Music buffs have one more reason to rejoice. The original music reality show Sa Ra Ga Ma Pa is back with the sixth season of its junior format, Sa Ra Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs. After screening more than 60,000 entries over 8 weeks of grueling auditions across 27 cities to discover India’s most talented singers, only 15 of the most striking voices will be seen tonight on the show. The earlier season made stars from some very talented kids like Azmat, Shreyasi Bhattacharjee, Hemant Brijwasi, Yatharth Ratnum, Abhigyan Das, Swarit Shukl, Gagan Gaonkar to name a few.
In a ‘Back to School’ format that lends itself to a spirited atmosphere of camaraderie and fun, these L’il Champs will represent their schools and make their parents and teachers proud as they floor the viewers with their command over sur and taal week-on-week. This season, the kids will be mentored by none other than music composer-turned-actor Himesh Reshammiya, the soulful playback singer Javed Ali and joining them for the very first time on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs will be India’s biggest singing sensation and playback singerNeha Kakkar. Himesh, with his magnificent transformation, gets the ‘Hottie HR’ tag. Lauding the contribution of supportive parents in shaping the talent of their kids, he is often seen saying, “All mummies and all daddies are equal to … ishwar allah ram”. Tagged as ‘Naughty Neha’, the Kaala Chashma sensation is warm, affectionate and goes ‘Awwwwww’ every time she sees a cute kid walk in. Equally quick to get emotional, she swells up if she has to turn a single kid away. Javed Ali is fondly called ‘Jaadu Bhaiyya Mummywaale’ as every mother who landed with her kid at the auditions seemed to be a big Javed fan or had a crush on him. Having been a rage with the audiences in as many as five prior seasons of the show, the young and charming Aditya Narayan returns to host the upcoming season. For the first time ever on Li’l champs, a panel of 30 jury members who are experts from the music fraternity, will closely assess the aspiring child singers right from the audition stage and help the mentors in the selection process.
Looking at a cross-section of this season’s contestants, one will see great diversity amongst their genres and gharaanas, backgrounds and aspirations … from a security guard’s daughter who gives you goose-bumps with her flair for folk music to the adorable voice behind the popular song Hanikarak Bapu … from a child prodigy of classical music who gave even Javed Ali a run for his taiyaari to the youngest child composer in the Golden Book of Records to a li’l rapper who can rap at the pace of 220 words per minute. This season is clearly packed with variety, quality and substance.
Judge Himesh Reshmaiya says, “I am thrilled to be part of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs. I’ve had a long association with Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and for me it’s like coming back to my home ground, my family. The phenomenal talent that we get on this show is extraordinary, as the creative team ensures that they get only the best from the country. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa has given the music industry some of its finest talents and I believe there is no better platform for aspiring singers. This show is a learning ground for all. I was a part of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs earlier as a guest judge and I felt privileged to be surrounded by such phenomenal talent. I’m really looking forward to judging the show again”.
Judge Javed Ali says, “When it comes to singing or any other art form, the seeds of talent are sown at a very early age. Our attempt will be to celebrate the beauty of each of these unique voices and inspire them to be the best they can. Each voice has its own individual timbre and interesting nuances that strike a different chord in the hearts of the audience. I’ve hosted and judged the show’s previous seasons and I’m very glad to be back. I was floored, back then, by the sheer range of talent on the show and this season only further ups the ante. I am keen to add value to the journey of each of the contestants by sharing my experience and learnings. Can’t wait for the season to begin!”.
Speaking on her first ever association with ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs’, Neha Kakkar said, “I’m excited to be associated with the most prestigious and definitive singing platform on Indian television. I started with being a contestant of a reality show and now I’m judging one, so it feels like life has come a full circle. When I was offered a chance to judge this show, I instantly took it up out of sheer respect for the platform. At the studio auditions, I’ve seen some phenomenal talent and I’m sure they are going to set the stage on fire with their singing abilities”.