“When life leaves you high and dry, I’ll be at your door tonight if you need help, if you need help”, so goes the first line of Philips Philips’ 2013 hit, Gone Gone Gone. It speaks volumes about the ability of music to tap into listeners’ deepest thoughts, emotions, beliefs and values, to broadcast universal messages of love and peace that transcend human-made national borders.
So many of our capitalism driven systems focus on the tangibles. Yet, when it comes to the value of the media business, especially music, so much of it tends to be intangible since one can’t really put a numerical figure on a piece of music that resonates with its audience, no matter how small or large the audience in question is. That being said, the future of the music business increasingly lies in streaming and real-life experiences.
In an increasingly uncertain, complicated and sometimes downright hostile world, music has the potential to act as a great unifier, bringing together people divided by invisible, fictitious lines of thought. Of course, it is another matter that music has always been, and is still performing its duty, all through the millenia, since the human race has more or less been permanently embroiled in conflict over one issue or another. The only difference this time, is that today, a majority of conflicts are both regional and global, held together in its seams by the digital revolution.
Today, at Bangalore Insider, we spoke to the founder of Shades and Wings, Dr. Sitanshu Singh Chauhan (alias Aditya Chauhan) a music production house focused on empowering India’s artists. Below are the excerpts from our interaction.
How did you come up with the name Shades and Wings and what does it signify?
The name Shades And Wings holds a deep meaning for our brand. ‘’Shades’’ signifies different forms of art that can be expressed through the medium of music while ‘’Wings’’ signifies the various media through which we showcase art and music like social media platforms, film scores, Videos, etc.
Talent means nothing if it cannot be expressed and showcased on a platform and with the right set of methods.
For music to be enjoyed it has to be made available to the masses. Hence we give ‘’wings’’ to reach our audience, dreams and aspirations.
Who all are in the band? Tell us about them.
It’s not exactly a band. It’s a Pvt. Ltd. Record label music Company in which we have a collaboration of artists of various genres. We cater to dance artists, models, writers, musicians, and composers.
Each member is as important as the star of the show.
I’ll introduce you to our team,
I am the Founder of the company- I’m a Singer and a Composer and serving as a director of the company.
I do the decision making and find ways to spread our thoughts and beliefs to as many people as we can.
He is a Co-Founder and a director of the company. Being an experienced entrepreneur he gives us the best advice related to strategies and helps us take the steps which are most suited for this brand. He, like me, is also a Singer and a composer himself.
Gaurish Singh alias Garry manages the team. Apart from that he is our tech guy, loves to write songs and raps as well.
Kartik Harikantra is a Professional Dancer and choreographer he is managing our model collabs and brand shoots.
Is an aspiring dentist from MCODS, Manipal and is helping us out in content writing, Blogging and press releases.
Utkarsh is our social media handler, he helps us to stay connected with our audience.
When was the exact first moment when you guys decided to form this band? What motivated you guys?
I strongly believe that the universe prepares you for doing great things before you even realise it until you see your “end result” and the end result is the only thing which the world sees and appreciates.
So in my story it is when we were in our melancholic times, My best friend Anurag Mishra passed away after a long long battle with his disease- PNH.
We were just school kids when we first grouped up to form our own band. Music then brought us together.
I remember how he used to motivate us back then. But as we grew up life happened and we kind of drifted apart. We always stayed in touch with each other but a few months back we received the news which brought us all down.
Since then, I am trying to get attached to music as deeply as I can.
Do something we decided a long back.
I regret not doing this together with him while he was still here, he was really a great and talented guy and since he’s gone his memories are one constant thing that motivates us every single day.
This was the beginning of our “end result”.
Next part is-
I wrote an original song when I was almost done with my class 12th and was about 17 years old .
I wanted to produce it but I had no money and no facilities available to do so, not even a single person who could mentor me.
Then college happened and by the mid of first year I made a lot of contacts as I focused only on gaining contacts as I didnt have money so thought to just work on networking in every field, from the richest to powerful to the not-so-rich and needy.
I had various offers about the production of my song but the initial cost required For recording, Mixing-Mastering to produce a demo and sending it to my A&R contacts of record labels was a hindrance.
I was fresh into college, a nobody, trying to cover the cost of production.
The day I made money the production cost was higher than before and it kept on increasing year by year and
That was when it struck me that I could start my own production house.
It was the suffering of others that motivated me to take this step. I didn’t want other artists to struggle as I did. I wanted to give such people an opportunity, an initial push to get them started till they get back on their feet and can work more independently. We would take in and help newbies to launch their original work. I want to prove that music isn’t about the production value, the flashy lights, the look of the artists, the models.
You are working on a great cause of bringing about a change in the music industry where talent matters most. But how are you guys planning to bring this change? What’s the road map?
Our plans are simple-
There are so many talented artists out there and due to monetary or other constraints are forced to give up their dreams in the music industry and move on. We want to help them.
It should be about the artist and his/her words and thoughts that make a song a hit, not the Lamborghinis and good content is our roadmap and vision.
That is the difference between my record label company and others. For me it’s not just a profit-making business. It’s a give and take relationship.
Tell us of any specific instance where you helped an upcoming artist and were able to make a difference in his/her life.
I believe you, as an individual artist, has to take the first step on a long journey of being recognized. If I have to talk about changing someone’s life, it would have to be mine first and then everyone else’s later as the first step should be mine. So, I had to struggle initially for quite some time before I found my footing and was able to make it into the industry. After gaining some recognition my life took a turn. I remember, my first song gained 8k views on Youtube in just two weeks, totally unexpected and now it is above the 10k mark. It was also launched on Saavn, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
We have just started and we still have a long way to go and while we’re here trying to change our lives and coming to know what things one has to deal with, I wish to use that experience of mine to help those who think like me and who dream like me.
But like I said- It has to begin from me and I have taken my first step and our company is working day and night to find deserving artists to offer them our support .
How many gigs have you completed? Tell us about a fond memory from one of these gigs.
To date, I’ve done over 250 shows. I’ve worked in every kind of place: clubs, pubs, restaurants, Resorts, hotels also events with big events companies.
I have a lot of fond memories of these performances but one of my most cherished memories of performing has to be a Gynaecology conference of KMC Manipal.
I was performing one of my personal favorites ‘’Kon Tujhe’’ from the film, M.S.Dhoni. I remember as I was on stage singing my heart out, everyone present turned towards the stage and joined in, even the ones who didn’t know the lyrics! People were humming or singing the words both offkey and in tune with me. Doctors of all the ages, Profs and everyone as well had stopped all their conversations and were just engrossed in the music.
It truly was a spectacular scene.
Here you had doctors who were just people enjoying a bit of music for a moment. People turned their phone flashlights on, someone dimmed the lights and the mood was perfect. I didn’t have to suggest any sing-alongs from the audience which I usually do but this time It was all spontaneous and it really moved me.
It was fun.
How are you adopting Covid19? Do you guys do virtual performances?
Right now we are focusing more on marketing and publicity.
We are generating a buzz about our company online through cash prizes and giveaways.
I do perform on Instagram Live on our Instagram handle of Shades And Wings.
All of us are working from home and we plan to focus on the positives and move ahead.
What’s the one piece of advice you would like to give to an upcoming artist?
What I have realized over time is that people will always come up with new and innovative ways to express their talent. What they are unaware of is the business aspect. How to handle their branding and sales; how to market their talent; how to earn a profit etc. What artists should realize is that no matter how good you are at your craft, if you cannot market yourself and showcase your work on a large scale, your work holds no value.
You have to learn to advertise yourself. Self-branding is vital for every artist out there. The amount of work you put into your music is as important as the time you invest in branding.
Do what you love and love what you do but with the right strategy, that is my advice for any budding artist.
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