Emerge: Get to Know Rupam Islam
The Bengali singer-songwriter is one of the six breakout artists highlighted by Rolling Stone India and TuneCore India’s new editorial campaign to celebrate regional talent
Bengali artist Rupam Islam is one of the six artists who are part of Rolling Stone India and TuneCore India’s new editorial campaign ‘Emerge.’
‘Emerge’ will profile and chronicle the lives of six breakout artists from across India: Islam, Odiya rapper Big Deal, Hindi/Gujarati artist Priya Saraiya, Assamese singer Antara Nandy, Punjabi musician Gurnazar and Haryanvi artist Vishvajeet Choudhary. Discover more about each artist’s process of making music and why they chose TuneCore to put their music out into the world.
Islam rose to popularity in the late Nineties and early-2000s as the lead vocalist and composer of Bengali rock band Fossils. The group carved a strong identity in West Bengal’s emerging independent scene, going on to release a total of six albums. Islam’s background in Hindustani classical music also influenced a lot of his work as a solo artist and opened doors to the Bengali, Telegu and Hindi film industries where he flourished as a music director, playback singer and composer. However it’s his work as an independent artist that remains most precious to him. “The idea of independence or being independent might seem as if one can do whatever they want but it is not that,” he says. “We live in a society and our art is our way of expression in this society. So whatever we do is judged or seen in a social context. Even our humane existence is a social phenomenon. So we cannot do whatever we want to do. The fact of being able to establish or express our freedom in this society keeping everything in mind, is the actual meaning of being truly independent.”
About choosing TuneCore as the platform to distribute his independent music, Islam says, “TuneCore is an excellent medium for all artists to reach out to the audience with your music done the way you want to. No outside influence or directions need to be tolerated to get your music out to your audience. In today’s digital age this platform is very important.”
When it comes to inspiring new Indian artists to stay true to themselves and do their part to help the country’s independent scene bloom, Islam feels the most important thing is to stay true to who you are and your identity and message as a musician. “I want to let my young musician friends know that I have never done my music for others,” the artist explains. “I have always done what my mind, my heart has directed me to do. It is the sound that I want to hear, is the sound that I have followed. Only if you do that will you be able to create something unique.”