Ritnika Nayan is the young entrepreneur behind Music Gets Me High or MGMH. Ritnika was adjourned 'Young Music Entrepreneur' runner up by British Council in 2008. After international degrees and work experience to back her up, Ritnika returned to India to pursue her dream and create opportunities for young talent in her own country. In an exclusive interview with Yourstory Ritnika shares all about her journey, challenges and value creation in the process.
Her first experiences in the music industry were as a student in Hofstra University, New York in the concerts division of the University. She worked as a music promoter getting to work with bands like Maroon 5, Counting Crows and Nickelback. She also had hands on experience in every sphere of live music ranging from Tickets, Advertising, Production and Finances. The various nuances of the business aroused her interest and she decided to learn more about her chosen vocation. Armed with a Masters in Music Business management from Westminster University, London she then worked a brief stint with Peter Jenner (Sincere management) one time manager of Pink Floyd sharpening her skills.
Eventually she made her way back to India to further the cause of original Indian music. To this end she founded MGMH; (Music gets me High) in 2006. The venture reflects Ritnika’s varied areas of experience and deals with Artist Management, Live Concerts and Artist Merchandise.
To find out more about the British Council Young Music Entrepreneur Awards click here
YS: Why did you choose the Indian music scene when western acts would have loved to have you?
Ritnika: I was myself in a band so the cause of artist is my own cause; I work hard to ensure that they get payment, exposure and the right platform. It’s personal.”
At MGMH she has booked international gigs for bands like Parikrama and Shaa’ir + Func. Her reasoning is that some bands have more appeal than others and do better internationally.
YS: What does it takes for a band to go International?
Ritnika: You have to realize that the quality of music is one that is international, and not just something that works here… There are many promising acts here like Them Clones and The Superfuzz but either some other agency is managing them or they’re themselves undecided. (Superfuzz is now Indigo Children and both are now self managed.) We have worked with Indigo on and off, other promising artist is NUCLEYA, whom I manage.
Her fame has steadily risen and Indian music acts have become more familiar with MGMH.
YS: Was it a challenge setting up shop in the Indian music industry?
Ritnika: This sector is primarily a male bastion, so it’s a challenge to enter and establish yourself here, everyone knows everyone, for me the right degrees and experience at least ensured people take me seriously.
Her 2008 win as British Council “Young Music Entrepreneur” was a great boost to her work. Ritnika expresses her thanks saying “Got an opportunity to tour with a band oversees, British Council has supported me in various endeavors, Rwituja from the Council has been very helpful in forging tie ups... Met with UK educational department to collaborate.”
In July 2009 Ritnika and MGMH opened Sound Station, Delhi's largest rehearsal studio bringing her dream of setting international standards to fruit. Soundproofed and acoustically treated the studio covers a respectable 22 ft x 13Ft. The bands that frequent and use the studio have nothing but praise for the establishment.
Sanchal Malhar, vocalist of Indigo children (Superfuzz) says, “It’s the first of its kind in Delhi and it’s made by people who know the nitty gritties of the music business. Having jammed at Sound Station, I can say that the sound is great and the bands can rehearse in peace as the acoustics are brilliant. It is a state of the art jam studio where a band is being provided with good equipment and a place where they can actually know how they sound.”
Nikhil Rufus Raj, bassist of Indigo Children adds, “The acoustics are flat and hence I can hear myself. I would compare the sound to that of Blue Frog in Mumbai which has one of the best sound systems in the country. Sound Station will elevate the music scene in India and will definitely be of help for many bands to move forward.”
“The pad has everything that any kind of band will need, irrespective of their genres. Really nice setup, Had a great time” exults Niloy of Bramhanaad
Arman of Gypsy Daisy gushes about the studio experience saying “We loved the Jam room, Amazing First Experience ... “
YS: Do you think that the Indian Music scene will someday meet you halfway?
Ritnika: The work is hard and still very much an unorganized sector, but I thrive on the challenges, it’s the ability to build from scratch and help so many upcoming artists that gives me a high.
Yourstory believes that MGMH; (Music gets me High) and Ritnika have the right grooves to make things happen in India. We thank her for her time and salute her commitment to original Indian music.