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Interviews |  28 Oct 2021 15:23 |  By Tolika Yeptho

Vineet Singh Hukmani's 'Hurry' is about realising that Life is short and perhaps Love is shorter

MUMBAI: Singer-songwriter Vineet Singh Hukmani who was previously in the radio business dropped his first 'Adult contemporary' single “Hurry”.

To know more about his latest release, his connection to both the radio and music industries and more, Radioandmusic got in touch with Vineet Singh Hukmani

Check the interview below:

Share the story behind the inspiration for “Hurry” with us?

The inspiration is really about observing relationships all around me. Some in retrospect. ‘Hurry’ is about realising that Life is short and perhaps Love is shorter. It is therefore not worth drowning oneself in this dilemma.

Will a relationship work or does it have to be ended? A decision either way, frees you. It is an Adult Contemporary song. It has a feel, a craving of not being able to let go even when you know you have to. Vocally, I felt the need to sing it with the angst of a Chester Bennington or the pain of a Chris Cornell. Musically, I centred the song somewhere around Adult Contemporary Pop-Rock with a thumpy measure of Hip-Hop beats. As the song progresses there is almost an operatic crescendo and it ends with the calm of realisation. All in all, it's easy listening track, if you’re in the mood to introspect a little. This is my first song this year in the Adult contemporary genre after having touched multiple genres like synth-pop, rock, rap, electronic, funk and others, through my 7 releases earlier in the year. The creative inspiration is to write a song with a deep feeling. The commercial inspiration is to make it fit in perfectly into Adult contemporary radio formats.

You have had a long connection with both the radio and music industries and are also regarded as a pioneer of international radio in India. Could you please share your story of your journey so far in these fields?

I grew up with Radio by my side when I lived in the Gulf. I had always wanted to be a radio and music professional since I was 14. Many years of education, corporate jobs and chasing the livelihood dream took me in a different direction. Finally in 2007, I teamed up with Mr Tariq Ansari and we brought 94.3 Radio One to life. We created India’s first international radio network and this worked wonders for us. We ran it for 12 years after which we decided to sell it to a larger media house in 2019. That success helped me realise the power of real differentiation. Music was always in parallel to my profession and I was always singing for rock bands, but I didn't get really commercial about my music till 2020. This is when I met my mentor, Grammy Award Jury Member Stephen Wrench and later my manager Martin Langford. They helped me create, keeping a plan in mind, of what works well for a single as regards formatted global radio stations. I was then contracted to release a single every 45 days which has led me to my 8th release of the year. The plan has worked well allowing me to be the first artist in the world, in 2021, to hold 7 number 1s in the European Top 100 charts as certified by MEI Indipendenti and the European Indie Music Commission. Apart from this my music has charted in the top 10 charts like the DRT and the World Radio charts. I have learnt a lot in 2021!

Share your success story, what made you look at international radio? And how does it feel to make such waves on global charts as an Asian/Indian English language artist?

International Radio is a very big market. Music and Radio globally is a 50-billion-dollar industry and independent music is very well received there. If you are a creator of English music, then American and European Radio is the only way to be discovered!

They first look at the quality of your audio from a perspective of 1) repeat listening value 2) Clear genre that fits the radio stations in question and 3) Production and Mastering. That is what leads to momentum for your song. If a song gets sufficient spins on the multitude of radio stations running into thousands, a song automatically climbs the charts. Listener votes count a lot too. So, it’s really all about the song. It is also important to have repeat releases so as to have a music catalogue. A music catalogue gives everyone in the industry there a ready reckoner. Radio Play leads to growth in digital streaming stats and e-revenue opportunities like sync placement, leasing and influencer monetization. I feel good, not because of any intangible trappings of fame or such, but to witness a hard-working plan, working consistently and successfully, one song after another!

Can radio stations in India do more for Indie English language artists?

94.3 Radio One in 4 cities and Indigo Radio in 2 cities, have already started playing ‘English Indie’ as part of their regular playlists and this is fabulous. This is because they are international format radio stations. Some stations in the East that also play English music, have started to accept English Indie music. As the other ‘Hindi and Regional radio station networks begin to explore their online forays more, given that the listener has gone digital, there will be scope to create clear english formats and that will give English Indie a big boost. Terrestrial FM Radio stations formats in India are restricted by huge license fees and that’s why they have not been able to be a free spirited ‘leader’ medium. Radio stations in the USA and Europe don’t follow any ‘film industry’. They make their own ‘leader’ path. I hope Radio in India will find a way to make that happen soon. The power of Radio combined with digital audio streaming is exploding the world over and Radio station companies in India need to look at this more carefully.

Tell us about the foundation Also, what all is under the banner of this foundation?

After learning the ropes of what it takes to get your music discovered, appreciated and heard on the other side of the world, I felt the necessity to share this learning with other Asian musicians so as to help create a vibrant ecosystem. We therefore founded, a foundation to support Asian musicians making music in English in their quest to get their creations heard. The foundation trains and provides consulting in all the steps needed to make your music work in the USA and Europe. The primary focus is on Global Radio for ‘discovery’. ‘Easy Access’ with Digital streaming. How to use the song both to market yourself as an artist and to market your catalogue for e-revenue opportunities. The last part is ‘Eminence’ training on how to stay premium and make yourself ‘award worthy’ with submissions to the Grammys and possible Eurovision.

What’s next?

I am continuing to follow the multi-genre path and the next is a Latino English party song, which will be out on  November 11, 2021. That will round up the year.

In 2022, I have an album with a very unique concept planned. Also planned are some collabs with artists around the world. My agent has also secured rights for a few songs to release covers with our own take on them. We have many artists tied up with from all over Asia, and we look forward to giving their music the maximum amount of ‘ears’ from all over the world! Exciting times!