There cannot be too much good music. In Twilight of the Idols, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” However, not everybody is gifted with an innate talent to write songs, add rhythm, and tune it to evoke feelings.
It takes honesty, hard work, and determination to have your creation become a melody and strike a chord among the listeners. Thankfully, unlike the older times, the digital age has fast tracked the journey for amateurs to reach a wide audience through platforms like YouTube, Spotify and SoundCloud.
Here are few independent artists whose music streamed on these platforms and the artist themselves to limelight:
Hailing from Shillong, Meghalaya, hip hop artist Meba Ofilia is stealing the show in metro cities. She shot to immediate fame with her first single Done Talking, a song she wrote with rapper Big Ri. After sending it to music channel VH 1, Meba won the Best Indian Act award at the 2018 MTV European Music Awards. The music video which was released on YouTube in the same year has since gained more than five lakh views.
Meba has said that there has been no looking back since she started learning how to play guitar at the age of 15. However, she is not the first musician in her family. Her grandfather was a folklore singer, her uncle a songwriter, and aunt an Indian classical musician.
Daughter of jazz fusion and sessions bassist Sujoy Dey and classical singer Romia Dey, music is in her genes.
Now 24, Mohini grew up listening to bands and artists like Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Yellowjackets and Miles Davis.
As a teenager, Mumbai-based bassist Mohini Dey had performed with keyboardist Louis Banks, music producer and composer Nitin Sawhney, sitar player Niladri Kumar, and tabla player Zakir Hussain, among others.
She soon caught the eye of music maestro AR Rahman, who invited her to be part of his band for Coke Studio in 2013. Since then, she has done over 30 shows and been part of many recording sessions for movies with the oscar-winning singer. Now, the young bassist divides her time between composing music, performing at various festivals, and going from tour to tour.
Singer-songwriter Ramya Pothuri’s single By The Sea received abundant love from her audience when it was released in 2017. The 20-year-old earlier said that the song was born out of her quest for peace that was seemingly there in other people.
After living and performing in Missouri for 10 years, she moved to Hyderabad and performed in the city’s hotels and restaurants. She released her first original independent music, We Never Left in August, 2016, and few more singles.
In 2017, she worked on “The Quick And Dirty Tour”, a do-it-yourself tour (where one has to plan and schedule everything from scratch, unlike a packaged tour) of Sri Lanka with five other artists. Towards the end of the year, Ramya joined Ladies Compartment as the guitarist and vocalist for the band.
Currently based in Mumbai, Ramya is chasing her music passion and taking care of her tours across India. She writes and performs her own compositions at venues and festivals such as the NCPA, Blue Frog, Cafe Zoe, Todi Mill Social, and New Wave Asia, among many others.
The 20-year-old student of bachelors in mass media at Sophia College in Mumbai has performed at shows like LVNG and Sofar till date, and hopes to pursue both music and media professionally.
Since trying her hands at writing original music three years ago, Karshni has released several songs including a collaboration with the singer-duo Three Oscillators called Drowning in 2019.
On music streaming platform Spotify, the song was streamed over 50,000 times.
On turning to music, she said, "It's the only way I can fully express myself without feeling like I’m oversharing, and without any inhibitions.
Aditi Saigal, better known as Aditi Dot has several original compositions to her credit including Everybody Dances to Techno and Asymmetrical, among others.
Currently pursuing bachelors in music and creative writing at Bangor University in the UK, Aditi has also written songs like Alaw, inspired by the rainy Welsh countryside and the people living there.
The young artist hails from a musical background. Her father, Amit Saigal was a rock musician and founder of India’s first rock magazine Rock Street Journal. Aditi has said that she admires the works of artists like KT Tunstall and Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Pink Martini, Kaleo, Jack Johnson, Glass Animals, and Oh Wonder.