Indians have mastered music and dance, and produce more musicals than any other country in the world, says Simon Fuller, the name behind global entertainment hits including Spice Girls and “Pop Idol”. On a lookout for Indian faces for his new global pop group Now United, he is also open to do a show called “Hollywood to Bollywood” where talent could swap places to make a musical in each other’s country.
“India was one of the first countries I thought of while planning this project (Now United). India has such an incredible history and music and dance is a very important part of your culture. I want Now United to have that same spirit and passion,” Fuller told IANS in an email interview from Los Angeles.
“In India, you have mastered music and dance, you produce more musicals than any country in the world and that is the skills I want in Now United. My expectation from the Indian candidates is that they will understand the celebration of music and dance of Now United better than any other country,” he added.
Now United will showcase the talent of young boys or girls with a passion for performing and will have representatives from India alongside artistes from ten countries, including Japan, Korea, China, Britain, US, Mexico and Brazil.
Fuller says that out of many Indian talents who ventured out into the world, “a great number of them have succeeded”.
“I hope that Now United will inspire many more to attempt this,” he said, adding that “there is still a mystique about Bollywood to the rest of the world”.
“I don’t think many people really understand it. I would love to do a show called ‘Hollywood to Bollywood’, where a group of entertainers swap places to make a musical in each other’s country. A true creative swap, that would be quite a show,” Fuller told IANS.
Certified by Billboard as the most successful British manager of all time, the stars guided by Fuller are Annie Lennox, Kelly Clarkson, The Spice Girls, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood and others.
In 2011, Fuller was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His interests today include the ownership of commercial ventures with iconic sportsman David Beckham and award-winning fashion labels run by Victoria Beckham and Roland Mouret, while his sports business has brokered deals for F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, Tour De France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and tennis champion Andy Murray.
Asked about what he is looking for in the Indian contestants for “Now United”, he said: “I will be looking for the spiritual power that India is so renowned for.
“The commitment and devotion that is so important to achieve the best results. They need to be a triple threat, singing, dancing and acting. They need to have a real desire to share all their talent with the rest of the world. I can’t wait to see the final selection and visit India myself to choose that special person.”
Fuller says he loves India and feels that some of the most beautiful people in the world come from India.
“I love India. The history, the spiritual diversity, the love of the arts and the commitment to excellence. It is a beautiful country and that same beauty is in the people and the things they love, from art to music to fashion. Some of the most beautiful people in the world come from India,” he said.
The national casting or auditions of “Now United” will take place in Mumbai on Wednesday at True School of Music at Lower Parel. Those outside Mumbai, can send in a one-minute film of their singing and dancing talent as an online entry at the official website of the group.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)