Is it possible to create a mark in the world of Indian Music currently with so much of Bollywood Music already out there and with so many songs being churned out and so many Music Directors ruling the roost? Can an independent music producer still come in and make a mark on the scene? It can make an aspiring music producer disheartened and throw his hands up in frustration at the thought of the many challenges along the way. According to me, there is no need to feel hopeless because the fact of the matter is that it is as good a time as any to enter the Indian Music Industry as an independent music producer. The reasons are simple. Turn on the radio and listen to the kind of music that is being churned out in most films. Its all 4 / 4 dance music with thumping and heavily compressed bass drums, duffs and dholaks. Every single song that is being put out there on the radio is designed to make you get on the dance floor! I believe this is largely due to the Punjabi pre-dominance and influence in today's Indian popular culture where being loud is proud and shaking into a jig is as commonplace as getting up to go to the loo! God save us Bengalis and South Indians who don't want to get up and shake our hips violently with our fingers pointing to the heavens all the freakin' time!
On a more serious note though, there is a finer kind of music that appeals to all people (Punjabis included) at different times of the day. When you visit a club, you want to dance and pumping EDM, dancehall, balkan and bhangra beats are just fine. There is such a time of the day such as a Sunday morning or when you come back from work and want to relax and unwind with a glass of single malt in your hand. There are times when you are smoking weed. There is a time when you are headed for a long drive on the expressway or you are driving back from work after a long tiring day. There is a time in the day when you are making love. There is a time in the day when you are just feeling soulful and bluesy. Think of the music that you reach out for at such times. If you reach out for Bob Marley or Chris Rea or Steve Windwood or Acoustic Alchemy there is a reason why your mind craves those genres of music because music also has the power to make you relax, ponder about life, smile, shed a tear or two and feel the beauty of the universe around you. There is a reason why there are different forms of music on this planet - slow, soothing, soulful, bluesy, jazzy, inspiring, skanking, haunting, loving etc. for all the moods and feelings that human beings go through in a typical day or in their lifetimes. Just like food, music comes in a variety of tastes but the mainstream music that music companies in India are putting out would have you believe that Indians only love to eat spicy food and want to dance all the time (even when they are stuck in a traffic jam)!
This is exactly where the opportunity lies for smart music producers in India who have a tune or two up their sleeves that falls in the category of 'music genres' that are not currently being created by mainstream or even indie music producers or bands in the country. Create something based on your musical influences - create fresh music in a genre that is not currently being explored by all those overworked Bollywood Music Directors and Music Programmers. Create something new, fresh and exciting and release it directly to the public through your Soundcloud or Audiomack account. Indians are tired of eating spicy chicken curry all the time. Their tongues have become numb and their bowels weak. Give them your musical versions of desserts, pasta, pizza, quesadillas or even exotic Snakehead fish packed with lemongrass and lime leaves if you please! You can bet us Music-loving Indians will lap up your music like hungry dogs in a North Korean Prison and help you find your space! Yet, if as an aspiring music producer, your biggest ambition (as I have astonishingly heard some say) is to create some demos and get an audience with Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt, then God help you! And I hope the Bhatts are too busy for you, because God knows we don't need anymore of those 1-2-3-4 Get on the Dance Floor Belting Beat-Merchants!
Here's something below that I cooked up not too long ago and which is being downloaded by many Indians. It's my version of some American Chopsuey. Enjoy and while wiping the dripping sauce off your mouth at the end, do not forget to share it with someone else. No live instruments (only vst's) were used in the recording of the song and neither were any li'l kids harmed!
Atin Dasgupta is an entrepreneur and a Music Composer / Sound Engineer. Leveljam – a community of computer music programmers in India is an initiative that is very close to his heart. His Music can be heard here - https://soundcloud.com/firangees.