Singer-composer Salim Merchant believes that independent music has gotten out of Bollywood’s shadow and says that the industry is now standing up on its own. “Over the last couple of years, because of various reasons, I believe that independent music has become really big in this country and is now completely thriving on its own,” he says.
Salim, one half of the popular music composing duo Salim-Sulaiman, recently collaborated with YouTube famed singer Siddarth Slathia for an independent single Mast Maula. “There’s a lot that is going on in the digital space that is letting it (independent music) grow. There are so many artists now, who can just record a song and put it out on the internet and do well from there on. So many musicians from different genres have now built a credible fan base in the country on their digital profiles. They don’t need films or the film industry to promote them,” he adds.
“You see so many Bollywood actors featuring in the independent music videos. Last year, you saw Hrithik (Roshan) feature in Honey Singh’s song (Dheere Dheere) and now Amy Jackson and Sunny Leone have featured in Manj’s singles. Even we had Elli Avram feature in the song, Habibi that we did with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in 2014. More and more stars from Bollywood are getting into videos is because they know there is a separate audience who listen to independent music and it’s a great avenue for them,” he adds.