Marketing Indian classical music and artists have always been a tough task. But with growing awareness about its advantages, changes are evident. Aggressive marketing techniques are adopted by some, following which they have been able to perform to packed auditoriums. With persistent efforts in marketing by some of these talented artists, have managed to reach a wider audience.
Dr Rajan Saxena, Vice-Chancellor, NMIMS University and renowned Marketing Expert, while striking at the root of this issue, mentioned that Indian classical music needs to be made popular by adopting changes that can revive interest in the genre among people.
Gauri Yadwadkar, Head – Artist and Repertoire, Times Music, who has been on the music scene for over two decades, said, “A few artists may become more popular at the national and international scene, with aggressive marketing strategies adopted.”
This popularity helps in generating enthusiasm among the audiences and thus garner more fan following.
“While sponsors and organisers also tend to support certain talent who can pull a crowd for their concerts, only these artists get the opportunity to perform live,” Gauri added further.
Thus, only a few artists receive name and fame, reach a wider audience and in the process, some may get deprived of the much-needed recognition.
Gauri stressed that marketing assumes great significance in the current scenario, “It is vital as the audience needs to know, be aware and understand about the artist, event and venue. Organisers have also started coming out with great curated programmes. Digital and social media plays an important role as a tool to market an event, artists and venues too.”
Dr Saxena detailing the nuances involved in the process of marketing, said, “The bundling strategy can be applied here, promote upcoming talent, with an already established one.”
Gauri who strongly feels that young, talented aspiring singers must be offered opportunities, suggests that “Sponsors, organizers and audience should accommodate young talent during concerts as newcomers and as they grow mature, must bring them into the main live bracket.”
Gauri while dwelling deep into the problem further pointed out that awards like SurJyotsna can offer credibility to new budding artists and then they can get support from organisers and generate an audience of their own.
Dr Saxena glorifying importance of musical festivals stated, such fest should be held at the city levels, which should be open for all, inviting talent across the globe.
A musical extravaganza, SurJyotsna National Music Awards (SJNMA) honours aspiring young talent in Indian Classical and Popular music and is organised by Lokmat group. SJNMA was instituted in memory of Smt. Jyotsna Darda in 2014.
Gauri, who was part of the jury team of SurJyotsna award, along with Sonu Nigam, Ajay-Atul, Vijay Darda, Shashi Vyas, Sonali Rathod, said, “Smt Jyotsna Darda who had deep aspiration that Indian music should be popular at global scenario was of the opinion that young talent can take the legacy of Indian classical music forward.”
The jury had a long list of talented artists to choose from for the award. “Each one of them was immensely talented and had the ability to take forward the legacy of Indian classical music. However, we selected the names on the basis of their talent, creativity, efforts put in by them and their ability to continue and pursue in the field of music with dedication and perfection,” said Gauri for whom the experience of choosing the winners had been exhilarating.
“When we saw Arya Ambekar and Shikhar Naad Qureshi perform in front of the august audience and witnessed their positive, exhilarating response, we were assured of our choice of awardees,” she added.
“Organisers like Pancham Nishad have initiated small intimate baithaks or concerts for offering platforms to young talent,” Gauri says, adding further, such concepts have been successful and there is a need to have more to encourage new budding talent in the country.
Despite ample evidence of the importance of Indian Classical music in defining our great musical history, many view it as a luxury, something reserved for the rich and elite. This attitude is more or less responsible for a limited audience, which further gets skewed as classical music is not made available according to their convenience.
A great deal of effort must be invested to understand current and potential audiences, their preferences, and attitudes towards classical music concerts.
While it is necessary that sponsors and audiences begin supporting the wide diversity available among singers and musicians of Indian classical music. This gives the audience a choice to enjoy a variety of artists.