What Coke Studio Musicians & Startup Teams should Have in Common

4th May 2013
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Fusion music is a combination of two or more styles of music. And in recent years this genre has gained much popularity thanks to programs like the Coke Studio.

There are many reasons to love Coke Studio. For one, the music is great. But on another level, it provides musicians and composers a platform to experiment with many different styles of music. You would often find a pure classical musician singing in accompaniment with western instruments. You will also find some Indian and oriental instruments playing with electronic and western instruments.

What’s the big deal you ask?

Music is very subjective. What is good in India, is weird somewhere else. Music that I find downright bizarre, maybe be wonderful in someone else’s opinion. Despite such differences, Coke Studio’s fusion music still appeals to the masses and I feel that is because of the way the song comes together. Each instrument, each voice, irrespective of their heritage, compliments the other in a beautiful way, often giving the audience a goosebump attack.


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Ever wondered how do they manage to come together so well? Here are a few things that come to mind.

Empathy

Acknowledging that you have a problem is half the problem solved. In case of fusion music, it is understanding that people come from different backgrounds. For example, there are many songs which have a western drummer, playing in tandem with an Indian percussionist. Coordinating between two western drummers itself is a big headache. But if even one of them recognizes that the other is approaching the job differently, the problem is solved. It requires a sense of empathy and accommodation to produce beautiful music despite coming from different backgrounds.

Happiness in what you do

Ego is associated with most people with an artistic inclination. This is understandable, as these

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people can do something that others can’t, and this naturally gives them a feeling of superiority. However, the best musicians in the world, aren’t driven by this ego.While top artists do have a strong artist’s ego, the happiness they derive in playing great music overrides it. I believe that excellence in a craft will only come if you enjoy doing it. This is a prevalent factor in most of Coke Studio’s fusion renditions -- it is a set of musicians who simply love what they do.

Happiness for others

In a 20 person band, getting 19 other people to quieten down so that one instrument can be heard is a tough ask. Getting those 19 people to happily do so is out of question in many bands. However, this is a regular feature in many Coke Studio performances.


happy

The lead guitar with mellow down, so that a Saarangi solo can be heard. A piano will play low base music, to accentuate the sound of a traditional harmonium. At least from the outside, most Coke Studio performances are highlighted by the joy that artist’s show when another artist performs well.A common goal

And finally, most Coke Studio performances are a confluence of people who just want to make and play good music. You will often find the same set of musicians performing week after week, always topping their previous performances.

This, is the biggest factor, that sets Coke Studio fusion renditions apart from the others. By bringing people aligned to a common goal, these performances can transcend barriers of heritage, hence making the perfect fusion renditions.

A Startup Team = a fusion band

I think a startup team is a lot like a fusion band. It brings people from different backgrounds to work on a common goal. Whether the band/team is a good one or not, completely depends on the aforementioned factors. If you have a team that has all these characteristics, then you have a great team that will work to produce beautiful work; much like this song -

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