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I dont think Indian classical music is neglected: Santoor maestro Rahul Sharma

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New Delhi: Rahul Sharma, the son of santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, regards it a misconception that one needs to be absolutely aware of the know-how of classical music in order to enjoy it.

Following his fathers’ footsteps in taking the Indian classical music scene globally, the young maestro is often seen adding a foreign touch to his work.

“It’s a misconception that if you don’t understand the classical music you cannot enjoy it. This is not true. Today I see several youngsters at my concerts. I guess when they see a younger artist who has the potential to be an icon, a connection is made with the younger listener.”

“I think more classical concerts should be broadcast live and collaborations with popular western artistes will also help in making people aware of Indian classical music,” Rahul told reporters on the phone from Mumbai.

He had collaborated with Egyptian artist Georges Kazazian and Indian playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan for a project in 2011.

It was not the first time that Rahul joined hands with an international artist. He has also worked with French pianist Richard Clayderman and keyboardist Kersi Lord. He even collaborated with international musician Eric Mouquet on “Deep India” concert in 2013.

With the receding popularity of classical music amongst youth, does he think the art form is fading?

“Not at all. Apart from my collaborations with Grammy winners such as Kenny G, Eric Moquet of ‘Deep Forest’, which had great sales in India, we also managed to reach the number one spot on the Billboard jazz charts with Kenny G and my album ‘Namaste’.”

“I don’t think it (classical music) is neglected. It’s an individualistic imagination that helps an artiste to bring in audiences in India,” said the musician, who started accompanying his father to concerts at the age of 24 in 1996.

The talented composer, who gave music for the 2002 Hindi film “Mujhse Dosti Karoge!”, is a sought-after concert artiste and has released more than 40 albums including “Maya”, “The Rebel” and “Samandar”.

Rahul, who endorses Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea, a brand that has been synonymous with classical music, became part of a 14-hour-long music concert recently in Mumbai with sitarist Shahid Parvez and djembe player Taufiq Qureshi along with other artistes to celebrate the brand’s golden jubilee.

The artiste says he was floored by the idea as it presented different variations of Indian classical music.

“I think it’s a great idea to have so many classical musicians come together spanning a 14-hour duration. The beauty about Indian classical music is that it has a time cycle and different ragas are played from sunrise to sunset,” he said. (Sugandha Rawal, IANS) (Image source: blogspot.com)

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Live Music Can Now be Rocked Virtually Also

Hotels have started LIVE music entertainment for its guests and patrons sitting at home during the extended lockdown

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Virtual concerts are taking a lead in music industry. Pixabay

BY ADITI ROY

Virtually bringing alive the energy and vibe of India’s most happening nightclubs and liveliest bars, THE Park Hotels has started LIVE entertainment for its guests and patrons sitting at home during the extended lockdown.

THE Park Aqua Sunset was released last month to set the weekend mood; its is a mixtape series releasing every Sunday at 5 PM on MixCloud and SoundCloud. A specially curated tracklist of a music extraordinaire is introduced every week. The genres range from electronica, downtempo, chillout, house, and world music – by the finest artist collective line-up from across the country. It brings the flavours of the crazy pool parties from the signature alfresco poolside of the hotel in Delhi.

Swarup Varma, VRIDIAN and Abhi Meer have released their curated tracklists till now. Celebrated artists including Xirer, Aaryan, Stalvart John, and Praveen Achary are going to play in the weeks to come. The artists are well-known, home-grown and heavyweight electronic music producers with a knack of musical diversity. The first tracklist by Swarup Varma organically made it to the eTop 3 track list in India for Chillout’ category on MixCloud. Tune in to these channels every Sunday at 5 PM for the weekend sunset party like never before at your home:

To bring the heady atmosphere, passionate live performances and bags of rock ‘n’ roll attitude, the iconic Someplace Else from THE Park Kolkata is going LIVE every day at 8 PM on its Facebook page with India’s most celebrated musicians and artists.

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Virtually bringing alive music and vibe of India’s most happening nightclubs. Pixabay

Someplace Else which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary has been engaging with artists to spark up these grim times through live virtual sessions. Till now Behram Siganporia from Best Kept Secret, Salman & Zaman, Abha Hanjura, Wagah Road, Nilayan, Adil Rashid (Underground Authority), Kamran and Kolkata’s favourite Kaustav Banerjee has performed.

The live sessions have recorded more than 3,60,000 viewers for 35 artists and have received rave reviews from the music revellers for this initiative. The number of followers have been rapidly increasing on the Facebook page and the viewer’s look forward to these sessions every day at 8 PM. Few artists to look forward to in the coming days are Khurshid (Karaoke World Champion India in 2011), Bubbles from Chicago, Astitva, Abhishek Gurung (Gingerfeet), Faridkot, and many more.

Speaking on these initiatives, Ruchika Mehta, Corporate Director- Communications & PR said, “While we continue to do our community initiatives, we also realize that people are getting jaded sitting at home in this extended lockdown and are looking for things to bring in cheer and positivity. We at THE Park are known for our nightlife and F&B offerings, therefore have introduced these LIVE sessions with musicians and celebrated artists. We have been receiving overwhelming response till now. And the teams are set to continue the LIVE entertainment for the days to come.”

Also Read: Expectations Startups Should Have in The Coming Month

MixCloud – https://www.mixcloud.com/THEParkHotels/

SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/theparkhotels

The music lovers can join in the LIVE session every day at 8 PM via https://www.facebook.com/someplaceelsethepark/ (IANS)

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First Virtual Concert Launched with Help Of Artist Support Platform

StayIN aLIVE will launch its first virtual event with Help Of Artist Support Platform

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Artists unite to bring a virtual event to audince amid COVID. Pixabay

Taking cognizance of the COVID-19 impact on the live art space, a few India-based arts and media organizations have ideated, debated, and created an artist support platform, stayIN aLIVE, which is all set to launch its first 24-hour event on Saturday with over 60 artists.

Performing artists from various fields will cover a range of topics, such as, ‘How does one deal with a creator’s block’; or ‘Know your digital rights as an artist’; or even jam with fellow artists on viewers’ screen. Participating artists include Uday Benegal, Naezy, Kubbra Sait, Tanmay Bhat, Shilpa Rao, Nakash Aziz, Dualist Inquiry, Nikhita Gandhi, Suhani Singh, Nikhil D’souza, Tejas Menon who will be sharing their stories, learnings and art, all through the day.

According to organisers, it aims to build a long-term, sustainable platform for artists to nurture, support and strengthen each other in the coming years.

“Fuelled with a deep love and admiration for the live arts and performance industry, this is a collective of organisations and individuals, hoping to create a movement of awareness and self-sufficiency for the live industry. The aim is to educate, inspire and support artists and at the forefront of that aim and vision is a commitment to cultivate best practices, encourage thought leadership and become compassionate, yet impactful and sustained, voice of advocacy for government policies related to the live arts industry,” they said.

Their motto, #StageBadlega has never been truer. The ‘stage’ is no longer the wood panelled, sprawling space with clear entry/ exit points and synchronised lighting. It is now a soothing cosy corner of the library or a neatly organised living room dotted with personal photos. New trends are currently being witnessed but what happens once this lockdown is lifted? What is the long-term solution for freelancing artists and the live events industry to become self-sufficient and holistically support itself?

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Artist support platform to launch first virtual event. Pixabay

“It has taken us almost two months to set our vision and to bring together like-minded individuals that view this as a long term platform. On 16th, the first half of the day is dedicated to information exchange, experience-sharing and really just opening up the hearts and minds of artists to each other and to the audience. This is only the beginning of our journey into building a solid support system for performing artists across fields,” Roshan Abbas, Founder – Kommune shared.

The stayIN aLIVE Foundation is a collective between Kommune, Big Bang Music, Tabhrasa, Priyanka Khimani, KWAN, OML, The ArtX Company, Alok Parande, Paytm Insider, Shark & Ink, Tape A Tale, Artist Aadmi, Unmute, Women of India, Gully Gang and Tarsame Mittal Talent Management.

As per music and entertainment rights expert Priyanka Khimani, many artists who work in the now prevalent gig ecosystem face issues like not being paid on time or at all, struggling to protect their creative work and a myriad of other problems that arise from being an independent creator. These are issues that arise in addition to several things that artists, represented or independent, have to deal with on a regular basis.

Also Read: Don’t throw COVID-caution to the wind

The new initiative aims to be that single body that will hopefully be the backbone for every artist to follow with regards to industry best practices, government representation, and advocacy when needed. The funds raised from this initiative will be directed towards supporting artists in need. (IANS)

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“Music Has Become the Daily Partner for People”, Says Gaana CEO

Music has become a daily partner of people during crisis, believes Gaana CEO

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Gaana has observed a significant increase of 13 percent in music consumption during the lockdown. Pixabay

By Siddhi Jain

With self-isolation and social distancing imposed across India, music has become the daily partner for people trying to beat boredom and anxiety as they stay indoors, says Prashan Agarwal, CEO of music streaming application Gaana which has noted a significant 13 percent rise in music consumption during the lockdown.

In a recent study of listening patterns of over 150 million of its Indian users, the app has found that Indians are relying on music more than ever before in these tough times.

“The study revealed a 13 per cent rise in music consumption across India, with a notable 12 per cent spike in romantic playlist streams across all age groups and 14 percent increase in devotional playlists – even among 18-24 year olds,” Gaana said.

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There is a significant spike of 12 per cent in romantic playlist streams across all age groups. Pixabay

Besides romance and spirituality, they noted a 36 percent surge in workout playlists as people are workout at home, and a 24 percent surge in motivational or self-help podcasts as they are keeping themselves focused to power through the odds.

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“At Gaana, we are glad to be able to be the country’s go-to music app as they go about their daily chores, working out, meditation, etc and feel more hopeful about the future. It’s time for us to connect and share the simple things like a common love for music that spark joy in our daily lives,” Agarwal told IANSlife.

In terms of artist picks, Arijit Singh, Tanishk Bagchi, Neha Kakkar, Pritam and Badshah emerged as the most popular Indian artists, and Justin Beiber, Alan Walker, Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez and Ed Sheeran were the most popular global artistes. (IANS)