There was a time when the only way you could make it as a singer in India is by entering the big bad world of Bollywood. But today, thanks to the rising tide of independent or indie music artistes in India, 'the times they are a-changin’.
One of the biggest problems that an artiste faces is finding a safe space to release his/her music. While getting a big Bollywood banner ups their game, it also often takes away the charm and freedom that comes along with the independent music scene.
For today's musicians, whose target audience is the millennial, who wants to listen to songs beyond the amplified base of Bollywood, there are record labels pushing their music out to the right group.
Entrepreneur India takes a look at the record labels in India that were set up to promote indie music.
Not so Pagal
"..Before I try to bleed, before my soul does sleep, I’m overwhelmed with you, my only find is you and all my time is you..."
For soulful lyrics like the one above from Prateek Kuhad to find a way into the crowd, he has Pagal Haina records to thank. Founded by Dhruv Singh, Pagal Haina aims to share music with the ones whose hearts beat for music. In addition to releasing their music, they also manage their artistes – from finding and scheduling their gigs to working on creating a brand for them.
Creating a Stupidly Great Line-Up
Indie music bands and fans wait for every September for the release of Stupid Ditties – a curated album from the small label ennui.Bomb. The label was started in 2004 by Rishu Singh, an ardent music lover. He is known to almost all in the indie music circuit and is also famous for being the man behind one of the biggest indie music shows in India – Control Alt Delete.
A Club and a Label
If you are in Mumbai or Pune, it is hard to miss Blue Frog Club which is a musician’s favourite. Most indie artistes in India have found their way to the stage of this club, with crowds swaying away to their music. But the company Blue Frog is beyond being just a club. From recording studios to a production house to a record label, they have it all!
The Bollywood-Indie Mashup
He was a part of India’s early indie bands (Pentagram) and then went on to be one of the biggest names of the Indian music industry but Vishal Dadlani still kept an eye on the indie scene. In 2015, he launched Vishal Likes That – a record label for indie music artistes. He was reported to handpick talent for the label and give them a platform to take their music to a whole new level.
Founded by Madhav Shorey and Gaurav Malekar, Qilla Records focuses on techno sounds. Started in 2011, the duo aim to take Indian electronica to a global level. With a mixtape of global and Indian artistes and their growing popularity, this record label gives a platform to music producers. Futuristic music that will blow your mind away, is their genre.