Archive for September, 2017

ARISE

FINAL-16

Everyone knows the Pied Piper story. In today’s context, it applies to people who follow the crowd blindly. As human beings, we are all scared to do something different. There is always the nagging feeling that if it was possible then it would have already been done. Just imagine if there weren’t some people who thought differently. We wouldn’t have so many things that we all have become so used to today. Every new invention or idea faces resistance mainly due to lack of precedence. It is only when one dreamer who manages to tide the wave and push forward against all odds and makes a mark that people start accepting anything new.

We are a product of influence and habit. We avoid showing people that we may not like or do something that everyone does. It is only when the numbers increase is when we acknowledge that we liked it or accepted it before anyone else. This interestingly is human behavior and is agnostic to any sector, industry or area of interest. We want more of what everybody wants.

Ironically though, we are also a race that gets bored very easily and have a very small attention span. We do not accept something till everybody does and once everybody does and it becomes common, we want something new. And then the cycle continues again.

This is a phenomenon we noticed in the live space with artists who have been performing regularly at venues. A number of artists have been performing for years and have been attracting patrons to venues in a ticketed format. These artists have gained fame through these venue performances and through them the venues have gained popularity as an entertainment destination. But lately, the consumer has started becoming more and more immune to the regular artists and becoming less responsive to them refusing to pay an entry charge just for the artist. We see this in festivals too which have become more about the experience and less about who the artist is. In some of the most popular festivals, you hear more about the production and the availability of liquor than who the artists were unless it is already a big popular name.

So we believed it was time to not just build new heroes in the live venue space but also create an experience for the consumer that will attract him to come to the venue. The idea is to pull the consumer towards the venue for what he looks at, which is value for money on what he consumes and also discover new musical experiences which we curate and present. And thus was born, ARISE.

ARISE is a joint IP between Artist Aloud and Hard Rock Cafe to build Tuesdays as the new night for you to step out and enjoy a Happy Extended Hour along with some amazing musical performances that will make your next day seem worth getting up for. It is meant to become the midweek dose for fun and inspiration. We aim to present artists who will present their passion and in the process make you passionate enough to do your daily deeds.

mailer-02

26th Sept 2017 was the first event done to launch ARISE at Hard Rock Cafe, Worli and had an amazing opening night with the North East sensation, Alobo Naga launching his second album, Kini available through Artist Aloud and its distribution network. The event was also graced by Kailash Kher, Uday Benegal, and Director, Music Task Force, Nagaland, Gugs Chischi as the chief guests. The event was promoted not just by Artist Aloud and Hard Rock Cafe but also by Alobo himself who went all out to communicate to his fans that he would be performing at this event. To me personally, this was one of the most fulfilling partnerships we have ever had with both the venue and the artist. And I would say that it was the best beginning for something new.

ARISE will now be taken to Hard Rock Cafe, Andheri on the 31st Of Oct 2017. Stay tuned for more information on our social handles.

ARISE for the Artists; ARISE for yourselves; ARISE with Artist Aloud and Hard Rock Cafe.

 

Authored by Soumini Sridhara Paul

Advertisements

All About Music – An Industry Person’s Perspective

I started my career in 1994 as a singer in Bengaluru after I graduated from St. Xavier’s college with a Statistics Major. I left Mumbai to go back to my home in Bengaluru where my family had shifted while I was in college. When I moved to Bengaluru, singing as a career was not even in the pipeline but it happened by chance. A chance meeting with one event organiser led me to  perform in shows with him and with various other event organisers across the country before I met with and played a demo of covers to Suresh Thomas who used to run BMG Crescendo back in 1996.

Capture

Those were the days when a label would listen to a voice and decide to invest in that voice through production, marketing and promotion. The model was quite a simple one. Artist would be invested on and recovery would be through album sales and shows. The artist was signed on exclusively with the label for a certain number of years. All the artist had to do was be present with his/her talent and the rest would be the label’s responsibility and onus to work on. The honeymoon lasted for about 5-6 years and then the scene changed.

A lot has been discussed over various forums about Bollywood swallowing up the space for the flourishing Indie Pop scene over the years by killing it with players like television and radio totally abandoning anything that is either non-Bollywood or not having become big enough through digital to be played.

19956694_275399412966185_966958929342762685_o

And in comes a new player who is known as the Talent Manager to new, upcoming and extremely popular Bollywood Singers – TM Management who decides to take up the mammoth task of bringing a large part of the music industry together under one roof. And how did he do this? Tarsame Mittal, the main man reached out to some of his closest business friends who in turn reached out to some of their closest business friends and in turn used their network to help him put this together. With Tarsame investing and some key players supporting, this conference was bound to make an impact.

All in all the conference was a great success with the number of people that attended it including artists, students and industry bigwigs and the way it was organised. Tarsame was humble and composed throughout the conference.

But here are a few things that one is curious to know:

  • If this was All About Music, where were T-Series, SAREGAMA, Zee Music and Channel V?
  • If India needs to be beyond Bollywood and grow a sustainable Independent Scene too why are labels that claim to be all about Independent or companies that want to do more than Bollywood not do more towards building the scene by going back to what they used to do like when I was an artist?

Authored by Soumini Sridhara Paul – Artist Aloud, India’s Only Premium Talent and Independent Content Platform

Sound Of India – All That Matters

India is spoken about in every forum and our population of 1.3 billion people never ceases to make people dream of the opportunities they may have across whatever their business may be. But interestingly India rarely gets to showcase itself outside of its own territory in a global forum. When it comes to the SEA region as well, India often gets sidelined with focus laid on other territories including Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, China, etc. Ironically, the same was the case for one of the most prestigious and honoured global conferences namely All That Matters that had been running for more than 11 years. Every year there were representatives from India attending the conference as well as speaking at the conference but never was there a focus on the country or a showcase of the same.

MM2

However all that changed at this conference for the 12th year that happened between the 9th and 13th of Sept 2017. This year the conference not only had a special panel called Streaming In India that featured representatives from all the key players from India but also for the first time showcased an exclusive stage called Sound Of India which was Powered by Artist Aloud.

Sound Of India featured 4 extremely uniquely curated artists including Ravi Iyer with Mridangam player, Krishna, Yesterdrive, Fuzzculture and Alobo Naga who between themselves gave a flavour of what India represents musically outside of Bollywood. While India may be synonymous to Bollywood outside of India, the stage, Sound Of India gave Artist Aloud and India a chance to showcase the other side of India which is being built by a few passionate and dedicated players. To have Artist Aloud get an opportunity like this to be representing India is all credit due to Neeraj Roy from Hungama Digital Media who has been the pioneering visionary to support a platform like this and to Jasper Donat from Branded to have given the opportunity on such a prestigious platform like All That Matters that has grown to become one of the biggest global conferences.

This year was just a trailer to what I hope will be an annual affair through which India will see a more unique and exciting line up of artists building the bridge between Indian and International fans. To have Artist Aloud enable that is what will make it even more fulfilling.

 

LA CALLING – A TALENT’S DREAM MADE TRUE

In January 2017, Artist Aloud, a platform for Talent and Independent Content and indi.com, a platform that runs challenges for brands to build consumer engagement came together to create a challenge for music talent who created original content, giving one lucky winner the chance to be flown down for an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles and the opportunity to meet with the Grammy Award winning composer, John Shanks who has worked with the likes of Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, Taylor Swift and many more celebrated artists.

 

The challenge was run for a total of 60 days and the final winner was to be picked by John Shanks himself from a shortlisted Top 10 artists based on the content they uploaded and then based on buzz factor identified through a number of plays, likes, comments, etc. The Top 10 were to be shortlisted by indi.com and Artist Aloud and then shared with John Shanks for him to select the final winner totally based on his personal liking.

 

The final winner turned out to be a person called Aman Pant who was not at all known to either Artist Aloud or indi.com prior to this contest. Interestingly he had seen the ad of the contest on Facebook and uploaded his entry on the last day of the contest. It was only after he was selected by John Shanks and he was contacted by indi.com did we know that he has been in the industry for the past 10 years doing several music assignments in the advertising field.

 WhatsApp Image 2017-09-03 at 2.47.59 AM

The song that Aman created is called Piya Se Naina and was the very first and only song he had ever created of his own. Being a song writer in the advertising line, he had until this point always created music based on a brief given by a client. Piya Se Naina was made almost a year back without a particular agenda. It was Aman’s creative surge that made him get into a recording studio and produce it as a master.

 

Aman informed us that he did not expect anything to come out of him uploading his track. All he did was send the song to indi.com through their platform and forget about it. So 5 months later when he received a call and was informed that he had won a contest that would fly him to Los Angeles, Aman couldn’t believe his ears and actually had his wife talk to the Indi personnel to reconfirm the same so that he was not fooled by a prank.

 

Aman may have been selected as the winner by John Shanks but his trip was dependent on him having a passport and a US Visa, both of which at the time of revealing his win, he did not possess. Aman applied for his passport in the emergency quota and had to travel to Delhi for his interview. Once the passport was done, he had to apply for the US Visa which was not a sure was shot considering the new rules that the Trump Administration was putting up. However, Aman got his US Visa. This was truly Lady Luck blessing him because the person who was initially going to be sent as a chaperone from Artist Aloud with Aman was denied the US Visa. But Aman got it done in a breeze.

 WhatsApp Image 2017-09-03 at 2.48.01 AM

Finally, the day arrived. September 6th, 2017 was designated the day when the meet and greet with John Shanks would happen in LA. Since I already had a US Visa and my colleague was denied, I decided to travel as the chaperone with the winner. We headed out of India on the 3rd of Sept and returned on the 9th of Sept, 2017. Aman got to spend more than 2 hours interacting with John where they spoke about the techniques of writing great music along with the technologies they use and also jammed together.

 WhatsApp Image 2017-09-07 at 7.52.42 PM

The trip was a dream come true for this talent who has been working behind the scenes for more than 10 years and now believes he needs to do something creative for himself. Aman will officially release his winning track, Piya Se Naina across different distribution platforms and also hopes to stay in touch with John Shanks to hopefully collaborate on something new in the future.

 WhatsApp Image 2017-09-07 at 7.52.42 PM (1)

We feel happy to have been somewhat responsible for starting Aman’s journey towards music creation as a self-expression and hope that we can be of help in this new found journey. indi.com is a partner that has shown an immense amount of ethics and integrity towards keeping a commitment and we are proud to have been able to bond so well with the team in India as well as the USA.

 

We look forward to bringing more such opportunities to the talent we work with or with new discoveries and believe that partners like indi.com will come a long way in making sure the talent scene in India goes global.

 

Authored by Soumini Sridhara Paul

Superstar by Mili Soch Featuring Sara G

8903245108901

From Toronto, arrives singer Mili Soch. Although he portrays himself as a hip-hop artist, the sound on his single, “Superstar”, certainly moves away from mainstream hip-hop. In fact, the sound is closer to what I would refer to as neo-soul, bringing the sounds of classic R&B to a hip-hop age. In support of budding ‘Superstar’ Mili and, in providing the English language singing aspect of the otherwise predominantly Hindi song, is singer Sara G who, combined with Mili’s talent, speak about the “witty love song with references to on-screen and off-screen Bollywood couples”. With its obvious R&B influences, the keyboard-laden “Superstar” is one of a number of tracks that will appear on an EP that Mili Soch is working on for release this year. While not recording, Mili is promoting himself across multiple live platforms in Toronto, including the Desi FEST, Festival of South Asia, and the TD Mosaic Festival, among others.

While there is no doubt that Mili Soch has got talent and aspires to be a ‘Superstar’, there is still much work to be done before he can be certified as one!

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

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

Also Available on:
Hungama Music: http://bit.ly/2uo0N1S
iTunes India: http://apple.co/2wWMI0i

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

Coke Studio Season 10 Episode 1

3000x3000-Wynk-Artwork

One of the most recognized brands in the world of music is no longer just an aerated drink, but Coke Studio which, this year, celebrates ten years of its existence. For those who arrived late, Coke Studio is a Pakistani television series and international music franchise which features live studio-recorded music performances by established and emerging artists. It is apparently the longest-running annual TV music show in Pakistan since 2008, combining genres from traditional classical, folk, Sufi, qawwali, ghazal, and Bhangra music to contemporary hip hop, rock, and pop music.

The tenth season of the Pakistani musical television series began on August 11, 2017, with Pakistani-band Strings continuing its association with Coke Studio as the show’s executive producers, while the show returned with the previous year’s format of music directors producing their own songs under Strings’ supervision.

While the show has been critically viewed for not producing new songs, unfortunately, I may add as that statement is not a fact with two of the four songs featured in Episode 1 being “originals”, namely, “Allahu Akbar” – with music and lyrics by Shuja Haider – and “Muntazir”, with lyrics and music provided by Strings. Whereas the other two selections featured in Episode 1, namely, “Chaa Rahil Kaali Ghata”, is a traditional composition with additional music provided by Sahir Ali Bagga and is a fine soft, mellow track; the other, “Rajnish Hi Sahi”, being a ghazal popularized by Mehdi Hassan, sung this time around by Ali Sethi.

While these so-called “covers” have their own standing among purists and/or converts, for me there is no doubt that the standouts are the newer tracks with “Allahu Akbar”, featuring the vocals of Ahmed Jahanzeb and Shafqat Amanat Ali, which is a fine mid-tempo track; whereas “Muntazir”, featuring the vocals of Momina Mustehsan and Danyal Zafar, who also doubles up in playing a very fluid guitar interlude, is a marvellous up-tempo selection that contains hypnotic rhythmic guitar riffs.

So, in a crux, my suggestion is to skip the media reports on Coke Studio Season 10 Episode 1 and listen to the tracks yourself. You will realize immediately that executive producers Strings have attempted to vary the sounds across the four songs as much as possible and, with the aid of four different music directors, including themselves, Coke Studio is well geared to progress towards another memorable musical binge.

 

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

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

Also Available on:
Hungama Music: http://bit.ly/2iKRXd0
Wynk Music: http://bit.ly/2eJXE6B

Also Available on Reliance Jio Music, Idea Music Lounge.