Entertainment

Chennai’s musicians to battle it out

What do playback singer Benny Dayal and flautist Naveen Kumar have in common? Back in their college days in Chennai, both had been winners — in different categories, of course — of city-based Unwind Centre’s Underground — The Last Band Standing contest.

The annual contest, the first edition of which was held in 2001, invites talent in a number of categories: solo singing, rock and metal, light music, acoustic and acapella, and beatboxing. And this year, the underground event has reintroduced DJ battles as well, after a hiatus. The event is being held on August 22, 23 and 24 at Unwind Center, Adyar. Registrations close on August 18.

“Benny Dayal had participated in the light music category from Madras Christian College, and Naveen was participating from Hindustan College. But they are not the only ones that went really big. Many others among our winners are also contributing to the music industry currently,” says Edison Prithviraj, director of Unwind Center. And the intent behind the event is just that: to bring budding, hidden musical talents in the city a step closer to the recognition they deserve. So it is open to college students as well as working professionals. To solo acts, duos, trios, quartets, quintets and bands.

But the contest isn’t just about ‘exposure’. There are prizes worth ₹1.5 lakhs at stake. More interestingly, the winner will also get to record a single of their choice, live, as well as a video fully produced at Unwind Center. “We are tying up with Aussie Groups, Pro Musicals and Niranjan Electronics for the prizes,” says Arjun Madhavan, in charge of business development marketing at Unwind/Exodus, and one of the organisers of the event.

The registration fee is ₹300 for all categories except the DJ battle, for which it is ₹1,000 per participant. Needless to say, a separate panel of judges will be deciding the winners in each category, and the rules will differ in each as well.

For more details, visit http://unwindcenter.org/underground.html or call 42121631.

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