Things are certainly looking up for the independent music scene in India. Not too long after Beatles' producer John Leckie came down to India to select bands for an album produced by the British Council, there’s more good news.
The One Music Festival Movement (OMFM), which takes place in Perth, Australia in October this year, will bring together 80 international bands on one stage. For its first time, two Indian bands will also perform along with bands from the Asia-Pacific.
Says Sudhir Sreedharan, the Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Music Industry Newsletter and the strategic advisor for OMFM in India, “AR Rahman’s Oscars have done wonders for us. The west has realised there’s a lot of talent out here too. It’s time to take it to the next level.”
In the two-day long music expo, also for the first time, there will be a conference with an India-specific focus. Atul Churamani, from Saregama, has been invited as a speaker, along with the top brass of digital media and mobile companies, where they will share the podium with the most influential artist managers and record label owners worldwide.
“It will be exciting to have Indians share their thoughts about our music industry,” says Sreedharan. “The biggest music companies in the world will discuss with us their ideas for Indian music too.”
To take this initiative forward, Sat Bisla, Founder and MD of A&R Worldwide, one of the most prominent businesspersons in music, who has worked with artistes like Dido, Faithless and Fatboy Slim, had come down to India on Tuesday, July 14. As part of his agenda and OMFM and IMI’s strategy for selecting the two bands for the festival, he met up with some of the best-known Indian bands, like Pentagram, and independent music label owners.
Sreedharan reveals, "Our strategy is to first speak to the ‘popular’ or export-ready bands, that have original music and a brilliant live act, and are almost ready to be signed up by international labels – because there will be labels at OMFM hoping to sign up Indian bands.”
“Secondly, we are speaking to independent labels like OML and Blue Frog, to see which of their bands are ready for international exposure – since these labels have been promoting talent in India.”
Auditions would be the last resort, but interested bands can approach the IMI directly. “We are not necessarily looking at big Indian bands,” Sreedharan promises. “But great bands who have mass appeal in the university circuit.”