Chasing the dream

Crowdfunding music

Chasing the dream

The musical scene has been expanding steadily and is seeing a prevalence of many forms of experimentation. One such trend is that of crowdfunding, which is increasingly becoming popular.

   With the many possibilities that the digital world offers, crowdfunding is making an appearance in the regional music scene too.

From bands to solo artistes, many are resorting to this method for projects as varied as concerts and music videos. ‘Naadamaya’, a rap song by Karthik Gubbi, which was about Bengaluru, was crowdfunded.

Karthik says, “The script was ready but the budget overshot my calculations. Though I was suggested the idea of crowdfunding, I was confused about who would want to put in their money into it. But I decided to go ahead and achieved my target 10 days before the deadline.  There were also people who gave me money directly as they wanted to be a part of the project.”

Bengaluru’s accepting audience is opening up to new ideas, leading to the success of this concept. “There are a lot of people who feel attached to a crowdfunded music video and have an emotional connect to it. The artiste could feel a little pressure but it is a rewarding experience,” Karthik adds.

Samir Rishu Mohanty aka ‘Big Deal’, whose EP ‘One Kid With A Dream’ is crowdfunded, says that there is a lot of work involved, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. “I was lucky to have raised more than I expected to. In fact, the amount helped me to go ahead with future projects too. The whole process depends on whether the crowd finds the artiste worthy of investment,” says Samir.
“The crowdfunded project also attracts attention for future projects, like for my latest music video ‘One Kid’. It’s like a ripple effect,” he adds.

There are some who believe that the concept has a long way to go. Salman Syed, founder of ‘Bangalore Open Air’, used the concept for an earlier edition of the festival. “People are choosy about spending money. One doesn’t have a guarantee about the finished product with crowdfunding. When it came to the music festival, band names had to be announced to attract attention, but they couldn’t be named yet as they needed to be paid. It was a difficult situation,” narrates Salman.

He adds that the format had to be scaled down as the money raised wasn’t enough. “The success formula includes many elements. Nonetheless, it boosts the artiste’s confidence.”

The rewards given to the people who donate and the hype created by the campaign helps to popularise the track or album, say artistes like Sachin Banandur, drummer with ‘Parvaaz’. “Our full-length album ‘Baran’ used this. Rewards like CDs got people talking. This is turn helped to popularise the album,” he says. “We were able to reach our target. The concept is picking up, but the artistes need to remember that whatever they are putting out has to be different from what already exists,” adds Sachin.

Using crowdfunding to make an ongoing project is Suraj Mani from ‘Suraj Mani & The Tattva Trip’. He says, “I have a space called ‘OOHeaven’, which is a performance space that holds something called the ‘Muse Room’. We allow a band to perform here and a recording of the same happens, which later becomes a part of a compilation album ‘The Great Indian Indie Recordings’ .”

Suraj aims to bring in volumes of these recordings that will be crowdfunded. “Most artistes find it really costly to record at a studio nowadays. We will keep putting out these albums, which will encourage artistes. I am asking for donations as meagre as Rs 100, which earns the donor a copy of the recording. This money will be used to create a wider platform for the artistes,” he details.

The concept of the final product needs to be unique and convincing enough for the crowd to invest into it, says Gomtesh Upadhye, creator of the viral music video ‘Neeye’. Gomtesh’s friend had created a song and he wanted to make it a dance-based music video. “The final product has to offer something new to the audience. Also, the success of the campaign depends on the social media hype that is created and the artistes who are involved,” he adds.

Gomtesh, who’s better know as a cinematographer,  says, “Some of the requisites for a successful crowdfunding campaign include having an idea which makes people want to check it out. Also, a pitch video will help to take it forward. The campaign clicks best when the artiste is confident and is able to convince the audience too.” He adds that the rewards that go to the people also add to the hype. “I opted for workshops and so on which aroused people’s interest.”


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