Archive for August, 2017

REBUILDING FROM SCRATCH

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1994 was the beginning of the Indi Pop scene with MTV aiming to localize its content in order to make it big in India as well as working closely with record labels thus supporting them. For the record industry, it was a perfect marriage. There were some players in the market that were focused on releasing films, Ghazals, devotional and international music including HMV, Tips, T-series, Venus, Sony Music, Universal, and many others. These players were not really dependent on television to sell their music but realized that to make it big in the local scene they would need to be in bed with television. That led to other players coming into the market who wanted to solely build on the Indi Pop scene through A&R (Artist and Repertoire) like Magnasound, Crescendo, Milestone, Virgin Records, etc. to name a few relevant players. With more players in the market creating new content in audio and video format, there, obviously, was an opportunity for one more channel to come into the scene thus giving birth to Channel [v].

 

Everything was hunky dory. Music was selling. Artists were getting really popular and making money through shows. There was healthy competition between the channels and the music industry was working both with players offering opportunities of content as well as talent showcase. The years 1996 – 2000 gave birth to a number of talents that were soon going to become Bollywood singing sensations. These artistes, during that period, released original and private albums which were not done so to make it their stepping stone to Bollywood. In fact, Bollywood was not even in their minds.

 

So when did Bollywood become the be all and end all or the ultimate goal for a musical talent or a vocalist? To understand this you have to go back to 2000 – 2001. This was the time when satellite TV was booming with multiple channels and consumers were getting addicted to television. Given consumer behavior, the need for these channels to be on top of their game and track TRP became paramount. And with consumer importance increasing in the television space, Bollywood had to make its presence felt on TV if it needed to promote its films and keep the consumer engaged and drive them to theatres to continue to watch films.

 

Initially, this led to 30 – 60sec TV commercials being aired as trailers of the film by the film producers. But gradually the record labels who bought the rights to the music from the film producers started putting out songs of the films for the same duration that started getting played between non-film video content. This was the beginning of the end for non-film video content and local talent. Films were shot in 70mm and on large landscapes with picturesque quality while non-film, even the most lavish ones were being shot on 16mm at the max. The disparity was obvious. With satellite continuing to boom and the consumer having control of the remote (for changing the channel), non-film did not have a chance to survive because TRPs showed that it was directly proportional to the quantity of film content.  Hence music channels that built their entire viewer base on Indi Pop talent and content gradually stopped supporting the same and were more responsive to film content.

 

Some of the record labels that had built their business completely on the Indi Pop scene couldn’t survive with no media support while the bigger labels, that were able to evolve, grew beyond the Indi Pop scene. And so by 2004, the Indi Pop scene, that had launched some of the biggest names that were now big in Bollywood, pretty much died.

 

There were several platforms like MySpace, Reverbnation, Soundcloud and others that were picking up globally as well as local talent within India which started using these platforms to put their content out. With the advent of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, talent was able to put themselves out there with no restrictions including singing other people’s songs. At the same time, GECs (General Entertainment Channels) started attracting talent through music reality shows where it was not just about talent but about drama, stories, and dreams. But all of this was doing nothing to revive the space for non-film content or A&R because even with so many platforms and reality shows the only content that was getting more and more popular was Bollywood. If anything good came out of this, it was that artists were taking control of their music and using a DIY method to put themselves out there. This was even to the extent that artists gave up on the belief that music can make money through consumers buying it like it did in the late 90s and instead were ready to put out their music out for free and make it popular by getting more and more people to hear it so that they could make money through shows and perform their songs to an audience that is already familiar with their work.

 

If all was going well, why would Artist Aloud get a chance to survive? The only reason for that was because an Artist may have had control of his content and the freedom for creativity but it is not an official release if it is not officially released by a company that puts out other artists content too and generates revenue for the artist along with promoting the artist.

 

Artist Aloud gave birth to several other players and also revived the non-film scene that was pretty much dead when it launched in 2010. The platform actually made other players that had been dormant for a while sit up and notice the artists again. While Bollywood has now become a global phenomenon, the non-film space in India is going through a rebirth and as anything was broken takes longer to be rebuilt as against something new, this too needs to be given time. Content in 1994 – 2000 was growing at a slow pace and only through a linear format while right now there is not only a large amount of different content but also formats including linear, digital, etc.

 

Talent is everywhere and creativity is in the hands of the common man. It is no longer a privilege of only a few. Hence Artist Aloud is democratic and allows anyone with great content to put himself/herself/themselves out there with complete control of content and creativity and freedom of expression. So, be original and download Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Reviewed By – Soumini Sridhara Paul

#MTV #IndependentMusic #ArtistAloud #BollywoodSongs #SocialMedia #MusicDownload

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Intezaar by Piyush Gupta Featuring Chinmayi Sripada

Intezaar

Hailing from Pilibhit, formerly known as Hafizabad, a city in U.P., Piyush Gupta is a music director who usually composes music, writes lyrics, and also produces his songs. I have been following his career through a trilogy of songs which commenced with “Jaanu Na Main” [about “Falling In Love”], followed by “Jane Kab Phir” [about “Missing In Love”] and “Bahon Ke Darmiyaan [which celebrates “Kissing In Love”], all of which have been impressive so, it was with much anticipation that I heard his latest effort, “Intezaar”.

Piyush does not disappoint.  The amalgamation of a contemporary theme in “waiting” and a simplistic production containing acoustic guitar, flute, and mild keyboards is precisely what makes the song distinctive. The song continues to sound fresh because of Piyush’s writing, and singer Chinmayi Sripada’s strong singing, both of whose talents combined makes “Intezaar” sound intimate and immediate.

Piyush Gupta has become an expert of sorts for producing/arranging uncluttered pop that requires no deep thinking for enjoyment and, even though his songs/renditions may be considered light, nothing changes the fact that the tracks that emanate from his roster remain pleasing to the ears. It is with much “Intezaar” that I look forward to Piyush’s next song!

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘Intezaar’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music: http://bit.ly/2uxDQxl
iTunes India: http://apple.co/2fApoxN

Also Available on iTunes International, Wynk Music, Reliance Jio Music, Idea Music Lounge.

24 Hours Irresponsible by Shibani Kashyap & Quino featuring Stylebhai

24 Hours Irresponsible

Born in New Delhi, singer Shibani Kashyap is a graduate in English Literature, largely composing music in the Sufi-western blend with songs like “Sajna Aa Bhi Jaa”, “Ho Gayi hai Mohabbat”, and “Zinda”. However, on “24 Hours Irresponsible”, Shibani takes a tangent, and how.

Taking on pop-inflected reggae – courtesy composers Bruce Carlin and Rajesh Roy – Shibani does as much to the song to move it away from mainstream reggae and right into international appeal due to the support of fellow vocalist, Joaquin McWhinney, the frontman of Big Mountain, a band that had its genesis in the U.S. and scored a ‘Top 10’ in 1994 with a rendition of guitarist Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way”. Singer Joaquin is more popularly known as “Quino”, who is of Mexican/Irish heritage, where several of his family members were musicians that performed mariachi, a genre that is atypical of Western Mexico. Quino’s interest in reggae occurred after viewing a documentary about Bob Marley.

Nevertheless, returning to “24 Hours Irresponsible”, both singers Shibani and Quino have retained their attention-grabbing, radio-friendly voices, delivering it with that big blast of light musical sunshine that extends from reggae to raga, covering the languages of English and Hindi.

For those interested in trivia, Shibani was one of the 29 independent and mainstream artists who were part of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment’s then new independent music venture in 2010, ArtistAloud.com which, according to Shibani, “is a great site as it gives artists their individual space and a platform.”

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘24 Hours Irresponsible’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music: http://bit.ly/2wRYzZl
iTunes India: http://apple.co/2vwLANo

Also Available on iTunes International, Wynk Music, Reliance Jio Music, Idea Music Lounge.

Kabootar by Euphoria

Kabootar

New Delhi-based Euphoria was formed in 1988 by then medical student Dr. Palash Sen with his like-minded, musically-inclined friends. Shifting through several lineups since, success remained elusive until 10 years later when their debut studio album, titled ‘Dhoom’, released in the October 1998, contained the massive hit, “Dhoom Pichuk Dhoom”, thanks to its popular music video.

It is almost 30 years now since the band’s inception and Euphoria still survive. Much credit for that is because they are not caught in any time warp, but have reinvented themselves with changing times, moving away from the pure pop of the past by presenting progressive punk rock for the future as can now be witnessed with “Kabootar” which is, says the media release, “Euphoria’s tribute to millions who suffer from syndromes of the mind, and [from] mental illnesses”.

Given the chaos surrounding the endless genres of music currently available on the internet, Euphoria shakes off cluttered distractions and return to setting precedents by a fresh maturity in their songwriting on “Kabootar” – thanks to the composition by vocalist Palash Sen and bassist Debajyoti “DJ” Bhaduri – with their obvious rock influences; a marked departure from most of their work from the past, including last year’s “Halla Bol”. “Kabootar” retains a sense of righteous indignation reminiscent of early The Who [for those who listen to Classic Rock from the West] with harder stabs at social significance, but “Kabootar” also shifts the focus back on how the band really can craft dynamic rock songs, showing Euphoria having retained a flair for the dramatic, especially with its manic guitar courtesy of member Amborish “Ambo” Saikia.

With “Kabootar”, it is obvious that Euphoria is a more experimentation mode rather than treading merely into the comfort zone of combining Indian instrumentation with safe Western sounds. Of course, speedy, catchy punk rock is, at the moment, the forefront of the group’s sound and, with it, Euphoria proves that their sound on “Kabootar” is paradoxically no longer pigeon-holed!

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘Kabootar’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music: http://bit.ly/2vOEtCd

Also Available on iTunes International, Wynk Music, Reliance Jio Music, Idea Music Lounge.