If putting a band together and playing live are tough tasks, helping the artistes through the many ordeals of album recording is no less.
The underdogs behind any band’s music are often the sound engineer and the record producer who take great pains in ensuring that the artiste clicks with the public. But more often than that, because this is a business like any other, making music has become a standoff between artistes and producers. Through its history, we trace the effect it has had on independent and struggling artistes and also the impact of film music on the industry.
When the corporations dictated too many terms, things fell out and independent record labels helped artistes with more freedom and expression as their works were aimed at small groups but devoted followers. Soon after this became another trend what with every great artiste including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones setting up their own labels (Apple Records and Rolling Stones Records). Eventually they were gobbled up by the bigger labels or joined them to hold a viable position.
All of which slowly snowballed into a host of other music phenomenon like the open-source record labels, independent music movement and then eventually, the Internet. So how have the international tides of change affected the local music scenario here?
“If I were to approach a record label for a chance to cut an album, I would need decent demos at least to show them. But then the people here are not capable of doing that either. For one thing, Hyderabad has no good studio where a band can record.They are so hungover with the film music scene here that the engineers have no knowledge about working with a band.,” says Abbas Rizvi, sound engineer and bass player.
And among other things, Hyderabad has always had its fascination for film music, which local artistes say, has been the nail in the coffin for the music movement here.
“We have good studios here but people do not know how to work their way around recording for a band. That is because half the studios are used to feeding and programming their material on a keyboard. There is no concept of “live recording” here. Moreover, if a band decides to courageously hire one of these studios, they will be left bankrupt as the working rates are very expensive here,” says Vivek Sagar, guitarist and music arranger.
But our lads have in the past actively recorded and released numerous works both online and offline, much to the delight of their followers here. And with the power of the Internet, a guitar and a good mike, anybody and everybody can become an artiste now.
Ask Shankar Tucker about the power of the Internet and he says, “It is an amazing way of reaching out to not just the crowd but also other like minded musicians. I wouldn’t have been in India playing for an audience if it wasn’t for the Internet.”
While the pastures are not green enough for struggling artistes here, it is not that grim either. The fact that the city is now being chosen to host international bands and artistes is credit enough to those who have kept the pot burning here.
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