On 11th September 2020, the Music Society of O.P. Jindal Global University had collaborated with the music distributors from OKListen for a master class. The collaboration took place via zoom and revolved around the importance of Independent Music in India. The event was lead by the co-founder of OKListen, Vijay Basrur, and was moderated by the heads of JGU’s Music Society. “ 4 steps to making independent music are Creation+Distribution followed by Promotion+Mass appeal.” said Basrur.
OKListen helps independent musicians to monetize and sell their music online, people can buy singles or albums at their website. In the lieu of the current scenario, Basrur stated that streaming services are lending a helping hand in distributing music.” The barriers to making music have reduced in comparison to discovering music” he added.
The music society decided to combine the auditions and an intra JGU music competition for all the submitted music videos by the contestants. The competition was divided into four categories-Western Solo Vocal, Indian Solo Vocal, Western Solo Instrumental and Indian Solo Instrumental. The winner and first runner up from each category would get an opportunity for a single release with OKListen.
Students from Liberal arts, business school, law school and journalism attended the master class. Basrur addressed questions by the students towards the end of it. A student from Jindal law school asked about the importance of having your own music video as an independent artist, to which basrur answered, “ I wouldn’t sweat it out to have a fancy music video but the lyrical video is something you need to put out for sure. These days it's easy to make it on your smartphone with software”.
Sahiti, a final year student from Liberal arts, questioned about the conflict between streaming platforms and artists in terms of monetisation, to which Basrur replied, “The payouts are linked to the revenues and are dominated by labels largely. There is conflict definitely, but now if you get 3 streams on your single you’ll get paid for it regardless.”
The masterclass was ended with final thank you note from the music society heads and the attendees.