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Articles July-August 2020

Bay Owl Studios – Not Just Music by the Bay

Launched in February 2020, Bay Owl Studios was founded by Varun Parikh who is an audio engineer and had no significant musical influence while growing up. His first exposure to music came when he was in high school..... read more

Harman all the Way

India’s First Domestic Hotel Chain – the Luxurious MAYFAIR Lake Resort – hires Qubix Technologies to provide state-of-the-art, end-to-end Integration with HARMAN Professional Solutions. PT reports..... read more

ANGRIYA Cruises the Seas with Bose

Latest cruise ships are teaming with audiovisual technology designed to keep passengers awed and coming back for more. In this feature PT reports on the audio installation of one such cruise ship - The Angriya Luxury Cruise Liner..... read more

Sennheiser 75-year Milestone

June 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Sennheiser, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Through these 75 years, Sennheiser..... read more

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam Continues to Raise Standards

Since it’s unveiling in 2019 by the President of India Shri Ram NathKovind, the Adiyogi Divya Darshanam has enthralled spectators from across the globe. In May this year, this one of its kind projection mapping..... read more

Shankar & Siddharth Mahadevan’s Lambodara Studios

In the March-June 2020 issue of PALM Technology, PT did a cover story on Shankar and Siddharth Mahadevan’s new studio Lambodara. Here are some more images of the new studio..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 2

In part 1 of this series we defined a small room, introduced the concept of sound waves as they relate to phase shift and comb filtering, and even touched on the Haas (precedence) effect. In this article, we will talk..... read more

IRAA 2020 Goes Virtual

PALM expo’s concern to ensure safety from ongoing pandemic mandated cancelation of the 2020 edition of PALM expo and in the best interest of the industry and business, decided not to move forward with the expo in 2020, carrying forward the show to May 2021..... read more

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In search of the Lost Talent

Teen sensation Justin Bieber’s debut gig in India as part of his Purpose World Tour concert will mesmerize music lovers on 10th May at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Yes! The same ‘Purpose’ that surpassed 1 million total copies sold in pure album sales. Ticket prices for the live gig during the first phase of ticket bookings in Feb this year started at a pricey (by Indian standards) Rs 4,060. Nevertheless minutes after ticket sales went live on Indian’s premiere entertainment ticketing portal- BookMyShow, there was already a long, long queue of the online diaspora waiting with bated breath for their turn. Select categories such as the VVIP 1 and VVIP 2 priced at a pricey (in the true sense of the word), Rs 76,790 and Rs 58,030 respectively were sold out in a span of less than four hours.

So what does it take for a country with a population of over 1.2 billion, to produce one singing star who can sell over 1 million copies of an album and command gate prices of over 100$ upwards? Has India failed to produce promising studio talent who could turn into headlining live event artists of international caliber?

In the recent past, India has witnessed many EDM stars like Anish Sood, Lost Stories, Sartek and Shaan having performed at major festivals around the world alongside International EDM stars like Diplo, Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, to name just a few. In the last five years, one of the early champions of dubstep in India – Nucleya, emerged as one of the most electrifying EDM stars in India. He also opened the recent Mad Decent Block Party in Mumbai which was headlined by Diplo’s Major Lazer.

But then does India’s claim to fame end there…with a couple of EDM artistes acting as ‘fillers’ for the ‘real’ album sellers and crowd pullers. Is there a poverty of talent in the Indian independent music (translate that to Bollywood independent) scene? Where are the pop and rock bands? Where is that voice that can create mass euphoria akin to Beiber?

There is debate that India does have a huge pool of talent which is unfortunately gobbled up by Bollywood. And, then there is argument that there is a huge pool of music talent, who are using Bollywood as their vehicle. Then are these products of Bollywood able to pull-off recording breaking music sales?

We have our very own Indian singing sensation driving music lovers crazy – Arijit Singh, Bollywood’s ‘Sing’ King. Just as fabulous on stage as he is in the recording studio, he is the hottest pick even in the live events circuit, drawing a jaw dropping remuneration of nearly Rs 1.5 crore for a 45 minute to one hour performance. However ticket prices for even Arijit Singh’s shows fade tremendously in comparison to the ‘real’ music stars, with VVIP entry costing Rs 8000-10000 only. Last heard, Arijit is rumored to be one of the ‘fillers’ at Beiber’s India debut.

Magnifying the fact that there is dearth of music talent in India – be it singers, composers, lyricists or sound engineers, are some chartbusters that are slaying since the beginning of the year.

The year started with A.R. Rahman’s original song ‘Humma Humma’ from the 90’s blockbuster movie Bombay being recreated by Badshah & Tanishk Bagchi for the movie OK Janu starring Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor. Sung by Jubin Nautiyal, Shashaa Tirupati and Rap by – Badshah it has been mixed and mastered by Eric Pillai of Future Sound of Bombay. The ‘new’ song went on to rock the music charts.

Then came the other rehash – ‘Tamma Tamma Again’ from Badrinath ki Dulhania, starring Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, again a remix of Maduri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt 90s starrer Thanedar which too went on to become a chartbuster.

The title track of Badrinath Ki Dulhania too became a rage soon after the music release, reaching the top of the charts of many of the country’s top streaming websites. Thankfully not a rehash, the ‘new’ song seems to be just ‘inspired’ from the song ‘Chalat Musafir Moh Liya’ from the 1966 film Teesri Kasam which in turn was inspired from a Bihari folk song. Composed by Tanishk Bagchi, the song has been mixed & mastered by Eric Pillai with Michael Edwin Pillai & Lucky as mix assistant engineers and all live Instruments recorded at Yashraj Studios by Vijay Dayal.

And March saw the entry of another ‘new’ song –‘‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’ (which is a rehashed version of 90’s movie Mohra’s super hit song starring Akshay Kumar and Raveen Tandon) into the top ten echelons. Sung by Udit Narayan and Neha Kakkar ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’ will feature in Abbas-Mustan’s upcoming romantic thriller Machine.

The other song from Ok Janu to reach the top 10 music lists was ‘Enna Sona’ sung by Arijit Singh. With music by A. R. Rahman, the song is mixed by Ishaan Chhabra and mastered by Suresh Permal. Wonder why anybody would initially think it would be a rehash of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular song ‘Kinna sohna tenu rab ne banaya’.

Mohit Suri’s Half Girlfriend’s first song ‘Baarish’, which released on 11 April, is rising on the popularity charts. Composed by Tanishk Bagchi, the song has been mixed & mastered by Eric Pillai.

The non-Bollywood product which is inching up the charts is predictably from India’s latest rap king Badshah whose latest single ‘Mercy’ is going ballistic, crossing 25 million YouTube views; ‘Mercy’ is from his forthcoming album, rightly titled O.N.E. (Original Never Ends) featuring gorgeous American dancer and actress Lauren Gottlieb. With lyrics by Badshah, ‘Mercy’ has been mixed by Badshah & Aditya Dev and mastered by Eric Pillai.

Still among the top ten are ‘Kaabil Hoon’ from Hrithik starrer Kaabil and ‘Zaalima’ from Sharukh starrer Raees. Wonder what’s the ‘x’ factor retaining these songs on the chartbusters. Is it really the music or is it the larger than life stars these songs are picturized on?

Though ‘Kabil Hooon’ is soothing and lightens up the mood, it isn’t anything we haven’t heard before. On the contrary, it sounds familiar, like it was yet another effort to fit old wine into a new bottle. Sung by Jubin Nautiyal and Palak Muchhal, it has music by Rajesh Roshan and was mixed and mastered by Aftab Khan at Headroom Studio with Altamash Shrivastav as mix Assistant.

‘Zaalima’, once again with Arijit Singh at the helm has sound design by Dj Phukan and Sunny M.R. and has been mixed and mastered by Shadab Rayeen with Abhishek Sortey as assistant @ Newedge studio. Recording Engineers are Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Aaroh Velankar and Kaushik Das.

Just in case you missed - not only do many of the mentioned chartbusters have the same names on the music credits but also the same music and lyrics of yesteryear hits. Is it that ‘familiarity’ thrives in India with originality taking a back seat? Or is it that ‘ghar ki murgi is dal bara bar’ and anything American sells? Or is our ‘non-existent’ music industry responsible? Or is it really dearth of talent? Till we find answers to our questions, we at PT will continue ‘In search of the Lost Talent’.