We love to hear them, watch them perform and groove to their beats. But when it comes to awards and accolades, pats on the back are all that indie musicians usually have to remain satisfied with because there were no national awards for these talented musicians.
Not any longer, though. Artist Aloud - a digital medium that has provided a platform for both iconic and budding independent musicians and artistes to showcase their talent is back with the third annual Artists Aloud Awards to honour independent music and enable indie music artists to gain the recognition they truly deserve. This year’s contest will recognise six music genres that include pop, rock, alternative, global, fusion and mixed bag.
So what’s the award all about? And how credible is it? Do artistes who win these awards, benefit from it? Soumini Paul, assistant vice-president, ArtistAloud, believes the biggest honour for any musician is mass acknowledgement for his work. “For us the awards are not just about achieving that but also a way to create a focused campaign. This is a totally consumer driven and votes-led awards and so, there is no biased influence. Every artist is nominated through one song in his genre category and we present it genre wise for easy bifurcation,” she says.
How does one vote for one’s favourite singer or group though? “As we have artistes across various genres, to make it practical we break down all the artists genre-wise and dedicate one week for each genre making it available for the user to vote. At the end of all the genre-based voting weeks, all votes garnered through the various methods are collated and the Top 5 across various categories, announced,” Paul explains.
The process for this year is already underway and votes for pop, rock and alternative genres have already ended. The remaining three weeks will allow users to vote for songs under global, fusion and mixed bags categories.
Banding with the best
Most groups, whose songs have been nominated, are obviously excited about the awards. Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, Varun Das, lead vocalist of the two-year-old Mumbai-based rock band Modern Mafia, says, “At the end of the day, it’s always great to receive an award. It feels good to be recognised. We are definitely hoping to win this time.”
Agrees Ashyar Balsara, lead guitarist of the Goa-based hard rock band Electric Pulse. “Being based in Goa, this kind of recognition would certainly help us increase awareness of our band across the country. We pay great attention to our live performances, hence it would give us an opportunity to travel and perform in front of new audiences.”
But when it comes to making money or gaining fame, does one still have to do a Bollywood number? Das feels things are getting better. “It’s really nice to see the independent music scene growing in India, especially in the past decade. But you need to do a couple of commercial jingles and maybe get a song into a Hindi film because that’s where the money is in India.”
Balsara agrees, but only in part. “Audiences are more open to new and different music and more venues promote live music. However, Bollywood is and always will be mainstream in this country. I can understand why independent artistes would move over to the film music line, but I don’t think you have to get in to film music to gain recognition and acceptance,” he says.
Whether these groups get nationwide recognition and fame, only time will tell. But there’s little doubt that with such awards, Indie music is finally getting its due.
To vote: log on to www.artistaloud.com/3rd-annual-awards or SMS AAA to 54646 .