Hungama Artist Aloud, a platform that supports and promotes independent content, and Khazana, an annual concert that appreciates and celebrates the art of ghazals, announced the winners of the third edition of India’s first and only talent hunt for Ghazal singers – Khazana Artist Aloud Talent Hunt. 22 year old Ritwika Mukherjee from Chakradharpur (Jharkhand) and 20 year old Atul Rao from Jaipur (Rajasthan) were announced as the winners of this year’s contest and will soon be seen performing alongside Ghazal legends and judges – Pankaj Udhas, Rekha Bhardwaj, Anup Jalota, Talat Aziz and Sudeep Banerji at ‘Khazana – Festival of Ghazals’. Due to the pandemic and in order to ensure the safety of all artists, musicians, technicians and guests, this year Khazana will be a digital concert, available to stream across Hungama’s platforms.
Conducted completely digitally this year, the contest received more than 1000 entries. Besides metro cities and state capitals, towns like Gwalior, Jodhpur, Durg-Bhilainagar, Kota, Asansol, Rajkot and more, participated enthusiastically as well in the talent hunt. 20 brilliant candidates from the pool of entries were shortlisted for the final round. The final two winners were selected after multiple rounds of judging by the jury members.
Speaking about the talent hunt, Soumini Sridhara Paul, Vice President, Hungama Artist Aloud said, “Since its inception, Khazana Artist Aloud Talent Hunt has received a tremendous response from all participants. Beginning last year, we have even expanded the scope of the contest by allowing aspiring ghazal singers from around the world to participate as well. We are glad to have associated with Khazana and created a platform that takes legacy of ghazals forward and gives gifted singers a mega platform to share their talent with the world.”
Talking about the contest, Pankaj Udhas said, “Khazana Artist Aloud is a platform that aims towards building a community that not only thrives on the spirit of ghazals, but also offers the participants a chance to reach a global audience. The final concert is available to viewers worldwide and gives the winners an opportunity to perform in front of a huge audience. This contest never fails to amaze me and it fills me with great pride to have chosen artists like Ritwika and Atul as winners. ”
Khazana – A Festival of Ghazals was founded by legendary Ghazal singer and President, Parents Association Thalassemic Unit Trust, Pankaj Udhas along with Y.K. Sapru, Chairman and CEO, Founder Director, Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) with the support of ghazal maestros Talat Aziz and Anup Jalota. Currently in its 19th year, Khazana has excelled in preserving and promoting the exquisite art of Ghazal singing by giving a platform to both, new and established Ghazal singers. All proceeds from the festival go to the Parents Association Thalassemic Unit Trust (PATUT) and Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA).