| 24 Mar 2023
#HERmusic aims to identify the probable barriers and building awareness: Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS

MUMBAI: To kickstart International Women’s Day, The Indian Performing Right Society Ltd (IPRS) announces the #HERmusic initiative in collaboration with Dolby Laboratories and Hungama Artist Aloud.

IPRS is India’s only Copyright Society registered under the Copyright Act, 1957, and counts more than 5,000 of India’s best-known authors, composers, and music publishers as its members. got in contact with Rakesh Nigam is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IPRS to know more about the campaign. “The campaign will unfold manifold activities under the umbrella #HERMUSIC, further spread-out in the form of initiatives #UnleashHERMUSIC, #EmpowerHERMUSIC, and #CelebrateHERMUSIC as three legs of the campaign”, he shared.

Check interview below:

According to you what are the concerns faced by women in the music industry?

The world around us is fast evolving with new opportunities being created every day. Roles are being redefined and areas of work that earlier belonged to a particular segment or gender are being questioned and reformed. Women are stepping into roles that were defined to be for men. And they are making a mark through their contribution. In the creative arena female writers, film-makers, producers have already created a niche for themselves, but the music industry in India reflects a very different story.  Hence, the objective of the #HERMUSIC initiative is to delve deep and understand that despite a surge in female voices heard across broad spectrums of industries, why we’re still far from seeing enough contribution from female authors and composers in the Music Industry in India. Women have been under-represented for a very long time in areas related to music creation and production. With this initiative, we hope to strike a conversation that snowballs into a much-needed change in the industry and opens up avenues for women in the industry that weren’t accessible before. Through this, we hope to jointly work towards decoding prevailing issues along with the industry stakeholders and encourage creative and talented minds, which in turn will further enrich the cultural heritage of our country.

How will your campaign set precedence for equal representation of women in the music industry?

As I already mentioned, IPRS has undertaken the initiative to build much-needed awareness on the prevailing issues and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to promote the representation of women musicians in India. The first step in our journey aims to identify the probable barriers and building awareness, which will subsequently pave the way towards creating a conducive environment to express and flourish.  On International Women’s Day this year, we are kick-starting the initiative with the #UnleashHERMUSIC roundtable. It will see participation from female songwriters, composers, industry insiders, and media head honchos. The panel includes Sneha Khanwalkar, Anushka Manchanda (Nuka), Natania Lalwani, Hiral Viradia, Anwesshaa, Soumini Sridhara Paul, along with Nirmika Singh who will moderate the session.  The panellists will share their personal experiences and rake relevant issues and suggest ways to bring about a positive change, thus encouraging many more.

Do you think your campaign strategies will bring changes to society?

IPRS as an organization is committed to music and its creators. We have been standing strong for the rights of music creators and publishers for over half a century now. We have aimed to create a fair and flourishing environment for music and its creators. And it was a glaring reality in front of us, that while the music industry in India is expanding with all its glory, we are yet to see enough participation from women in music in India, as creators, producers, and also in leadership positions. As has been said, ‘The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.’   And we realized that there cannot be a better time to spearhead and kick-start the initiative that aims to identify and create an open forum to discuss and collaborate on issues that might be withholding women to find their place in the modern music industry. We’re extremely happy to be able to launch this initiative and hope that the music industry bears the fruitful outcome of this necessary change. The initiative is a stepping stone to a much-awaited move, the music industry in India needed to act upon a long time back.