| 21 Jun 2024
Indian artist management agencies forget about talent and brand building exercise: Aayushman Sinha

MUMBAI: The saying, ‘age is just a number’ stands true in the case of 24-year-old entrepreneur Aayushman Sinha. He currently runs On Stage Talents an artist management company with partners Gaurav Chawla and Mourjo Chatterjee. The agency was established in 2016 and in no time has grabbed all the attention and the best of talent. It was awarded Best Artist Management Agency by the India Nightlife & Convention Awards, 2017 and Aayushman was Awarded Young Business Leader (Under 40) at the Business Leader of the Year Awards 2018 and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Global Youth Marketing Forum and Awards. All that at 24, is applause worthy.

Sinha’s firm currently manages Shirley Setia, DJ Chetas, Lost Stories, Nina & Malika, Akhil Sachdeva (Nasha), Ram Sampath, Zaden, KSHMR and DJ Aqeel.

On Stage Talents began as an artist management firm, but they are now looking at exploring, Sinha reveals, “The primary focus was supposed to be artist management, but we’ve now got into production and we are developing our own digital IPs.”

Two years may not seem like a very long time, but the agency and Sinha have grown manifolds in this short time. Have a look at the achievements -

-       Lost Stories represented India at Tomorrowland, the biggest music festival in the world. This was the first time an Indian act made it to the biggest stage in the world.

-       DJ Chetas became the first ever Indian DJ to feature in the Top 100 DJs list in the World in 2015 and Lost Stories and DJ Chetas represented India in the list again in 2016.

-       A live act which Sinha produced for KSHMR for Sunburn 2016 was rated the best Live Act by DJ MAG in the World. It featured Indian instrumentalists and dancers.

-       Sinha was also the first Indian to host a panel at Amsterdam Dance Event, the biggest music conference in the World.

-       He’s brokered exclusive partnerships with top Social Media Giants to amplify their content not just in India but also abroad.

Humble as he is Sinha says, “On Stage Talents has grown quite a bit since we started. We started with three artists and we’ve tripled already (with nine artists at present).”

The pillar of artist management is credibility. And, the trio of On Stage Talents has managed to maintain that. “When it comes to the new talent we ideate a plan. We first see where we can take them, set deadlines, overall we keep it very professional. We tell them that you put the ‘Y’ effort and we put the ‘X’ effort and we’ll get there. That’s on the professional side but there is also a personal side to every artist. For us, every artist is our family. If you speak to any artist they will never call us their manager but a best friend.”

Other rules that the agency follows, “Indian management agencies follow a very different rule. In the US there is a management agency, booking agency and there is a separate PR agency. Here there is one person who follows all the roles and forgets about talent and brand building exercise. They only look at the revenue side. On the other hand, we work on artist development. I think the vision matches and people are interested in coming onboard.”

There is a huge demand for On Stage Talents in the market, but they have kept themselves limited to nine artists. “We get requests from a lot of people but we are very picky about whom we work with. We also want to do justice to everyone. And we don’t think we can service more artist at this point in time,” explains the young entrepreneur.  

Balancing finance with progress is important. Hence, on breaking even he sums, “We’ve made a decent amount of money.” That answer is definitely going to keep the troublemakers at bay.

Furthermore, though Sinha has done some remarkable things like delivering a TEDx talk at 22 and running a campaign called #TakeIndiaToTheWorldunder which aims to change India from being an importer of artists and music to an exporter of artists and music. The music world still does not take him too seriously and age is the only reason.

“People not taking me seriously happens a lot. In fact, until two years ago, people just did not take anything that I said seriously. Then I realised that I shouldn't tell my age. And I stopped bringing up my age. People used to have conversations with me, assuming me to be a thirty-year-old. So, age is a problem,” confesses Sinha.  

The entrepreneur is looking at expanding his business into a record label, a music camp for songwriters, a talent discovery portal to bring out the best musicians in the country, a specialized music and event marketing agency. “The record label will be indie-focused as there is no big indie electronic label and we want to tap that space,” ended Sinha.