A couple of years ago I had an interesting conversation with the CEO of WWRecords,India.I had gone to meet him to discuss some music project with him.But Oh!what an interesting eye-opener discussion it had turned out to be instead.He asked me a simple question - What is Pop Music?Innocently I told him that popular music which was non-filmy yet very popular was Pop Music.
And my project that I had gone to discuss with him fell in the pop-music genre.He stopped me and said bluntly that there is nothing like Pop Music in India anymore.He then cited an example of a 90's rapper Baba Sehgal who had long abandoned music and was now seen more in telly sitcoms.He further gave examples of the popular pop singers of the 90's like Shaan,Sonu Nigam,Alisha etc who had abandoned independent pop music totally and had now taken refuge in Bollywood music for their daily bread and butter.

The 90's had witnessed a golden age of hindi pop music which had soon after vanished with most of these popstars either lost in the obscurity or running off towards bollywood and some chose some totally alternate careers altogether.In the 90's most of the music companies ( e.g:Magnasound )who had launched and promoted the famous pop names like Shaan,Adnan Sami,Lucky Ali,Anaida,Suchitra,Daler Mehdi etc many more,themselves got bankrupt and had to shut shop.
Why?One might ask.The music was so popular and the songs were on everyone's lips,hindi pop was at its peak in the 90's.Instead of a closure there should've been more and more popstars/songs introduced,but instead original pop music just simply vanished entirely from the scene.What remained were some odd remixes or devotional stuff.

The answer is quite simple.The audience simply didnot buy the non-film music at all.They may have enjoyed watching the popstars on the various music channels for free which had made them a household name,yet when it came to buying the same music off the shelf the audience simply snubbed it and preferred to buy the bollywood music instead.As such with very low sales ( almost nil ),it is no wonder that hindi pop music died an early death in India.Seeing some of their colleagues go bankrupt the other music companies started to adopt a new strictly 'no pop-music' policy.These companies solely promoted bollywood music only which was a much safer bet ( especially with introduction of item numbers which are a selling point of a film ) and occasionaly devotional music too which sells a lot in India.If any artist went to these companies with a proposal to make a hindi-pop album they were either politely shown the door or asked to invest themselves in the projects i.e making music videos,manufacturing the audio CDs and also do the promotions ( in various media which costs a bomb! )while the companies would only distribute the audio CDs through their distribution network giving a certain percentage of the sales to the artist.Now investing in a good music album can run into lakhs if not crores( millions!! ),so for an ordinary artist to self-invest in a hindi pop album is quite unthinkable.Where will s/he bring the funds required for it.Hence we see pop music sadly but completely dead!Non-existant!!

There may be a few artist occasionally releasing a music video but is rather obvious that they have self-invested with no backing from any music company.Some of the artists too have started their own strategy in order to budgetify the massive costs incurred in self-investing.They simply invest only in a single track and release the same ( music video ) on the television.They simply donot go into the process of manufacturing audio CDs at all.( With internet piracy and digital music,physical sales of audio CDs have dipped too considerably ).Instead whatever they invested in the music video they recover the same by doing live shows.It is a smart strategy I say!A music video ensures that the artists are in the audience's mind always and the live shows earns them a decent amount.Also with the music now going digital,downloads can be made available on the artist's own webpage itself,or sold through online platforms like itunes,amazon mp3s etc.And with social media platforms like facebook,youtube and twitter etc available for free, promotions have never been made more easier and cheap.

It was indeed an informative and a very enlightening meet that I had that day.I learnt so much of the glaring truths about the Indian music industry.How it actually ran,all the nitty gritties.Thus,after my conversation with WWRecords chief not only did I learn a whole lot of things,but it also helped me to decide which strategy to adopt.
Pop-Music dead?Nah!Not quite yet!It does still have music enthusiasts like me and a few others to take it to the masses and revive it.And for that we need all your support.
Encourage Hindi Pop-Music!Spread the music legally.Help it regain its lost glory.Buy this very popular non-film genre of music to show your support.Also buy only the original music to save the industry!
Say no to piracy.Piracy Kills!!


People generally I've found, donot know the difference between a music producer-composer and a singer. A writer-producer-composer dont necessarily have to sing all the time, they are more interested in creating the work and letting others perform. In the music I released back in 2010, there were 4 singers whom I had introduced in my album. I didn't do much publicity then becos I simply didnot want to spend lakhs ( as written in the article previously ), becos I knew the market now, many top artists who invested had faced huge loses and some music companies even got bankrupt. Singers, to earn back their money, sing here, there and everywhere they get a chance. In gigs, pubs, restaurants, marraiges etc. They hang on to bollywood as well for their dear life. However, I cant see myself singing in pubs etc nor for other music directors. If at all I'm connected with music, then it'll be only in composing-writing as my real interest lies there, rather than performing. Besides that I want to keep low profile ( I really love my privacy and freedom ) and do other things that interests me besides music like writing, traveling, working on social issues etc and most important of all enjoy my life to the fullest :-)

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1 comment:

  1. I liked the way this article was put up, n as yu said pop music ll neva die, but jus miss those 90's pop albums which wud come on tv.. Badly wanting the trend to come back till then Purchase Mp3 Songs Online


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