity with every passing year. Imagine an audience of 850 to 900! 

How has the ‘Khumaar Ki Khoj’ platform been helping out upcoming talent?
Shrinidhi Ghatate, a young girl from Nagpur whom I launched in Khumaar Ki Khoj, has gone on to become a playback singer. This year, I will be launching a boy called Javed Khan, a classically trained singer who in my estimation has the potential to become a playback singer. The other singers whom I had launched in Khumaar Ki Khoj are also getting big shows. My music arranger, Dinesh Ghate, has been with me for 12 years now. He is like a family member, who also recommends a deserving singer who needs a break. 

What are the challenges that you have faced in discovering the talent and giving them the right exposure?
Today, because of the popularity of Khumaar, I keep on receiving requests from various parts of India and even abroad from people who want to appear for auditions and get a break to sing at Khumaar. Moreover, my personal thirst to unearth new talent never stops. With an overall experience of more than 30 years, I can pick up talent pretty fast. My network is also very strong. 

We see music, mimicry and a lot of frolic happening in every edition of Khumaar. What more can one expect from this year’s edition?
The new thing that you can expect at the 12th edition is a fantastic act by well-known film and stage artist Bharat Dabholkar, who is also a much loved advertising professional. 

Could you go back in time and tell us how the Khumaar journey began? Also, what goes into preparing for such a mega event?
Having been on stage for a long time, I always aspired to have my own group. Further, my experience at The Advertising Club also involved organising some of the biggest shows in the country. This strengthened my desire to form my own musical nite and thus Khumaar was born. 

A lot is involved in preparing for an event of this magnitude:

  • Compiling of a budget
  • Lining up of sponsors
  • Lining up of singers & musicians
  • Preparing the list of hit songs to be performed
  • Choosing the right singer to sing those songs
  • Sound and Light arrangement
  • Booking of the right auditorium
  • Preparation of creatives & promotions on social media
  • Press Coverage
  • Invitation to VIPs from the Advertising, Media & Marketing industry
  • Invite a Chief Guest, if any
  • Ensuring full house by sale of tickets, lining up of Event Manager
  • Stage design
  • Giveaway in the form of music DVDs, CDs, etc.
  • Live Webcast

How do you see the music industry shaping up today amid strong digital and technological influences?
I use to sing in my childhood and get invited to parties hosted by uncles. I love music and I will keep on supporting music, but surely the days of the Golden Era of 1950 to 1970 will never come back. The music industry today is sound on technology, as a result of which a singer with lesser ability is also made to sound like a super singer, but the reality emerges very soon and nobody has a run like Rafi saab, Kishore da, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, Talat Mahmood and Mahendra Kapoor. 

A host of new singers and musicians have arrived, but that longevity is missing. 

Going forward, what are your plans for Khumaar?
I would love Khumaar to make name at all major cities in India and also do shows abroad.

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