Ten under-privileged children from Pune will sing along with music legend Shankar Mahadevan in a new album titled Ek Nayee Umeed. Produced under the trained ears of local musician Uday Deshpande, the album has a total of six tracks.
Around 50 children, nominated by different city NGOs, auditioned for the album, out of which ten made to the final list. These children then trained under Deshpande, who introduced them to the basic techniques of singing for a month. Deshpande also helped the children prepare for the studio recording sessions.
“The kids were not very confident earlier, which was obvious, going by their lack of experience with singing. But during the course of the training, they picked up things very fast, and performed way above the expectations. All songs are very inspirational. Hopefully, this album will give a platform to the uncharted talent in them,” says Ramdas.
The children are the lead singers in two songs, whereas they can be heard as the chorus in the rest four songs. Eighteen-year-old Ravi Wagole, who has been living with an NGO named Maher for the last 10 years is elated to have performed along with Mahadevan. “I always wanted to make a career in music but was unable to get a chance. Here onwards, I will practise harder to fulfill my dream to be a singer,” he adds.
Sheetal Kharka, founder and managing director of Innocent Heroes Foundation, which has been instrumental behind making the album a reality, says that the idea for the album came from the children themselves. “The album was the kids’ idea. We have been honing the hidden talents of underprivileged kids to help them make a career in them, so giving a chance to the right children was necessary,” she says.
The songs in the album sound peppy, are motivational, and composed to boost one’s determination. The album is set to release early next month, but the foundation still needs support for the launch, distribution and producing a video to promote the album.