The sad thing about the popular music coming out of studios these days is that all of it sounds alike. If you go by the analysis of the state of music in this Mic magazine article
, you will discover that all pop music produced recently does indeed sound the same, because, (gasp, gasp!), the industry has discovered a ‘winning formula’.
So Katy Perry could just as easily have sung Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You
, and it’s not hard to imagine Maroon 5’s Adam Levine sing Zayn Mallik’s moody Dusk Until Dawn
But challenging that formula, is the music coming out of the kind of-sort of underground indie scene. Young, break-out producers and acts like Kumail, Blind Night, Disco Puppet, Parekh & Singh, Prateek Kuhad and Agam are experimenting with whimsical sounds (see Ghost, Parek & Singh
) that are often inspired by the everyday (listen to Blind Night and Disco Puppet’s Fever
, where a scream is juxtaposed with a baby’s gurgle).
There’s a universe of music to explore, and there are a whole host of platforms that are enabling this exploration.
Here’s a starting point:
Launched in 2009 by Hungama Digital Media, this platform aims to be the indie fan’s go-to place for music. Artist Aloud has already hosted shows, gigs and awards, and in 2016, launched an app that allows users to listen to over 3,000 songs from 500-plus artists.
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Run by Rahul Giri, aka _RHL, this label/collective has been described as hosting “some of the best sounds coming out of Indian laptops in 2017” by Brown Paper Bag
. The Bengaluru-based collective is relatively young, and showcases fresh music. Besides Fever (name-checked up top), also check out Blindnight’s Everybody Likes to Die Sometimes
and Worm Cottage’s beat-heavy The Simplest Thing
Artist Originals by Saavn
Saavn is pretty mainstream, what with Ranbir Kapoor having endorsed it. But dig deeper and look out for the streaming site’s Artist Originals initiative. It was launched to help indie artists conceptualise, produce and distribute music. The first Artist Originals track to drop was Azaad Hu Mai
, by Naezy. They have also collaborated with the likes of Prateek Kuhad and Sickick among others.
More online radio station than online music platform, Boxout was launched in April 2017 by Reggae Rajas founder Mohammed Abood aka DJ MoCity. The station’s About Us page says Boxout was born “of an urgent need for a community-run platform focusing on alternative music and culture in India.” The station’s genre-spanning music is curated to facilitate discovery; already artistes like Romaré and Dualist Inquiry have played sets at their live gigs. And the online station is currently playing music by Spryk, Luna Toke and Tarqeeb.
The Madras Gig
Giving the southern Indian indie music scene a boost, Sony Music recently tied up with post production facility, Knack Studios, and launched The Madras Gig last November. The idea was to nurture new talent, with mentoring provided by music producers from the Tamil film industry. We’re waiting to hear more from this collective.
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Image courtesy: Shutterstock.com
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