| 28 Feb 2024
Babble Fish Productions director Samira Kanwar - Any kind of alternative music is over shadowed by Bollywood in India

While rock as a genre is not widely popular in the country, its followers swear by it. Tapping the underground Indian rock music scene in all its grungy glory Babble Fish has brought the second season of The P-Man Show created specifically for the digital medium. The show gives a peek in the Independent music scene in all its grungy glory. Talking further about the slow yet increasing popularity of rock music and the viability of the online medium, Babble Fish Productions director Samira Kanwar in conversation with's Harpreet Khokhar.

What was the whole idea when you started the show?

The idea was to create a show on the independent music scene in India. My passion as a film maker is music and one of the priorities of Babble Fish Productions is to promote the scene the best way we know how - through film. P-Man and I were friends and I knew how popular the thread he had started on Gigpad was. (Gigpad was an online music forum where he started The P-Man show. He would write about music, his thoughts on various subjects, what he was doing in the day and opinions he had. It was all text and was very well received by people from the scene.) So we decided to translate that into a show. Everything just came together and we decided to give it a shot and see where the show takes us.

The show is created and produced by BabbleFish Productions and hosted by Rohit Pereira aka P-Man, who himself is a rock artiste. It was the first online series revolving around the rapidly growing independent music scene in the country. Taking advantage of the Do It Yourself culture of the internet and the indie music industry, we created a first-of-its-kind show in the music scene, produced only for online audiences.

How is this season different from the last season. What new can the viewers expect?

Lot of new things! We're bringing in a lot more element into the show apart from music. There will be segments that are scripted and acted out. We're planning on experimenting a lot more this season so be prepared for a lot more fun.

How are you planning to promote the new show?

We are planning to promote the show virally, across twitter and Facebook.

What is your target audience?

Anyone who will watch!(laughs). Well, in season one we focused more on gigs and what was happening in the music scene as far as events etc. were concerned - our audience was therefore people from the music scene. With season two, we're going a little more lateral and adding more lifestyle and fun to it. While the core of the show will always be music (with P-Man at the heart of it all) we're looking at experimenting more and hopefully widening our audience base to more than just music fans and artists in India.

What is the revenue model that you look at for such online music shows?

Right now, there is no revenue model. This show runs on passion. We enjoy the freedom it gives us to experiment and explore the digital media and also we shoot what we love with this show so getting the show out there is our reward.

How much investment goes into making such shows?

We invest our time into it. Financially, it doesn't cost too much to make and that's one of the benefits of online content. We have our own cameras and an internal editing set up as well.

How much is the viewership for such shows?

The viewership varies from episode to episode. It runs from 200 views to 2000 views. We put up the episodes on both Facebook and YouTube.

Rock as a music genre is not very popular in the country. How do you foresee the the scenario changing in the next few years?

The audience that Rock music has (and when I use rock it covers alternative, grunge, metal, acoustic, soft, electro, pop etc) in India is loyal and strong. In spite of being a minority I think the passion the fans have compensates for the small numbers! Any kind of alternative music is over shadowed by Bollywood in India. However, I do believe with music being more easily available and accessible, people are beginning to listen to new/different types of music apart from mainstream. I do see the scenario changing for the better. You can already see it happening. In the past five years, there have been more bands that have been formed and consequently more fans. Bands are also learning how to market themselves and their music online and are building fans in that way as well. Also, with a lot more international artists coming down to India as well as Indian artists traveling abroad, there is a lot of hope and enthusiasm which is building within the rock community itself. I see the future looking quite bright for the independent music scene in India.

With is the future of such online musical shows?

I hope that Babble Fish Productions is able to make many more online shows like The P-Man Show! We believe that online is the future of video content and we hope to be one of the pioneers of creating content specific to online in India.

Is the absence of airtime given by television and radio to non-film genre, is online medium the only way to go?

Online is not just the only way - it is the better way to go. You're not restricted by a channel's requirements. You can monitor the shows popularity directly. You get audience comments so you know whether they like it or not - the feedback of which helps to further improve the show. Marketing can happen on your own. It stays online permanently and can be accessed whenever you like. The amount of advantages are tremendous.

What are the other endeavors of Babble Fish Productions?

We are launching a music video for Tough on Tobacco in the next week. We are launching a new online music based show called PentaTV that is for Pentagram and covers everything about the band including recording their new album 'Bloodywood', next week. We are also in the process of shooting a new episode of The P-Man Show as well as researching on a music documentary which we're planning on releasing at the end of this year.

Click here for the P-Man Show

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