Watch: The Art of Music Management at BUDx
Mo Joshi, Nirmika Singh, Krunk’s Sohail Arora, Saavn’s Srikant Seshadri and Antisocial’s Mayank Bhatt outlined the problems plaguing the indie scene today
Budweiser’s global commitment to dance music in the recent years has led to the beer brand’s increased involvement in the Indian music circuit. In addition to bringing Boiler Room to India, they have started several of their own projects with local artists in a bid to promote the scene; from organizing the mega dance event Sensation to hosting the ‘What’s Brewing’ club gig series and partnering with the debut edition of Electric Daisy Carnival and initiating digital campaigns involving pop culture icons. Their latest contribution to the conversation is the beginning of BUDx, an ‘electronic music lab’ which took place in December last year in New Delhi.
The music conference traced the growth of the electronic music scene and showcased Indian and international industry big names taking part in panel discussions and hosting master classes and workshops as well as live performances.
A particularly insightful discussion at BUDx was the panel titled ‘The Art of Management and Music Discovery’ on day three. Moderated by Mo Joshi (co-founder Azaadi Records), the panel featured Rolling Stone India Executive Editor Nirmika Singh, management agency Krunk’s founder Sohail Arora, Srikant Seshadri of Saavn and Mayank Bhatt of restaurant/music venue chain Social/Antisocial.
Each of the speakers outlined the biggest problems plaguing the Indian music scene today and discussed solutions to help it grow. “In India, the sense of entitlement at the gate to be on the guest list is very high… As a venue, I am supposed to pay an incremental to an artist on his last year’s fee but if my collection at the gate is going down this time, how am I to do that?” said Bhatt while pointing out why running music-only venues is not sustainable.
As someone who started one of India’s first management agencies, Arora, added, “Understanding what’s the market for each artist, which territory is working for him and building on that is very important.”
The media’s role in discovering and nurturing new artists is significant in the way it not only puts the spotlight on talent but also situate it in particular trend—like what happened with desi hip-hop. “Good journalists do more than just report,” explained Singh. “They offer insight, assume curatorial roles and also build a community of stakeholders among artists and audiences.”
Seshadri, on his part, explained how distribution is also key. “You need to have your music available to audiences in India,” he said. “Artists like Prateek Kuhad and Parekh & Singh are ensuring people are listening to their music, and when they do, you will see the turnout at gigs.”
Check out snippets from the conversation below: