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Sunday, October 26, 2008




   Music means different things to different people, but the language of music is universal. While music is mainly a source of relief and pleasure for the listener, for those involved in the profession, it is more than just art and performance. Especially with the internet revolution, the concept of 'Indian' western music is being redefined by the minute. Owing to websites such as and, where artists from any part of the world have a ready platform to showcase their talent, music has branches shooting in varied directions, demanding specialists in every aspect involved.

    Luke Kenny, head of programming, Channel V, and Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone magazine, says,"One can find a career in lifestyle television channels where work includes programming, music scheduling, etc. The usual, mainstream way is to go through the routine of playing in college competitions, which is one of the best ways for a band or a musician to evolve." 

   There are several venues in the city that encourage live performances on a routine basis. Adds Kenny,"Places like Blue Frog and Hard Rock Café have set up platforms for live performances. However, they are stationary and people have to come there to watch performances. What we need, are organisations pushing for live performances all round the year, in all kinds of venues all over the country.This way, the culture of live concerts can be created." 

   Some of the popular options for music artists include live performances, or becoming a session's musician, composing music for films or advertisements and so on. In India, there are a few institutes offering quality courses in music, but doing a course definitely helps in the long run. Nupur Michelle D'Souza, bass player for Mumbai-based band, Summerpint Junkies, who is currently pursuing a one-year diploma course from SAE says,"The course is of great help for the purpose of recording and understanding my own instrument.There is huge potential in the field, as music is required in everything, be it movies, advertisements, etc. An institute would help place people and create awareness. You're really lucky if you get to apprentice under somebody." Before making it big in a career in western music, one has to understand and clearly demarcate where their interests lie. For instance, performance would require a completely different set of moves from setting up a studio.

    Nandan Kini from EMI Virgin music, asserts, "There are loads of options for those interested in making a career in western music. While performance is an integral part, other roles include those of music producers, event managers, sessions musicians, etc, all of whom have an impact on the music being produced. Managing live shows is growing in a big way in the country."

    International institutes such as the Berklee College of Music, Boston, Musician's Institute, etc, are looked upon as the Meccas for musicians the world over. From the business of music, to the art of songwriting and improvisation while performing, institutes based in America, Europe etc, provide quality education in the field of music.This not only helps create awareness, it also helps create avenues for musicians and a flourishing market for music.The absence of such a premier institute in the country has its impact.

    Kini adds, “A foolproof way of working out a career in this field is opting to go abroad, study and work there for a while, mint money, and come back and set up your own studio or production house. Also, the presence of an internationally recognised institute helps concretise the concept of music as a profession."

    While many opt for the academic path, according to Kenny, "A course can only teach you so much. At the end of the day, one has to merge theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience to get a wholesome picture.There is no other way of going about it, other than learning it the hard way. Also, in the present scenario, merging business and performance could prove to be very beneficial, not only for the artist, but also for those he's doing business with. While improving on the art itself, getting a whiff of the business of music can indeed help in making him economically beneficial to himself and his colleagues, and also make him streetmart."

    Commenting on recent trends, Kenny adds, "Recording technology and the internet have revolutionised music production. Earlier, an artist would have to shell out a hefty amount from his pocket for studio time. However, now recording has become portable. You can record wherever you go, and carry your studio wherever you take your laptop." Options such as joining a symphony orchestra, becoming a music librarian, music therapist, band manager, etc, are fields which will still take time to develop in the country.

    As Kenny puts it,"One thing leads to another, and if one aspect of the industry does well, it is bound to have an impact on everything it touches. It is a circle, and each one in the industry has to aim at doing his or her job best.That's just how it works."


Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group

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