The Dharavi Project

Pictured from L-R: Devraj Sanyal, MD Universal Music Group and EMI South Asia; Max Hole, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group International; Shekhar Kapur, Qyuki co-founder; A R Rahman, Qyuki co-founder; Samir Bangara, Qyuki co-founder & Managing Director

Thursday, 15th January 2015, Mumbai – Leading record label Universal Music and Qyuki, a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) co-founded by Academy Award winners, director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth), musician and composer AR Rahman (Elizabeth, Slumdog Millionaire) and former MD Digital of Disney India, Samir Bangara today announced `The Dharavi Project’ a corporate social responsibility initiative. This one-of-a-kind initiative will fund the expansion of the music and dance school in Dharavi, which was established by Qyuki in March 2014. The school aims to discover fresh talent from Dharavi, India and Asia’s largest slum, and nurture them through the program and amplify them on a domestic and international scale via digital and traditional media.

Universal Music will deploy funds towards basic infrastructure, rent, utilities and equipment for the students of the school. Through this initiative Qyuki and Universal Music aim to nurture home-grown talent and provide them with a platform to showcase their potential. To further enhance learning and exposure, Universal Music will periodically bring in prominent singers, musicians, choreographers, producers and the like to mentor young artists from Dharavi while Qyuki will amplify content via its digital broadcast network on a domestic and international scale.

Speaking on the association, Max Hole, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group International, said, “Music has extraordinary power and I am very proud to be here in Mumbai on behalf of UMG to help give these children an education in all aspects of making music. Whether we produce stars out of the programme or simply a lifelong love of music, we will have succeeded in giving them a start along the path of discovery of this beautiful form of expression.”

Commenting on this partnership, legendary composer and Qyuki Co -Founder AR Rahman, said, “I am glad that this initiative we started at Qyuki last year is maturing into a platform that provides underprivileged children a level playing field with equal opportunity as their domestic and international peers.”

`The Dharavi Project’ went live today at a launch event in the heart of Dharavi in the presence of A R Rahman, Shekhar Kapur and UMGI Chairman & CEO Max Hole along with Qyuki co-founder, MD Samir Bangara and MD, Universal Music Group/EMI, South Asia, Devraj Sanyal.

Through a sustained long term plan, `The Dharavi Project’ will cover all elements in the making of a music star including scouting talent, styling, mentoring, providing studio time, producing videos, optimizing their online video presence across digital video platforms and eventually rewarding the most promising talent with a 360 degree label deal.

About Universal Music India

Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd. (UMIPL) is a 100% subsidiary of the Universal Music Group (UMG) and is home to record labels such as A&M Records, Blue Note Records, Capitol Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Caroline, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Emarcy, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group, Virgin Records, Virgin EMI Records. UMIPL has an extremely rich Indian catalogue comprising songs from classic Hindi and Regional Films, IndiPop, Bhangra, Ghazals and Devotional. It’s enviable catalogue includes artistes such as Asha Bhosle, Anup Jalota, Bombay Vikings, Jagjit Singh, JoSh, Malkit Singh, Pankaj Udhas, Panjabi MC, Raghav, Mohit Chouhan, Euphoria, Adnan Sami, Rabbi Shergill, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to name a few. UMIPL `film’ catalogue (the 2nd largest in India) spans music from blockbusters such as Sholay, Qurbani, Amar Akbar Anthony, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Devdas and Munnabhai MBBS amongst the numerous jewels which symbolize the musical journey from the 70’s to date. On the International music front, UMIPL are the clear market leaders with artistes such as ABBA, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Enrique Iglesias, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, The Beatles, UB40, Deep Purple, Enigma, Norah Jones, Deadmau5, The Chemical Brothers, amongst host of others, popular music icons and household names in India.

About Qyuki

Qyuki, a company co-founded by Shekhar Kapur, AR Rahman and Samir Bangara, helps creators build their fan following by producing and distributing online videos with the aim to create enduring intellectual properties. Qyuki aims to democratize creativity. The primary focus of Qyuki is to vest the power of creativity and the ability to make money with the creator. This power manifests in the form a network where the artists can jam, create and make a living through something they’re passionate about. Artists have access to studio-floors, cameras, lights, editing suites, sound studios and a team of filmmakers, sound engineers and editors. The artist gets support from Qyuki right from conceptualizing, executing to finally presenting their creativity to their audience through Qyuki’s Multi-Platform Network. Qyuki has an exclusive alliance with Universal Music to promote and monetize musical talent. In December 2014, Qyuki announced an exclusive India network alliance with Fullscreen Inc., one of the largest global MCNs majority owned by Chernin Media and AT&T

Marquee creators in the Qyuki network include AR Rahman, Ranjit Barot, Salim-Sulaiman, and successful YouTubers Shraddha Sharma, Gaurav Dagaonkar and Siddharth Slathia, amongst several others. Qyuki also co-owns formats like the Boss Dialogues (as seen on TV) and Eff ’n Bedi along with celebrity Pooja Bedi.