“Begin making art and all else will fall in place,” said Aadhi of Hiphop Tamizha fame.
Speaking to a room full of young musicians and rappers at an event held by Spotify India recently, the singer-actor said that most independent artises are afraid of putting pen to paper.
“I made catchy yet simple songs but they were also trolled. It should not matter if people accept your music or not. It is likely that if you keep putting out art that you believe in, you will find your way in the industry. My song from 2015 — ‘Kadhale Kadhale’ — is now viral but barely saw success back then,” he said.
The musician who first shot to fame creating independent music about a decade ago, is now acting and directing films too. Aadhi insisted that young creators need to produce brands and ensure that they make money, gain ‘power from fans’ and command the respect of peers to be successful in the business. He said that harnessing tools and platforms like Spotify to market one’s work and dedicating time to becoming music entrepreneurs, will help their future. This is especially so in the age of the Internet, he said.
He was part of a panel of experts including head of artiste and label partnerships, Spotify India, Padmanabhan NS; vice president of Think Music, Santosh Kumar; founder, Media Masons, Ravoofa HK; and Chennai-based independent musician, Aryaman Singh who goes by Sunflower Tape Machine. Here, they discussed the advantages of self-producing music, finding success and using technology to aid musicians reach new listeners. Besides performing with the panel, the audience too participated, asking several questions about leveraging new tech.
Padmanabhan said that independent musicians can choose to create great music about current events and do not need to wait for labels or filmmakers to release their work. “Music has the space to change politics in most countries. Revolutions all have anthems,” he said. He added that music of all kinds do well. Besides Kollywood in Tamil Nadu, devotional music also regularly top charts.
Ravoofa said that artistes who work on their own music are also free from deadlines or instructions regarding their work, reducing pressure. Sunflower Tape Machine added that musicians must be patient and consistent in order to see success.
The event culminated in the release of ‘Radar Tamil’ part of Spotify’s global programme for emerging artists. This playlist will feature prominent and upcoming Tamil independent artists every month to ensure that they can be better discovered on these apps. Rahul Balyan, head of Music, Spotify India, said that music from the language is finally growing new shoots. Radar Tamil is an effort to jump in on an industry that is on the verge of its breakout, he said.