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Collaborations. Anyone?

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2010 seems to be the year of the collaboration, with artists from every genre and sphere seem to be looking to their peers for inspiration.

For electronic artists, producers and DJs in India, collaboration is the key to survival. Confined to the tiny corner given to electronic musicians in the independent circle here in India, there are few takers for the same artist over again.

Collaboration is not a new fangled concept in the least. It's been around for decades across international music markets and is now catching up in India at lightning fast speeds. Independent musicians are exploring new territories by bringing in musicians on studio albums, for a few tracks and translating that magic on to stage as well. Cross genre collaborations are the rage in India now, where musicians with a heavy influence of metal and hardcore come to lend their flavor to performances with a slightly softer bent of mind. Electronic artists too are working with hard rock, thrash metal, and other such distinctively classified musicians, to create music that has a wider appeal to audiences.

Trends like these are seen very often in creative markets, music is no exception. But the fluid adoption of these trends to a way of life is what makes us sit up and take notice. With the wider reach of social media today, musicians, marketers and promoters alike are desperate to harness the power of opinion. The ”Like” tab/button has become a symbol for everything that is right with our world today, [at least in our eyes]. Therefore to rein in metal music fans at an electronic music event is the next step. Industry heavyweights Shaair + Func set the bar for a well-executed collaborative concert in Bombay last month. It saw performances ranging from heavy metal vocalists, to experimental/opera outfits, drum and bass and plain ol’ rock all fused together in the fabric of electronic music.

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Simply put, music connects everything around us, why fight within genres too? The freedom electronic musicians have to weave in collective creative inputs is massive which equates to a final product of mass appeal. This realization having dawned on our Indian indie artists paves an exciting future for music fan. Not only do they get a chance to see their favorite band perform, but they are also exposed to musicians who they would not have normally heard, or even sampled, creating a cross-pollination of fans.

Projects like Hennessy Artistry India, bring about those experiences for the average Indian who likes to experiment with their music.

Artists like Midival Punditz realized a long time ago that bringing in another element to their music would allow them the freedom to make something brand new while still sticking in their little genre bubble without scaring off the fans. Therefore Karsh Kale was a refreshing new addition to the line-up making such waves that it landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone last year, spotting the ‘trend’.

Teamwork was grossly under-rated for the Indian Independent musician. It’s time to re-visit it and call your old friends, maybe there is a track or two somewhere waiting for you.

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