India’s first of its kind folk music docu series EQUALS launches on OTT

Features Ricky Kej, Warsi Brothers, Swarathma, The Yellow Diary and More, Produced by Anahad Foundation, the show brings viewers seven unique collaborations from around the country, celebrating diversity and harmony

Mumbai, 17th January 2024: EQUALS, India’s one of its kind first folk music documentary series is out on OTT, highlighting regional and national icons across multiple genres. Created by Anahad Foundation, the 7- episodic series features Grammy and Padma Shri Awardees celebrating the spirit of songwriting. The lineup includes Ricky Kej, Warsi Brothers, Swarathma, Jumma Jogi, Faridkot, Sucharita Gupta, The Yellow Diary, Desraj Lachkani, Shadow and Light, Rina Das, Aswekeepsearching, Dulal Manki, Rasika Shekar and Prahlad Tipanya. Rooted in memory and tradition, the series spotlights 7 rich styles in Indian folk – Thumri, Baul, Qawwali, Dhad, Kabir poetry, Jhumur and Mewati.

Supported by Zee Enterprises, EQUALS is the first folk collaborative series on national OTT (JioCinema) and will be available for audiences across the globe. It is helmed by the New Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation Anahad Foundation, which is committed to empower folk music and musicians through technology and opportunities to monetise their art. Their previous initiatives, such as BackPack Studio, have recorded and catalogued one of the largest oral folk traditions repertoires that can be accessed by everyone.

Watch the trailer of EQUALS here:

About the effect of EQUALS, producer Abhinav Agrawal says, “EQUALS delves into the journey of songwriting for each artist, exploring how their life experiences shape their distinctive styles. Each episode ends with a song, offering viewers a tangible grasp of the songwriting process. The series encourages every viewer to reflect on themselves and understand what makes them who they are”.

Each episode of EQUALS explores different parts of the country. Chapter one features Sucharita Gupta’s Thumri music movement for women in Varanasi. Chapter two delves into the love-led Dhad folk of Desraj Lachkani from Patiala. Episode three showcases the revolution of Alwar’s satirist Jumma Jogi. In episode four, the empowering Baul call of Rina Das from Santiniketan unfolds. Episode five highlights community rights leader Dulal Manki’s Assamese folk. The sixth episode unveils the Kabir music of Prahlad Tipanya from Luniya Khedi. In the final episode, Warsi Brothers from Hyderabad showcase the enriching legacy of Qawwali music. Each episode runs for 30 minutes, tracing the story of the folk artist and their meeting and creation process with collaborators. All chapters come to a close with a music video.

About the community powering EQUALS, producer Shuchi Roy says, “EQUALS embodies our heartfelt passion, nurtured with unwavering dedication and boundless love, and we are now elated to unveil it to all of you. This project blossomed from the tapestry of heartwarming stories and the discovery of exceptional talents, forging our relentless mission to share these enriching experiences with the world”.

This first-of-its-kind series is gaining attention for spotlighting India’s musical multiculturalism on the global stage by bagging International Documentary Association’s Jury Award. Directed by National Award Winner Suruchi Sharma, every chapter in EQUALS is an ode to the diversity and harmony of the country. The docuseries is produced by Anahad Foundation which works towards generating employment and sustainable livelihood for folk musicians around the nation. In the current era, during which authentic storytelling is on the rise, EQUALS preserves a promising future for creatives. Through EQUALS, Anahad Foundation introduces India’s enduring music legacy to the world.

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