How the foreclosure drove the growth of independent music

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With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown situation, which has put movies on hold as well as all new film music, people have turned to listening to independent / non-cinematic music, which was arguably the secondary source of listening to music for many Indians.

At least until the lockdown is implemented in the last week of March.

“Since the lockdown, I have seen more than 20,000 subscribers to my channel on Spotify. So yeah, I think it’s correct to assume that people started to listen to indie stuff more, ”said singer Neha Bhasin, who recently released her Folktales Live (Season 1) project.

Music streams, although plunged at the start of the lockdown, were tied again, with up to five non-cinematic songs – Badshah’s Genda Phool, Darshan Raval’s Bhula Dhunga, Neha Kakkar Jinke, according to a Billboard.com report. Liye, Goa Beach by Tony Kakkar and Aaj Bhi by Vishal Mishra feature in the top 10 of the most played list, across three different streaming platforms.

“Non-cinematic music has experienced significant growth and is now consumed by mainstream users just like Bollywood on our platform. To this end, we have started adding non-cinematic music to our most popular Top Charts. [category] and renamed it to Hindi Top 50 from Bollywood Top 50, ”Prashan Agarwal, CEO of Gaana, tells us.

“Today’s auditor is more reactive than active. They listen to recommendations because the consumption is done online, on streaming platforms, which recommend music, instead of going out and listening to music on cassettes or CDs. Now, since no new film music is released, the AIs and algorithms are resetting themselves and suggesting people try listening to music from the non-cinematic space, ”the singer-songwriter Ankur Tewari.

Music labels, without new film music and the lockdown situation, have turned their attention to non-cinematic music and doing things digitally, like shooting home music videos and promoting music on the internet.

T-Series’ Bhushan Kumar revealed that the label is encouraging artists to shoot videos of their next song, “At Home,” and plans to release a lot more music than they originally planned. “Our videos are mostly ‘home shot’ videos like the recently released Dhvani song and Akhil song and many of our upcoming songs are being shot by our artists at home. We got a lot of love and support for this attempt and people love these songs too, ”he tells us.

“This unprecedented crisis has taken its toll on businesses at all levels. Due to the lockdown, the entertainment industry and in particular Bollywood have suspended the release of new music and films. [But,] we continued our effort and regularly released new music during this period with our artists. Our teams and artists have worked tirelessly from home to reach and entertain audiences, ”says Vinit Thakkar, COO, Universal Music India & South Asia.

So the future looks brighter for many musicians who have tried to strengthen their position as mainstream musician, and not just limit themselves to making film music. “It’s actually an amazing time for musicians to experiment as the audience demographics have changed dramatically over the past few months and a lot of diverse content is consumed on a daily basis. There is a lot of room for independent music, ”said Raftaar, who recently released his album, Mr. Nair.

“Today, the situation is such that you don’t need big promotions or a label to market your music. Many big names in the industry are planning their releases and not going full blast, which provides a great platform for future talent to showcase their music. You don’t have to be a well-marketed musician with heavy PR machinery to get a brand recall. You just need to bond with the audience and be authentic, ”he adds.

“Every artist who stays at home definitely creates new music. They keep making music. I am sure that after this crisis is over, there will be a lot of independent music, ”singer Shilpa Rao said.

The absence of new film music is also pushing musicians most popular for their film music to release songs into the independent space, blurring the lines between independent and commercial pop music in the country. “I think this will inspire hardcore film artists to take the leap and create music just for themselves and an audience that wants more,” said music composer Amaal Mallik, who is working on three independent singles. that he plans to release in this year.

“Armaan (Amaal’s younger brother) just released his song, Control, and the numbers are wonderful. Its Hindi audience has managed to adapt to an all-English song because it’s a new age, relevant, well-written and well-composed. I’m glad that so many popular artists like Badshah, Akull & MellowD, Darshan Rawal, Prakriti-Sukriti, Yash Narvekar, Lost Stories, Zaeden, Vishal Mishra, Asees, Lisa Mishra, Prateek Kuhad, Nucleya, Dualist Inquiry, Akasa and The Yellow Diary broadcasts all of their music and receives a lot of love from the audience, ”adds Amaal.

The shift in listening sensitivities has also meant that streaming platforms are pushing more independent artists and non-cinematic music. “We have launched a multilingual, multi-genre and multi-talent digital concert series featuring several artists performing acoustic performances from their homes and interacting with their fans live on our Facebook page. As social distancing becomes the norm, we will continue to explore and launch more of these properties over the coming weeks, ”said Neeraj Roy, CEO of Hungama music.

Likewise, JioSaavn, has launched an initiative with live artists wherever they are, during this lockdown, and the streaming service has seen an upward trend in artist streams for all artists who have been a part of. initiative, ranging from 5 to 30% increase, on the day they played.

Interact with the author on Twitter /@sammysamarth



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