Metroplus

Ensure there is a plan B

Always have a back up if you want to be a full time musician.

Always have a back up if you want to be a full time musician.  

Bengaluru’s musicians share their thoughts on taking the leap of faith into music as a full-time career

It’s every band’s and musician’s dream to follow their heart and get on stage to perform for a packed audience each time and get paid for it. Nothing means more to a musician than to earn a living out of their passion for music. But that road is less travelled and the path less walked since it’s always hard to take that leap of faith and jump into something that is still uncharted territory for most in a country like India. Bengaluru’s musicians share their opinion on what they believe is every artiste’s most pivotal choice in life.

Guitarist Bryden Lewis from the Raghu Dixit Project is positive.

“The opportunities are so much more now than before. Any form of art in that matter. It was unthinkable a couple of generations ago. But now, there is a lot of support. A lot of people are buying non-commercial music too and the independent scene is thriving. Commercial opportunities are also endless. Even if you look at the recent Bollywood film, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, they used a couple of independent artistes. Music is a business. There are plenty of opportunities and can be a career option.”

Vocalist Sujay Harthi from Peepal Tree, who has a day job, affirms that it may be possible now. “It is a good idea to take it up now because there are a lot of avenues that have come up. There’s a lot you can do being in music itself, not necessarily doing music live on stage but also other areas. Like session musicians in movies. Previously instruments would be programmed but now music programmers are looking for live musicians on board. There are also music composers going on tours to promote their work. So if you are willing to move away from your comfort zone which maybe rock or metal and do it side by side, you can look at it as a means to sustain yourself.”

Freelance drummer James Prabhakar disagrees. “I’ve met many people who have started as musicians and then taken a job to support themselves. When you start, it is exciting and you don’t worry about the money. You feel good because you are on stage and there are people to encourage you. But as days pass, there are real needs. You should look for some support and backup. A musician doesn’t have so much value in a city like Bangalore where he can earn his living, lead a life and follow his passion. It may force him to quit. Before even starting, you need savings and a job.”

Like every band’s dream, Vats Iyengar, frontman of Rainburn, says, “We also dream of earning a living as musicians and sustaining ourselves.

It’s difficult. A lot of mainstream bands still support themselves with other jobs. From TAAQ to Kryptos, every band has some kind of a back-up system.”

Guitarist Tilak John from Imputed Then agrees that being a fulltime musician in Bengaluru is very difficult, but not impossible.

“Parents are not encouraging. You need to be employed. Only then you are settled in life. It is possible provided you put your heart and soul into it. People who are looking to take up music need to work harder than anyone else. You can’t do it without support.”

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 2:36:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/ensure-there-is-a-plan-b/article7105886.ece

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