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The rise of indie music in lockdown

Noor Anand Chawla

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Most people raised in the glorious decade of the 90s, have an innate appreciation for indie music created by independent artists. Unfortunately, with the advent of new technologies, piracy of music became prominent and deprived this talented crop of artists, the means to earn a proper livelihood by creating music of their choice. They turned to Bollywood for continued success in the field and for a period of about 20 years, it seemed that the music industry existed only within the confines of the film industry. Fortunately, things have begun to look up once again. The pandemic-induced lockdown brought many changes to our lives, including the rise of independent artists creating noteworthy indie music.

Siddhant Bansal

The emergence of popular and affordably-priced streaming platforms, has reduced the piracy rate and allowed indie artists to create their own music without depending on a label for production support. Many artists collaborate with others in the field, to tap in to each other’s network and popularity. Siddhant Bansal is a great example of this phenomenon, who has received much acclaim for his new soulful single ‘Main Kya Kahun’.

The immense pain that follows a heartbreak is indeed a universal sentiment that everyone has felt at one point or another. Bansal’s latest offering focusses on this. By using relatable lyrics and soft vocals, the song expresses the vulnerability and hurt of betrayal that often comes with unrequited love.

Mumbai-based Bansal does not have a musical background and pursued his passion for music, only after his talent was noticed and rewarded in his University days in Jaipur. Since graduating, he has created over 50 successful cover versions and 5 original compositions that have brought him recognition in this field. Expressing his gratitude for the journey he has enjoyed so far, Bansal shares, “I am so thankful for the support I have received from loved ones and fans. They have helped me cement the belief in myself and allowed me to attain these heights.”

During the pandemic, Bansal chose to reflect on his innermost feelings. Drawing on the pain of heartbreak from these reflections, he developed his single ‘Main Kya Kahun’. He chose to collaborate with popular Music Producer Sid Paul, for a fresh perspective and to elevate the song to the next level.

Sharing that the ending of the song had left him puzzled for ages, he shares, “it took me 1 year and 5 months to find the perfect ending for the song. Just as with love stories, I was waiting for something magical to happen that would help me find closure and finish the song. And then I collaborated with Sid Paul. I believe if something does not come to you, then you should go looking for it! After all, everything happens for a reason, and for your own good – hona tha jo, hua hai wahi!”

The main message behind ‘Main Kya Kahun’ is that all love stories cannot come to fruition, and some are meant to be short-lived. Relationships that are toxic should be ended, so one can move on, to find the happiness they deserve. Bansal says, “finding closure from a bad relationship and learning to move on by overcoming your fear of loving again, is a lesson we must all learn. For many, this acceptance of heartbreak – of their love having failed, is the hardest bridge to cross. They continue to live in denial or hope for some miracle to happen for years on end, but that is so unhealthy.”

‘Main Kya Kahun’ has received the support of numerous prominent platforms, further encouraging independent artists to continue making original music. Bansal’s song premiered on Red FM during their Indie music program called Red Indies Shuffle, which is aired across 36 cities of India. In addition to this, Mirchi Indies by Radio Mirchi also featured the song through an Insta Live session that took place in early May. The song has also been featured in two of Spotify India’s editorial playlists – ‘Sad Indie Bops’ and ‘Incoming Indie’, and is available for streaming on all leading platforms. The success of Siddhant Bansal’s latest song is representative of the dawn of a new era in the music industry, which music lovers can look forward to.

The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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