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Features |  16 Aug 2012 20:15 |  By RnMTeam

Vishal Dadlani: "Every composer in bollywood has emerged from indie music"

MUMBAI: Although Indian music scene has largely been dominated by mainstream commercial bollywood music, independent music is gradually evolving and carving a separate space of its own and making waves in the industry.

The earlier trend revealed how musicians created their own music by being members of indie bands and then slowly shifted base to bollywood music. Many famous artistes including Vishal Dadlani, Shankar Mahadevan, Pritam and Neeraj Shridhar amongst others have made this shift from independent to bollywood having achieved the fame which the niche genre could not provide in the era.

Commenting on his journey from independent music to bollywood, Vishal Dadlani states, "It's a pretty unique place to be and it has been a fun journey. I get to do a lot of things in the bollywood scene which I cannot experiment with in the independent scene. But things are changing quite rapidly and there are all kinds of cross-overs happening everywhere everyday."

"Infact there is no working composer in the industry right now who has not emerged from the independent music scene. Whether it's Salim-Sulaiman or Amit Trivedi, everyone has been band members and done a lot of things apart from bollywood," he adds.

Being on the forefront in the bollywood music scene helps a musician to grow with leaps and bounds economically and commercially but in turn the true essence of other genres of music are being lost. The claim made even today is that independent artistes have got stronger because of bollywood.

Dadlani says, "It used to be like that but it's not the same anymore. Infact I know so many people from the mainstream bollywood industry who have become stronger as independent artistes. Shreya Ghoshal is doing an album of her own in Bengali and I am really looking forward to that as the album will be fun and will not comprise of the standard filmy stuff."

Talking about the independent music scene as a whole, the genre earlier catered to an artiste's own personal satisfaction, who created original music without the backing of any major music label. But over the years the definition has changed rapidly as can be witnessed with the successful seasons of raw music shows like Dewarists and Coke Studio. The shows have provided a major platform in propelling the genre to newer heights.

Earlier most of the bands were completely influenced by legends and often their music would have an uncanny resemblance to the sound of their inspiration's music. But all of that has changed quite substantially with bands being more driven by original music. Dadlani expresses, "Rather than trying to copy any musician which audiences may like, I feel most bands are past that now and have found their own music. And most of their music is not just influenced by their inspiration; it's also about their lives. There is a much more rooted reality to the indie music coming out now, irrespective of the language."

Also with the increasing music festivals and concerts, musicians are getting wider opportunities to reach out to different audiences through their music. The growing trend has indeed come as a positive turn for the genre as the bands and artistes can constantly experiment and innovate in front of the audience and understand their level of acceptance towards a particular sound.

"For Pentagram who has been playing around for 17-18 years now, we have consistently found new audiences to play to. I am also a part of NH7 and have played at both the editions. This year it's getting bigger and will be held in Delhi and Bangalore as well. So it is a great thing as the bands also have something to look forward to. The bands are there, the festivals are there so the scene is getting bigger and brighter," he shares.

Bollywood music has not lost its bigger focus with the launch of avant-garde films in the present era. Films like Gangs of Wasseypur and Kahaani have changed the way audiences perceive film music today. With the constant launch of such experimental films, the change in bollywood music front is here to stay for a long time.

Dadlani agrees, "There are all kinds of music going out on the film front and we did Kahaani earlier this year which was a huge departure for us because it was a edgy, almost classically raised soundtrack and again very indie in nature. So it was not crafted to be like a hit, it was made like a story and to create an atmosphere."

9XO programming head Luke Kenny who came on-board as a special ‘Guest Editor' at's (RnM) office engaged in a special interaction with Vishal Dadlani and contributed to the fifth anniversary celebrations of RnM.