Prithwish Ganguly, Reuters
Thirty-two-year-old Chetan Sisodia would have been either a doctor or an engineer but he chose to follow his passion for music and has made a career out of it, thanks to India’s media boom. India’s several genres of music, which have been traditionally used in religious worship or just for enjoyment, have now become career options for an increasing number of the country’s population.
Music as a vocation started gaining popularity after new international music TV channels and jazz radio stations were launched across India -- increasing not only the variety of music but also opportunities for new revenues.
Since then, new job options like video jockeys, radio jockeys, disc jockeys, composers opened up in a country where many people still believe being a doctor, engineer, lawyer or a commerce professional to be the best job one could have.
“It is so good to hear parents coming up to me and asking whether their children could make a career out of music,” said Sisodia, a music teacher of a top Delhi school.
“Music has gained popularity for sure in our country and it is due to this that I have a job of a music teacher. Ten years before, I was playing in music bands and doing small shows.”
India is now experiencing a media boom as the incomes of the country’s middle classes rise.“People now can make money as well as gain recognition,” Aadarsh Srivastav, a top Bollywood music director, said.
“There is so much of publicity which a person gets if one launches an album, if one is hosting a show on television or radio or even participating in it that more people are being attracted to get into the industry.”
India will have more television channels and radio stations in the next few years which would create more lucrative jobs for those chasing a career in media -- specially music.
“The pay package is awesome and with many new channels and stations coming up, many will find jobs in the music industry because traditional career options are saturated,” Cyrus Sahukar, 26, video jockey of the popular music channel MTV, said.Sahukar said an established video jockey could earn around Rs1,00,000 and a fresher could get Rs30,000 rupees while radio jockeys can earn anything from between Rs14,000 and Rs100,000.“Isn’t that good money? Plus if you are good then you live life like a celebrity,” Sahukar added.
But not all think that starting a career in the music industry is a cake-walk.
“To a common man making a career in music industry is by releasing an album for which one needs at least Rs6-8 lakh but there is nobody who would sponsor you that,” Abhishek Ray, a music composer said.“Even if you invest money from your pocket, music companies are hesitant to release albums made by a newcomer. Then what happens to your record? It gets lost in the queue of future releases.”