“The Dewarists” is a part music-documentary and part “travelogue”televisio n series that premiered on the 16th of October at 8:00pm, on Star World India. The show features some of the most inspiring musicians across the world, from distinctly different musical backgrounds, collaborating to create original music, while exploring some of the most beautiful locations in India. By the end of each journey (episode), a set of musicians compose a very unique track, which not only reflects each other’s genres, but also incorporates the sounds and cultures of the place they travel to.
In a country where “Bollywood” (Hindi Film Industry) music has almost killed every other kind of sound in the mainstream space, it is a refreshing change to see good television involving fresh, original music. Moreover, the involvement of international acts, like Imogen Heap, Zeb and Haniya and Humble The Poet, has made it appealing to a wide range of audiences. As expressed by Shantanu Moitra – one of the artists featured in the show- the fact that the artists are not under the pressure to write music for a producer or a director, or to fit it into a storyline, makes it a true representation of their artistic personalities. However, the most interesting aspect of the show is that it encourages the collaborators, to venture out of the studios and into the cities, towns and villages across the country for inspiration.
It was a stroke of genius to get Heap for the series, because she is one of the most open-minded, free-spirited and innovative artists of her generation, as was evident during the first episode that documented the creation of “Minds Without Fear”, a collaboration between Vishal-Shekhar and Heap, filmed at Samode in Jaipur. Inspired by the Rabindranath Tagore poem “Where The Mind Is Without Fear”, “Minds Without Fear” is an infectious Rajasthani and Maharashtrian folk-inspired, indie pop-rock gem. The first episode, set the bar so high and made it quite clear that the rest of the episodes would not match up to it. However, that next episode, “Kya Khayal Hai”, filmed in Mumbai, featuring the Pakistani duo Zeb and Haniya and the Bollywood composer Shatanu Moitra and his writer/lyricist companion Swanand Kirkire, proved that the music part of this travel/music show is the best we have heard in a while, and that the show is here to stay.
Each episode of “The Dewarists” immortalises the work of the “Dewarists” in the realm of music, and showcases their rhymes, beats, lyrics, journeys, lives and the choices they made. It tells the stories of those who set out to do something formidable with an undying passion, and inspires the audiences to follow their dreams because, “some things are just worth doing”. I would recommend the show to everyone with an ear for good music and an interest in various cultures coming together.