New Delhi: Musicians in India no longer have to rely on major music labels to get their music heard. The rise of independent music labels have given indie bands a new platform, and some are doing without a label at all.
Indian Ocean, a contemporary fusion band from Delhi, got signed with major labels in the past, including HMV and Times Music. But for their most recent DVD, Live in Delhi, they decided to branch out on their own, breaking away from the traditional record label model.
“ For the DVD, we decided we wanted to keep the creative rights with the band. If the music company has the creative rights, we can’t do anything with the composition without taking permission from the music company”, says Asheem Chakravarty, who is the vocalist and tabla player for Indian Ocean. Them Clones, an Indian rock band that got signed with an independent label called Counter Culture, say that they have worked out an agreement that is mutually beneficial for both.
There are only a handful of independent record labels in India, but the independent record label sector makes up for 30% of the music sold worldwide. But even in India more and more upcoming bands are preferring to sign up with Indies. Rabbi Shergill signed up with independent label Phat Fish and quickly went on to becoming a hit. While these labels allow artists creative freedom, they themselves are betting that some of the musicians they are providing platforms to will soon turn out to be money spinners. That is a win-win proposition for both artist and label.