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YP Foundation Open House: A Multi-Year Workshop Series for a Cross-Section of Artistes

Let’s say you’ve just been blown away by a mind-bending concert by Delhi based alt-rockers Them Clones. And you’re in a band that looks up to them, and wants to know how they got so far. Did they worry about band members leaving like you’re doing? Did they have it tough before they played sold-out gigs? Do they like sausages? But you can’t go up and have this discussion at the end of a rock-n-roll concert. So how do you find out?

The Open House Series put together by the YP Foundation is an effort to bring people together for “an interactive, multi year workshop series for interested, upcoming and established young artistes that explore information, ideas and models that protect promote and publish Independent Music in India.” There is more meat in that statement than an average steak. And if you pardon the terrible pun, there is SO much at stake if you’ve chosen to be in the profession of indie-music. Which is why initiatives like these are laudable, and we really wanted to support this effort.

I joined the third in the series of workshops earlier this month with Neysa Mendes (PR Angel for a bunch of Indie’s big names), Surojit Dev (drummer of Them Clones, who’ve been exploring some pretty radical new brand tie-ups), Gaurav Vaz (bassist/manager of The Raghu Dixit Project and general dude when it comes to everything online) and Sahil Makhija (guitarist/vocalist of Demonic Resurrection and metal music entrepreneur). Dev Bhatia (manager of Jalebee Cartel) made a cameo appearance as well. August company, and that too in February. In the audience were a bunch of bands and artistes, and those who had an interest in the music business.

The experience brought us together in a wonderful way. Questions that we’ve asked and found answers to over the years came back at us, and it’s a good feeling that there are forums like these where you can get answers. There were other oddities, like The Demonstealer, purveyor of metal mayhem, posing with a Swarathma presskit, showing that when it came to artists and their relationships, genre played no role in the equation. I found Neysa and Sahil’s presentation on music PR quite helpful. To quote Sahil, “Don’t be an asshole”. A lot of doors open up when you’re nice to people around.

[Photo-1] The Demonstealer shows so\m/e metchul support!

[Photo-2] The panelists with the panelling. And the panelers.

A lot of people ask me about how Swarathma carved a niche for itself in the online space, and while its true we do work hard to create content that is interesting, it stems from something more fundamental. We’ve figured out an IDENTITY. One that sets us apart from the rest. Once you have that, social or antisocial, media is only going to work for you.

Kudos to the team at YP Foundation for putting this together!

Text: Jishnu Dasgupta

Pics: Shiv Ahuja

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