New Delhi: In an industry dominated by established artistes and big music labels, independent and upcoming musicians are often sidelined. With features, such as New Artist Spotlight and Hear It Here First (HIHF), Apple is trying to provide a launchpad to budding and independent artistes who may not have the resources to launch and promote their music. Every month, Apple will launch one independent artiste by releasing one track or an entire album exclusively on their Music app. The initiative has already helped several artistes, such as Delhi-based rapper Prabh Deep, gain recognition.

“Apple Music really put the focus on me. People now recognise me on the road. People have me on their phone screens. That’s how accessible my music has become," says Deep. HIHF will feature new releases of both mainstream and independent artistes. They will be available exclusively on Apple Music for a week, month or longer. “It’s a big deal for an independent artist to get on a platform such as this as it puts the spotlight on the artist, placing us on the right charts, in the right genre. For me, the best part is that there is no creative burden. I can be myself and Apple Music will support me through my journey and retain my identity as an artist," says Kavya Trehan, whose single Underscore was exclusively released on Apple Music last week, under Apple’s HIHF initiative.

To help new artistes further, Apple is also putting their work on the curated play lists having more established artistes. With iOS 12, Apple will offer a curated play list of the top 100 singles that are trending worldwide. Artistes featuring in the list are likely to get wider recognition. Another feature that will be coming out with iOS 12 is the new Artists Page, where listeners can learn more about an artiste. It will carry a brief description on the artiste and his/her work.

With the Apple Music for Artists programme, launched early this year, artistes can keep track of how their past and new releases have been doing on the platform, see the demography of their listeners and identify play lists which have been getting their music more traction.

“Apple Music has helped me reach a wide spectrum of listeners. Their play lists and charts are my go-to lists to know what’s hot right now. It really gives you the pulse of what our audiences are listening to," says Qaran Mehta, whose song Tareefan from Bollywood movie Veere di Wedding was exclusively released.

Apple Music’s association with upcoming artistes in India goes back to October 2017, when they tied up with A.R. Rahman’s Music school, KMMC, to set up a Mac OS Lab at their Chennai campus to teach Logic Pro X, Apple’s professional music creation and editing app, to the students. A similar lab will be set up at KMMC’s upcoming campus in Mumbai. Apple Music is also funding full-time musical scholarships for 10 students from underprivileged backgrounds.

With a library of 45 million songs, Apple has become the favourite music app of over 50 million users across the world. By providing upcoming and independent artists space on their app, Apple is not only adding variety for its listeners, but is also helping new talents reach out to a wider demography of listeners.

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