Story By Priyaanka Mathur
A 20 years old college going girl,who lands up singing for a Bollywood film, a YouTube sensation already,who’ s crossed 350 + million views for her song ‘Dilbar’ and 62 million views, that’s still growing with her first song with Punjabi Rock Icon Gururandhawa, is someone who bestows absolute humility, eagerness to learn and strong grit to prove oneself, that defines Dhwani Bhanushali’s charismatic persona.
Born with a silver spoon, being the daughter of Vinod Bhanushali President of Global Marketing & Media Publishing T- Series, this newbie on the block is all set to take struggles head-on, preparing herself from today to carve her way to the top and become a music entrepreneur tomorrow.Everything Experiential explores more in a tet-e-tet with the charming singer Dhvani Bhanushali,some excerpts…

Tell us about your musical journey and your vocal training. How much is training  important in today’s music business?

I seriously took to music at the age of 15,it just happened that I met Himesh  Reshamiya and sang in front of him, who suggested me to get formal vocal training. Eventually, I started learning western classical music in my initial years and now I’m undergoing Hindustani Classical Music training under Ankita Joshi. Even if you are really blessed with a great voice, some regular training is still needed, that takes you to that finer edge, I believe!

You started off with soothing numbers and have eventually delivered more peppy songs lately, any reason for the shift in genres?

Well, I haven’t thought much about pitching myself, it all just happened and I took assignments that came to me in the middle of my studies, as I’m still finishing my last year of graduation along with which I am pursuing my degree in business management and entrepreneurship.

How do you perceive today’s popular music?

Today’s audience are very diverse and the masses in fact listen to all the genres of music, so I feel every genre has a scope for it and that’s my analysis. Every artist sings a genre in ones own style and brings out something on their own in a particular genre and that’s how the audience starts loving the rendition of an artist and the genre too.

You have worked on different kind of songs,each with a different treatment,what was your take away from each song.

I had no idea how different my voice sounded in terms of technical treatment given to each song be it in ‘Ishtehar’, ‘Dilbar’ or ‘Ishare Tere’. When I render a song, I try using a lot of vocal try to sound different to produce different tones, so my technique from the very first song has been changing like using a head tone or falsetto and other techniques being trained in western Classical music, it helped me a lot in experimenting.

How has working with Gururandhawa leveraged your marketing as a singer?

Yes definitely,after the song ‘Ishare Tere’ it has helped increase my numbers and followers on Instagram, Facebook and of course YouTube views. Initially I had 13000 followers and now I have 40000 followers on Instagram.I think the initial part of my journey has been really great and it’s a great jump for me in terms of gaining popularity and increase in numbers from a marketing point of view.

How do you see YouTube as a platform and how does it help generating revenue for artists?

My song ‘Gulabi Ankhe’ Carpool Mashup with Sandesh Motwani got me some 55000 subscribers and that’s like a huge number. I haven’t generated anything from YouTube yet, because I cannot monetise on covers that I have done so far, since the rights are with the music labels or the artists who have sung the originals, but yes YouTube is good for original content.

Tell us about the Dilbar experience and the popularity you gained after the song?

I feel  privileged to be a part of the song ‘Dilbar’ that was so well accepted by the audience as it was the first video in India ever to cross 20 mil views in a day, the song made fastest 50 million and fastest 100 million in India and also it was the first Hindi film song to ever feature in billboards top 10 (ranked at no.3). I would like to thank Bhushan Kumarji for giving me an opportunity to sing for T-series, that is indeed a dream come true for me.

How do you see youtube as a platform and how does it help generating revenue for artists?

My song ‘Gulabi Ankhe’ Carpool Mashup with Sandesh Motwani got me some 55000 subscribers and that’s like a huge number. I haven’t generated anything from YouTube yet,because I cannot monetise on covers that I have done so far, since the rights are with the music labels or the artists who have sung the originals, but yes YouTube is good for original content.

What do you think about using various marketing platforms optimally to create a wide appeal to showcase talent?

I think social media has a wider reach, on all these platforms Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, one can create content and upload. Although I feel 70% is still television and the various reality shows and others, that are showcasing artists to a greater audience.

How is the journey from being a YouTube star to making a mark in Bollywood, and how do the artists survive this cut throat competition?

I think you need to have something different a kind of a USP about yourself, that you deliver in your renditions to make a mark and create an appeal to the audience.You need to put your best on these platforms, you never know when someone might like your texture and pick you, otherwise you might be a YouTube star and be one forever!

How much revenue is important for an artist today?

Well, basically in our industry an artist is not paid initially and yes it’s not been an easy journey for me either. You don’t get paid for your assignments here and are not expected to ask for it, unless you make a mark to get shows, where one gets to urn a living as a musician. So initially one should try to seek opportunities, where ever you get to perform and showcase your talent.Once you get popular eventually a market builds up and so does the revenue flows in. I think that’s how the creative process works and people who are not getting Bollywood songs are performing different genres or singing Bollywood songs in live concerts and are getting paid handsomely, one needs to grab opportunities,although it all requires perseverance and a vision to survive long term here, that I foresee.

What is your vision and why have you chosen to study management and entrepreneurship?

I have taken management as my major and am doing minor in marketing and that really applies and helps me to understand the digital world and how to market yourself as an artist.I feel that in the long run after having a sufficient standing in Bollywood, I can use my creative and marketing knowledge someday and may venture into  Enterpreneurship. I believe an artist has a very small shelf life,one needs to be ready with a backup plan, since I believe in woman empowerment.

Where do you see yourself as a Singer say five years down the line?

I’m also into writing my own song lyrics and I want to grow and give my music out there and want to be a pop artist like Beyonce!

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