| 06 Feb 2023
Labels are doing a lot. Albeit not easy, but it's changing: Arjun Sankalia, Sony Music India

MUMBAI: UK Trade & Investment and Submerge's endeavour to promote and showcase the talents offered by Britain and India's respective music spaces returns to Mumbai with a special panel and six hours session focusing on the genre of electronic music.

The panel included publishers, curators, artists, festival owners, label owners and representatives from the two countries' non-commercial and commercial sectors. With Northern Irish festival curators AVA, visual content designers Guerrilla Shout, and online Indian music magazine Wild City provided a detailed insight of how the industry works and shared the different approaches the two communities of their respective countries have adopted over the years.

The first panel included DJ (and founder of Shiva Soundsystem) Nerm, Director of Wild City Munbir Chawla and Director of Publishing & Int'l Music for Sony Music in India. The first session extensively discussed several conventional and unique ways to showcase your music and also ensuring the path leads to the right door. The panel agreed on how musicians, somehow, could produce their 'piece de resistance', but how poor marketing and lack of networking could end the life of the composition before it even begins.

The Key Note speaker, Mark Lawrence - CEO of Association of Electronic Music - educated the attendees (comprising of publishers, artists, journalists and producers) about the model adopted by another emerging market - Brazil and the relevancy and comparisons to the Indian market. The panel presenter, Paul Hamill, CEO of Inflyte (UK based music distribution platform) shared the impressive figures on their app during peak time (upto 9000 reactions in an hour). The panel unanimously agreed, albeit the advantages digital age offers, the traditional word-of-mouth promotions still remains relevant and vital.

Director of Publishing & International Music forSony Music Entertainment India, Arjun Sankalia offered his knowledge on the scenario through a publisher's perspective. "Sometimes, the best media plan is the one that never happened," explains Sankalia, on how vulnerable the market has evolved into. To address the issue, Sankalia provides Sony Music's example on the losses faced at the expense of nurturing new talent. Sankalia reminded the artists and producers of the complications labels face - financially - with the promotion of a relatively unknown artist. "Labels are doing a lot. It's not easy. But, it's changing," assured Sankalia.

To quote Mark Lawrence, from the key note speech, "We fight the good fight for electronic music." The obstacles faced by the emerging music markets may differ from the developed ones, but the panel agreed the UK and Indian markets co-existence and collaboration would help the growth of respective spaces.