My husband’s journey into music involved a lot of hard work," says Radhika Mukherji, wife to singer Shaan, as we sit down for a chat at her Khar residence. Dressed casually in a white chikan kurti paired with blue denims, Radhika, who insists that we drink some lemon juice if not the coffee, cuts the figure of a perfect host. But, apart from managing her home, the 38-year-old has lately been occupied with Happydemic (www.happydemic.com), a digital platform that helps performing artistes connect with clients, interested in their work.
Radhika Mukherji credits her singer husband Shaan for giving flight to project Happydemic. Pic/Nimesh Dave
While she and entrepreneur Amar Pandit, who has over 20 years of experience in IT and financial services, are the brains behind this venture, Radhika credits her husband and his journey as singer, for giving flight to this project.
"Shaan was fortunate to have been discovered early, and with his father (late music director Manas Mukherjee) being part of the industry, he inherited a certain kind of respect. But while he didn’t struggle to get in, he worked very hard to stay put," recalls Radhika.
She adds that Shaan, who has been a host on music talent hunt show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, learned from his own hardships and hand-held young artistes, ensuring that they found the right platform for their talent. "Shaan believes in keeping in touch with artistes, who he meets at reality shows. He has so many chat groups on WhatsApp, and he doesn’t allow anybody to exit. He feels the need to be there for them," says Radhika. Pawandeep Rajan, winner of The Voice India in 2015, also stayed with the family for three months, while he was struggling to find a footing in Bollywood.
It’s the lack of a good platform for struggling artistes that pushed Radhika, who has more than 15 years of experience conceptualising and organising shows, to start Happydemic.
The one-of-its-kind initiative enables artistes to register online. Then, Radhika and her core team of professionals — ranging from talent managers, tech experts and researchers — will filter and screen before putting them in touch with those seeking their services. Events could range from private parties to big-ticket shows. "There are a lot of talented people out there, but somehow they are unable to deploy themselves and land good work. This platform will help them find an audience," she says.
Radhika maintains that she doesn’t intend to make Happydemic the biggest source of talent. She’d rather concentrate on quality. "I have a talent manager who will hear the artistes out, and if we have doubts as far as their skills go, they will either receive a call or get called for a one-to-one chat. It’s to make sure that what we are promising to our end customers, is also delivered."
At present, around 120 artistes have registered with Happydemic. Radhika hopes that the number will soar, now that the website has gone live.
The platform is not only restricting itself to singers. "We are covering the length and breadth of this spectrum because music is music," says Radhika, adding that they will also be extending their service to stand-up comics, motivational speakers and emcees.
And how does she manage to strike a balance between home and work? Radhika quickly runs through her schedule for the day, and it appears that she barely has any time left for herself. "Same story every day," she says. "But if you love what you do…nothing matters."