Meet Nexa Music Top 24 Artist: Ron Chester
The New Delhi hip-hop/R&B artist also set up his own label in 2017 to help fellow musicians
New Delhi hip-hop/R&B artist Rohan Dhingra aka Ron Chester is known for his many covers. From Ed Sheeran to Drake, his silky vocals wrap deftly around both ballads and rap bars to lend a fresh approach to seasoned sounds. Chester’s recent upload is a serene cover of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” and he seems to be right in his element as he croons the love ballad.
In 2017, the artist took his foray into music a step further by setting up his own independent record label Psycho Lab Music. Witnessing a dramatic growth in English-language original music in the country, Chester also noticed skill and knowledge gaps when it came to production, distribution and marketing for independent musicians. Chester says, “Their songs get lost in all the noise and never really reach the actual audience that they’re targeted towards.”
He sees a perpetually growing audience and market, especially in metropolitan cities, for English-language music in India. The only main hindrance he notes is infrastructure in the mainstream music business. “In a Bollywood and film music dominated industry, there are hardly any major players doing much to boost English[-language] music in India,” he says. That’s where the Nexa Music program comes in. “Nexa being a leader and a way bigger brand having expertise in strategy and execution, a bigger budget and way more marketing channels will be able to give not only me but the entire English music scene a big boost,” says Chester. He adds, “This is what we have all been waiting for.”
Chester has always been sure about his vision, but new perspectives help — especially when Nexa Music mentors A.R. Rahman and Clinton Cerejo begin to listen in. “I’ll not only get to learn musical things but I’m sure I’ll learn things about their creative vision, thought process and more. I’m really excited to work with and learn music as well as life lessons from them,” he says. In the end, for Chester, it’s about giving back to the music community and that’s exactly what he plans to do in the years ahead.
About being a part of Nexa Music’s Top 24 cohort, Chester says, “The fact that a song I randomly wrote and produced in a small home studio, with my co-producer Spado, has not only been chosen as [part of the] top 24 songs out of thousands of nationwide entries, but also the fact the musical pioneers like A.R. Rahman Sir and Clinton Cerejo Sir loved it, gives me confidence that I’m on the right path.”