The music scenario in India, with the advent of the digital age, has undergone a sea change and evolved to survive not only at home but also at the global level. The growth and expansion of the industry through various platforms and medium were unthinkable before. But long gone are the days when music was produced with limited resources to cater to a certain segment of the market. People no more wait for their favourite singers and songs to air on the radio or TV, the most popular music channel being MTV and V Channel back then. Today, the rapidly growing digital age has given growth to both video and audio streaming sites and applications. It has changed the entire music scenario as much as how it has impacted the ways of the world.
Among the many new genres that have mushroomed over the years, the Indian music world also witnessed the evolution of electronic music. One of the pioneers of Indian electronic music, music producer and DJ TaTva K talks about the progressing music scenario in India and shares the key to survival in this challenging digital age, in an exclusive interview to NewsNation.
Indian music scenario in the digital age
“The Music Industry in India is thriving as a whole; be it the Bollywood music industry or the independent music industry. In fact, the biggest growth has been in the regional music industry. We are in the digital age today and you can easily put out your music and target the right audience for your sound. I think these are exciting times now and non-filmy music would have an even bigger future in India.
“Earlier there used to be CD's for which you were dependent on stores, distributors, labels in order for your music to reach out to people. While radio and TV have sustained from the past generation, YouTube and other audio streaming applications have taken over, especially with the help of mobile internet becoming easily accessible.”
The sustainability of electronic music in India
TaTva K has recently wrapped up a new album called 'Naach Basanti'. The first track has been already released on the YouTube channel 'Tatva K Music'. “It’s called 'The Po Po Song', nice, quirky and a fun track to listen to,” says the musician who has made a successful career of the genre.
“The electronic music scene in India has always been more or less independent. It’s only in the past few years that some mainstream labels have started picking up talents and releasing their music. Every genre is sustainable as long as the artistes who are part of the scene keep pushing it. It’s all about the artistes and their sincerity to their music.”
Are the talent hunt and reality music shows helping young talent?
“Yes and No both. They do give one instant popularity in the scene but I don't think the artistes who get noticed via the talent/reality shows last long in the scene. There have been very few artistes who have emerged from these shows and have been able to sustain themselves over the years.”
The other platforms for those wanting to pursue music as a career option
“The platforms are the same for everyone in any industry. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and a whole lot of amazing audio streaming sites that you can put your music on. Putting your music out on all platforms should be number one priority.”
The present Indian radio music scenario
TaTva has been playing exclusively for the show Moctail 95 on Zabardast HIT 95 FM every night at 9 pm in Delhi NCR. “Radio has always been a very tough yet interesting industry to survive in. The hustle is real with a lot of competition. I think it’s never been so experimental in its approach though. However, commercial music airplay still tops the list and independent music still isn't getting the same kind of airplay to Bollywood music”.
The music market in India and the future ahead
Despite the many challenges that require hard work, thanks to the digital growth, music in any form has a better reach and the consumers too, with easy access and exposure, are opening up to varieties and the demand for more is growing.
“The market is what you make out of it. The game is to work hard and keep putting your music out, market it diligently and wait for the magic to happen. The future is really exciting with so many different kinds of music genres opening up in India as well as so many different platforms coming up.
“It is also a very lucrative career option, but it comes with its own sets of pros and cons. If you think you have it in you and have a great team as your support system then the sky is the limit."
The struggle musicians go through
While there are opportunities galore and platforms to showcase your talent, it takes a lot of grit and strength to survive in this highly competitive industry. Many musicians struggle to get the right big break and make a living.
“Well, life is a struggle...you reap what you sow...music is no different. It’s a tough line like all other professions and you got to be persistent. Sometimes it takes a small time to reach where you want to. Sometimes it takes years. Sustaining that success, no matter how big or small, is the biggest task.
The key to survival in the industry
“A good musician with a strong will, patience, persistence and drive has always made it in the industry and will continue to do so in the future… Keep working hard and putting your music out...somebody somewhere will definitely love it. Digitally, you can definitely take your music forward...specially with numerous platforms today.
"It's all about understanding how to reach out to people who will love your music in the best way in whatever budget you have,” says TaTva, who has collaborated with many several known names, including Euphoria's Palash Sen (Oath of the Vayu.putras album; Times Music), Juggy D on 'We Are Punjabi', 'SaturdaySaturday' boy Indeep Bakshi on 'Wari Warsi' and Tej Gill on "Rooh".