We have read good stories of people bringing change and making money through the combination of Internet and entrepreneurship, but what if you add a third factor “Music” in this equation. Thrilling, isn’t it?
Recently, I saw this equation turning awesome at Hard Rock Café, New Delhi, a young and calm Chinmayi Tripathi managing some live event (#freethemusic) swiftly and after few minutes singing her self-composed tracks. My artist buddy Shantanu (currently with Songdew) introduced me to Chinmayi and we got chatting about her musical journey of entrepreneurship with Songdew and fellow independent artists. Here is all you want to know about her story.
So what was the kick behind Songdew.com – online music streaming website for independent artists/fans. First was the large number of Indian and foreign independent musicians who did not have a platform to connect on and showcase their talent. Therefore Songdew decided to give them a social network to showcase their talent by helping them interact with their fans/listeners, and thereby help bridge the gap between talent and awareness among people. Songdew would also help share, collaborate, promote, and distribute their music all in one place. More importantly, the platform could connect with local opportunities of music creation, promotion and events for their music. And by doing all the above, prevent real artists and musicians to stop migrating from the career path from music to something else.
Within a year of launch, Songdew has more than 25 thousand registered artists and bands from India and abroad who are using the service to engage with fans and connect with new audience, promote or distribute their music. There is also a growing base of listeners who visit the site to stream music, connect with artists or download music. Chinmayi believes this is just the beginning: “I feel we are only at the tip of an iceberg considering the number of talented musicians that are there in various parts of our country, especially in the remote areas and small towns,” she says positively.
Read on for details of the tete-a-tete:
What is ‘free the music’ initiative by Songdew, how this will earn money for artists?
Chinmayi : With this initiative our idea was to create a platform through which artists/bands can launch their music in such a way that the music does not just get distributed through digital stores and CDs, but also reaches out to its audience and gains exposure. We reached out to various platforms to create a launch. In phase 1, we launched the music of 6 new bands under the campaign of ‘Free the Music’. The music is being promoted by Aircel as well as by various partners on their platform. We have a launch tour of 5 cities going on at Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Guwahati. We are as of now in the middle of the campaign and we are thrilled with the response! The kind of enquiries that are pouring in, we have already started gearing up for the next series as more and more artists / bands are approaching us for the launch. It’s really exciting and we hope to make the next series far bigger!” Everyone can support her mission ‘free the music’ here.
Where do you see Songdew in next 2-3 years?
Chinamyi: There are no boundaries really; we see ourselves as the leading web based platform enabling creative people to come together to create music and provide them all necessary tools to promote and monetize their creations.
What other benefits Songdew is innovating for artists and listeners?
Chinamyi: There are various new opportunities of contests and events that are lined up for the next few months. Many of them involve collaborations with other platforms such as 9X0, 9X Tashan, Radio city and other platforms. There are some ambitious plans involving video based programs and events of larger scale. We will keep you posted about all of them via our website time to time.
How to connect with Songdew if I’m an artist from an area where there is no or less internet connectivity?
Chinmayi: Simplest way to get in touch with us is through email. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If that’s not viable then call us. A lot of artists call us on phone or simply drop in to our office, if you have good original music, we are always happy to talk to you and explore new opportunities with your music.
What’s your team size, any key players?
Chinmayi: - We have a team size of 15. And it is an exciting blend of people with best skill set and domain knowledge in the area of business, technology, art and energy with entrepreneurial drive.
Your message for independent artists turning entrepreneurs
Chinmayi: We are currently in a very dynamic and exciting time. The best thing is that we can choose who we wish to become, even if it’s something not very conventional, we can still do it and carve our own niche in that process. If you wish to become an entrepreneur and do something on your own, of course it’s going to be challenging, but it’s still worth doing. Besides, what’s the fun in life if there is no challenge?
We hope she can inspire and promote as many as promising musicians she finds. Do you remember when ‘flyte’ was pulled back by Flipkart, some people said it failed, some said it’s due to internet piracy killing music and blah-blah. But for all those who love Indian music and the startup scene, a good news is that Flipkart is supporting ‘Freethemusic’ by distributing/selling the CD/DVDs. So Mr. ‘internet’ you supported Torrent in piracy now support good initiatives like this in return.
If you have any scoop about Art, Music, theatre or something weird - tip me on twitter @iatinsharma. Atin Sharma is a positive thinker and motivator, he is a mechanical engineer by education but his understanding of customers and youthful entrepreneurs made him interact with the start-up world. He strives to help youth independent artists of Theater and Music.