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This Saturday night marks the debut of Real Music Live, the creation of executive producer and professional drummer Mark Hill.
The show, which features musicians performing on stage while offering insight in taped interview segments, will premiere with a half-hour special following Saturday Night Live.
It will feature X Factor alum Chris Rene in its debut and American Idol season 10 finalist Haley Reinhart in its second episode. One thing Hill will not allow in the show: autotune.
“They use autotune on a lot of singers, and they can’t sing without it. They can’t sing in key,” Hill said. “I want to get back to where people sound like their records.”
Set to broadcast in the top six markets — New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco bay area and Chicago — RML will feature performances by Rene, Reinhart, Hoobastank, Mint Condition, Los Angeles-based indie band Early Morning Rebel and recently announced Grammy-nominee R&B crooner Luke James. It will also feature an in-studio session performance by R&B Diva Faith Evans.
Hosted by radio DJ personality Prolifik, and actresses Hayley Marie Norman and Cherrilyn Silva, Real Music Live will roll out in two installments: Dec. 22 and Jan. 5.
“There won’t be anybody singing along to tracks, like on Soul Train,” Hill said. “You’ve got to bring it for real, because people want to know how you sound for real. If you sound bad, they know it. If you sing good, people will be like, ‘wow, you sound just like your record.’ So that’s what it’s really about–bringing instrumentation back to young kids, and getting them back into playing instruments.”
According to talent booker David Mitchell, he and fellow booker Karen Rocco “approached artists that we thought would be a good look and a good feel for the show.”
He added that Reinhart, for example, was a perfect fit for the show based on her live performances.
“Haley was a good mix because her music is rock, it’s pop, it’s bluesy, and it’s soulful,” he said. “She has a good thing going there.”
Additionally, Rene impressed producers with his X Factor credentials, as well as his musical style.
“He has some good songs and he’s connecting with a lot of the kids,” Mitchell said.
Real Music Live will air at 1 am on NBC on Dec. 22.
Twitter: Michele Amabile
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