Business of Music in India

…exploring the future…

This ‘Jalebee’ is different!

Jalebee Cartel has challenged the notion that dance music is a Western domain by single-handedly putting India on the international EDM map. Composed of four members, Arjun Vagale (laptop, mixing and scratching), Ashvin Mani Sharma (laptop and synths), Ash Roy (vocals and percussions) and G-force Arjun (bass/synth-lines), Jalebee has been taking India by storm for over three years.

Arjun VagaleFrom individual DJ sets to collective live gigs, producing to composing, the multi-talented group pretty much does it all. And the quality is evident from the international interest it’s amassing.
Aditya of interviews ARJUN VAGALE here, where he is straight, direct and to-the-point. Read on to know how they function.

Aditya Mehta [AM]: Where can someone find your albums / songs for purchase?
Arjun Vagale [AV]: Most of our music can be found on digital stores like & iTunes under ‘Jalebee Cartel’ label.

AM: Today, there are hardly any CD sales – thanks to people resorting to torrent sites. In such a scenario…
1.    how do you ensure that your band gets noticed?
AV: We basically release music on a lot of international labels, and try and promote the releases as much as possible, by sending promo’s to various DJs. In this way, when they add it in their sets, or radio show, it gives us good visibility.

2.    How do you get people to legally buy your music?
AV: There is no way to ensure people will buy your music. However, we do try and block a lot of shared files online, by reporting them! The other way it to simply make sure that the music is available at all good download stores, so that access to fans is easy!

3.    What marketing strategies come in handy for your album promotions?

AV: The best marketing is yet to be seen. So gigs are the most important way of getting you heard. Ofcourse, other strategies like promoting on myspace/facebook, etc do help.

4.    Any new methods you use, that you’d like to share with us?
AV: I think the time tested “tours” are the best kept secret. For our latest album, we did 15 gigs in 1 month, all over india, and had press cover the entire tour, had blogs do reviews ! This ensured that a lot of people heard about the release.

[AM] There are many new services, like say Rebeat from Sudeep Audio, that help a musician (individual / band / DJ / label) put up the music for sales on digital stores worldwide.

1.    As one of such leaders in using this technology, do you see sustainable revenues?
The place the music industry is at, i think its very difficult to any indi act to sustain with just sales of music. Playing gigs is the only other option. I hope it changes in the future, but as of now, No!

2.    In India, where there are hardly any such music stores, how do you get fans to buy the songs?
All online stores (apart from itunes) can be accessed in india, so we should start thinking a bit bigger, than just having an “India” site.

3.    Do you see this new trend as a healthy shift?
The point is that having a worldwide release is great; but its not ‘good enough’ by itself.

Today, there are a billion tracks on any online store. But how does one know about the music? So publicity & marketing is very important.  That’s essentially the job of  a label, and if you don’t have a good label, chances are not too many people will hear your music.

You can know more about Jalebee Cartel and hear their music on Enjoy!