Monkstar Live: Music beyond cinema

Monkstar Live encourages independent music artistes and bands to perform original compositions

Published - December 20, 2015 05:00 pm IST - HYDERABAD:

The group After Acoustics

The group After Acoustics

Antardhvani, The Harish Chandra project, Empty Sepulchre, After Acoustics, The Tapes and Deathtrap are names of music groups that one doesn’t hear in mainstream music. Mainstream that has become synonymous with film music. These groups, along with others, are a part of Monkstar Live Season One.

Monkstar Live is an initiative of Monkstar Music, a digital platform that intends to promote independent music. Bands are encouraged to perform their original compositions and given a platform. Monkstar records their song, helps them shoot their video and market it online.

“We are looking at music beyond Bollywood,” says Ravi Subramanian, who started Monkstar Music along with Sanjay Reddy, founder, managing director Silly Monks, and Anil Palala, founder-director Silly Monks, a film promotion agency.

The founders look at Monkstar Music as a “cause independent music company,” and Ravi states that the monetary returns from the music albums are shared with the music groups. Monkstar is open to groups experimenting with different genres of music in different languages.

“Monkstar Music was incubated six months ago,” says Ravi, who is also a composer. He and Anil Pallala came across several music artistes who had given up their passion and opted for regular jobs since there was no revenue model to sustain a career in music. “Record labels in India think no music will sell without a Salman Khan or a Shah Rukh Khan,” reasons Ravi.

The digital platform has made it easier for independent artistes to showcase their work online. Monkstar, says Ravi, provides the support required for the artistes to take their work further. They collaborated with TV Channel 99 News for the shooting and production of Season One, and Green, Bangalore, helped in bringing together eight bands from Hyderabad and other cities. Each season features eight bands, and each band performs two original compositions. Songs are released on a weekly basis. Bands interested to showcase their work don’t necessarily go through a selection procedure. “We don’t judge whether an artiste’s compositions are good or not. We leave that to the public. Our belief is that even if 1 per cent of the Indian population accepts an artiste’s music, that artiste can make music their career and create music only for their own set of followers. Our only condition is that artistes/bands need to perform original compositions,” Ravi sums up.

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