How have Independent Artists Changed the Music Scene in India?

With more and more commercial movies coming up, there is a big rush in the music industry for play back singers. Side by side we do get to see independent artists coming up who do not go for play back singing, but strive to shine independently. There are plenty of web portals via which the independent artists sell their music. For example, Rajagopalan, manager of inroom records, feels that there is no one to offer him “big breaks” in the music industry. He still feels there is a lot of struggle associated with survival in the music industry. He quotes, “I am not even bothered about the Indian markets. There are more than 80 portals available where I can sell my music, and get a decent price for it. No middlemen and no labels”. The Times of India says, “This is the only way independent artists can survive today, say people in the music industry.”

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Various television programmes like M-TV Coke studio feature both play back as well as independent artists showcasing their talents. This spreads awareness among the audiences. The independent artists are from all across India. Some of the artists include Kailash Kher with his folk songs, Chinna Ponnu representing Tamil Nadu, Mousum Gogoi from Assam and many others.

Erstwhile independent artists include Mohit Chauhan, Neeraj Sridhar, Atif Islam etc. Mohit Chauhan was a part of the band called Silk Route. The band was highly recognised and has given many hits including the songs like “Zara nazar utha ke dekho na” and “Dooba dooba rehta hoon”. Neeraj Sridhar and his band Bombay Vikings came up with the remixed version of an old time favourites like “Wo chali wo chali”, “Kya soorat hai” and “CChor do Anchal”. Atif Aslam started off with his band called Jal and came up with the famous track “Aadat”. The track was a revolution. Many versions of the song are played even today. Newly formed band named Ankur and the Ghalat family is now taking up songs from Silk Route and re-singing them. Most famous include “Sabse peeche hum khare”.

Bands that still exist today include Agnee and Euphoria and independent artists like Raghu Dixit, Shubha Mudgal and kailash Kher are gaining popularity for the genre of music they are projecting compared to that of the play back singers. Even Kailash Kher has brought about a great change in the standard of songs. The independent artists are unique in their approach and have a particular class of people listening to them. Now with the musical shows becoming more and more popular, more and more artists are emerging in this musical world, to set better standards.

Thus, as more and more artists are elevating the standard of the music industry, the overall scenario of the music industry is changing as people are becoming genre specific. The songs in the movies are getting restricted for a selected class of audience. It is mostly in the clubs, while the independent artists’ songs are listened to during the leisure hours. So we rarely get to see people listening to “OO lala” from Dirty Picture so frequently as compared to a nice folk song by Raghu Dixit.

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