Indian mainstream and independent musicians are now cashing in on mobile applications as a cool, new way to promote their music. Until now, bands commonly used the Web to spread the buzz about them, but with their own mobile applications, musicians will also allow for their songs to be heard on the go.
First to catch this rising phenomenon are music directors Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy and Bangalore-based Indie folk rockers Swarathma, who have got iPhone applications of their own. With it, you can hear their music and customise the tunes as well. Music entrepreneurs at indie record label Only Much Louder (OML) have come up with an online promotional division which will develop bands come up with their iPhone applications. These are aimed to enable bands to promote their music and also keep in touch with their fans when they’re touring the globe.
Bobby Talwar, co-founder of OML, says, “The application happened because Swarathma is now a big touring band. They are playing at festivals across Europe and the iPhone application has a wide reach for both the Indian and international audience.” So while the band is playing at Womad and Lovebox festivals in London later this month, subscribers to the free application get to interact with Swarathma, play games and design their own jukebox.
And their iPhone app, much like the band in performance, is tongue-in-cheek. During their gigs, a faux-horse gallops on stage. Taking cues from that, the iPhone app allows you to poke the horse in the eye to hear it neigh for joy. Figure out how to get to the next gig with driving directions on Google Maps. What’s more, you could even play along on one of the band’s songs as your device transforms into one of the instruments the band plays on stage. There’s also a play-along option. “Plus you can use the iPhone shaker and play music with the band as you play their songs,” says Talwar.
Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy’s iPhone application will be out next week, coinciding with their US tour. “That will be a paid application and there will be lots of features, which we are in the process of finalising,” Talwar says.