On 2nd June 2018, hundreds of the country’s finest sound engineers and music industry professionals gathered at the 12th consecutive edition of the Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards (IRAA) ceremony held in Hall 4 of the Bombay Exhibition Centre, on the sidelines of the PALM Expo 2018.

Honouring Excellence in Sound Recording and Audio Production, the IRAA Awards 2018, marked a grand celebration attended by stalwarts of the Indian Music industry. What began as a small gathering, 12 years ago, to honour the relatively unrecognized sound engineering talent in the country became a tremendous success this year, as the awards platform achieved critical attention from the fraternity, many of whom were present in strength at the awards ceremony.


The IRAA 2018 Awards ceremony was hosted by celebrated voice artiste and President of India’s leading dubbing company – Sound & Vision India, the lively Mona Shetty, who effortlessly carried on the great relationship she has with the sound recording fraternity onto the stage, keeping the tempo of the awards upbeat.

“Celebrities including India’s most celebrated Indian composer, singer-songwriter, and music producer - A. R. Rahman, popular Indian playback singer - Sonu Nigam, Indian composer duo – Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa and legendary Indian percussionist – Sivamani also graced the Awards Ceremony.

A.R. Rahman presented the posthumous award for Life Time Achievement in Sound Recording to his lifelong sound engineer, the Late H. Sridhar, who was instrumental in catapulting A.R. Rahman to fame and glory. Sridhar was the Chief Audio Engineer at Media Artists Chennai and among his many professional credits was the fact that he engineered all songs and background scores for A. R. Rahman. Having pioneered the use of Digital Sound for Indian films in the DTS format, Sridhar successfully completed six-track surround sound mixing for more than 200 films. The award was accepted by H. Sridhar’s son, Vinay Sridhar.


In 2012, Mr. Murthy took up the challenge and initiative of imparting music training to underprivileged kids at The Sunshine Orchestra and has been the mentor and conductor for the orchestra since then. His strict and disciplined classrooms and immense experience in the industry has helped the orchestra become what it is today.


The LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC went posthumously to keyboard player par excellence, the Late Viji Manuel.

Manuel, specially known for his fusing of Jazz and rock influences into film music especially in the 80s, played a very important role in Ilaiyaraaja’s compositions, with his keyboard skills and bass guitar, and also lent his voice for a few songs and penned the lyrics for quite a few songs of the Maestro. Many of the keyboard and bass guitar players currently in the film industry still consider him a huge inspiration in their career.

Mr. Rahman wished the Academy a great success in years to come. “It’s just a small seed sown which is growing and growing,” he said.

Besides the aforementioned three jury awards, IRAA received hundreds of nominations on the IRAA website, demonstrating a fantastically growing receptiveness to the awards from studios from all over the country. Pramod Chandorkar, Honorary Chairman of the IRAA Award Committee 2018 and Aditya Modi, Award Director for IRAA 2018 focused on bringing to the limelight, new technical studio talent and awarding them for superlative engineering work. (See complete list of winners in adjacent box.)

The IRAA committee’s efforts and vision was supported by a 10-member jury comprising of top audio engineers from across the country, who spent many hours of hard study, to scout the best work from across the country from among the nominations received. Esteemed Jury members included – Ashish Saksena, Bishwadeep Chatterjee, Indrajit Sharma, Mujeeb Dadarkar, Vijay Bengal, Vijay Dayal and Yogesh Pradhan, besides Aditya Modi and Pramod Chandorkar.


Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa presented the awards in the Audio Post Production segment, while Sivamani presented the trophies to winners from the Music Production category.

With the objective of recognizing the regional music industry, the IRAA awards 2018 retained ‘Regional Awards’ in the Audio Engineering, Audio Post Production and Music Production segments to honour talent outside Mumbai.

“There is a very strong sentiment that talent of global standard is missing in India. ‘That’ Indian singing talent that can mesmerise the world does not exist. It might in future be nurtured or born or breakthrough. Question is whether the recording arts is of global level. Is our recording talent adequate or does this missing worldwide hit have to be recorded in London where Bollywood tracks are mastered?,” stated Anil Chopra in his keynote address.

“India has two nodes in music recording. One is Chennai the other Mumbai. Both centres have delivered outstanding music, which this great country with all its diversity has loved and heard and rejoiced and these songs have become our culture. I have great expectations, that next year, at the 13th IRAA, we honour ‘That’ song and track that rocks the world - be it English or Hindi or Tamil or any language,” he added.


Meanwhile the organisers are aiming to register one-lakh members to the Academy, who will drive the IRAA awards forward. All sound engineers, music professionals and music industry technicians are invited to register for membership on www.iraa.in.

“While recording engineers work as a body and make the awards, the formal Academy is a work in progress which will begin initiating members soon. Hopefully, by 2019 we have a body of members who will get to vote their choice from nominations short listed,” concluded Mr. Anil Chopra.