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Pop / Rock 30/09/2005

Asha Bhosle's 'Asha: A Brand New Album' Released

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NEW YORK and KOLKATA, India, (The Orchard) - The Orchard, the leading distributor and marketer of independent music in the world, undertook the biggest global digital marketing exercise for a major Indian artist by promoting Asha Bhosle's "Asha: A Brand New Album" released by Saregama, India's largest and oldest music company. The album has been featured on iTunes' home page, its world music page and its weekly New Music Tuesdays newsletter across iTunes stores in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium. iTunes is currently the leading digital music download store across the globe. The album will be promoted subsequently on other digital music stores across The Orchard's global distribution platform, including unique features at eMusic, Napster, and Real.

Asha Bhosle, a leading Bollywood diva and one of the most famous and successful recording artists in the history of India, has recorded over 12,000 songs for Bollywood films since launching her career in 1948 at the age of 14. Her music is known globally and besides a Grammy nomination, she has collaborated with artists like Boy George, Code Red and Michael Stipe. The album 'Asha: A Brand New Album' is based on Western interpretations of a traditional Indian genre of music called the Ghazal (meaning: a conversation between two lovers). Some of the most popular and historic Ghazals of the past have been recorded for this album, mixed with modern styles like Lounge, Funk, Jazz, Rock and Pop, to make them more accessible to the Western audience. The album is produced by Pandit Somesh Mathur, a well known exponent of the Ghazal who has been performing and recording in India and internationally for over 21 years.

The Orchard has a proven track record introducing other indigenous music styles to a western audience. It began distributing the music of India in September 2004, highlighted by the leading Indian label Saregama, and is launching a major initiative around the music of China in October, initially on iTunes and eMusic. Thus far, The Orchard's international programs have performed extremely well, providing unique content to digital retailers and material revenue streams to non-Western music copyright holders.

The Orchard will distribute and promote 'Asha: A Brand New Album' to more than 125 of the world's leading digital music stores, including iTunes, eMusic, Napster, MSN, Real/Rhapsody, and Yahoo!/ MusicMatch. In addition, The Orchard will supply the KCA content through its distribution partnerships with over 200 leading mobile companies around the world, including Sprint, Mobilestreams, Dwango Wireless, Zingy, 9 Squared, IAM Mobile, and Arvato Mobile.

"Representing the most famous and prolific Bollywood singer is an honor and a privilege for The Orchard," said Greg Scholl, chief executive of The Orchard and managing director of Dimensional Associates, Inc, the private equity fund that owns The Orchard, eMusic, and Dimensional Music Publishing. "Through our close programming partnerships with the leading digital music services worldwide, and our commitment to exposing non-Western music to new audiences, we are achieving an unprecedented level of success for the music of India in the digital space. Our collaboration with Saregama and Asha is the first of many between us and our international partner labels and artists. Digital retail tears down the barriers that traditionally have kept great music from flowing freely across borders. We are proud to lead the way in introducing this great music to new fans."

"This is the perfect example of how a great product, a digital distribution platform and the strong partnership between The Orchard and Saregama can expose Indian artists to millions across the globe," said Dilip R. Mehta, managing director of Saregama and chief executive of Saregama's Entertainment Sector. "This is another landmark in our digital initiative."

"'Asha: A Brand New Album' is a reflection of my music, in totality," said Pandit Somesh Mathur. "It has been a privilege and my pleasure in working with the living legend, Asha Bhosle, who has surpassed all parameters of vocal virtuosity, on this album. We are indeed fortunate to have the album featured so heavily on iTunes. It is indeed extremely gratifying to know, that the world has embraced the music, with such great passion."

"It has always been my endeavor to perform and patronize music, which is fresh, challenging and of top calibre. The album, 'Asha: A Brand New Album' has universal appeal and is like a breath of fresh air," said Asha Bhosle. "I am so overwhelmed to know that the album is featured prominently on iTunes.
My gratitude to one and all."

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