| 05 Dec 2023
The Exchange focuses on artistes and their representation

MUMBAI: The first edition of ‘The Exchange’ attracted musicians and music professionals alike, to discuss various topics around the Indian music industry, which would help the UK delegates understand the Indian music market. A day- long conference was organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in association with Submerge in Mumbai on 7 November 2014.

The conference had around 7 panels and more than 40 speakers, addressing topics like opportunities in India, homegrown talent, UK artistes coming to India, role of artiste management, the Changing face of the Music Business - a 360 degree approach, the digital landscape in India, Brands & Music - when they combine forces and an insight into the live music business.

The sessions were more or less inclined towards musicians, with special highlights on dance music and DJs.  The first session of the day featured South Asia Universal music group and EMI managing director Devraj Sanyal; South Asia YouTube head of music partnership Manan Singhi, IMENA (India, Middle East & North Africa) Director Entertainment Karan Grover, Abbey Road Studios composer Andrew Mackay and Book My Show MD and CEO Ashish Hemrajani. During the panel there was constant reminder about the need to collaborate at different levels in order to grow and build strong monetisable models.

The next session titled ‘Artists: Homegrown talent who’ve made it and UK based artists who have toured India’, included artistes like Dirty Vegas, Ankur Tewari, John 00 Fleming, Nerm, Gaurav Vaz, Pearl and The Emerald Armada in the panel. They covered topics that concerned musicians like the lack of venues, visa issues, payment mechanism, media approach towards musicians and others issues.

‘Role of artist management agencies - The importance of seeking representation’ was also spoken about during a panel moderated by OML and NH7 co-founder and music consultant Bobby Talwar. The panelists at the session included OML artiste manager Tej Brar, ennui.BOMB owner Rishu Singh, Future Boogie booking agent Abbe Rodgers, Mixtape A&R Representative/Artist Manager Anu Anna George and Submerge head artist manager Srikant Seshadri.

The last two sessions for the day ‘Brands & Music - when they combine forces’ and ‘An insight into the live music business’, were perhaps the two most interesting sessions of the day.

‘Brands & Music - when they combine forces’ was an eye-opener for musicians who never understood the way brand integration works. The session featured Submerge head of marketing and business development Arnold Wilson, Provogue CEO Tim Eynon, The AllStars Collective manger and FAC Board member Paul Pacifico and India Heineken marketing lead Sanjay Roy. Many on the panel agreed the need to have a smart brand integration that would not hamper the look of a festival or artistes. Pacifico said that artistes and brands needed to set boundaries to flourish. Eynon made it clear that brands partner with artistes through promoters and other representatives because they come up with ideas of brand integration. However, if artistes have specific ideas to present, a direct partnership is also possible.  

The last session of the day ‘An insight into the live music business’ saw major mention of Dance and Bollywood music. The panel consisted of Highspirits owner Khodu Irani, Indore O2 owner Jignesh Soni,  Cineyug Ent director Mohomed Morani, Kickstart Entertainment director Aman Anand, Twisted Entertainment EVC/Director founder Shoven Shah and blueFROG music programming head Jehan Johar, and Counter Culture owner Vishwaraj Mohan. There was constant talk on how dance music and Bollywood music is currently ruling the live space.

The Exchange was put together by UKTI, in partnership with AIM (The Association of Independent Music) and British labels trade body BPI (British Phonographic Industry). The trade mission – from November 1 to November 8 – saw representatives of the UK music industry host a program of educational seminars, networking events, conferences and artists showcases.