The new year has begun! 2017 saw some really interesting up and downs in the music industry, but what impressed and excited me the most was the launch and follow through of new startup, online community, and radio boxout.fm. The ideation, creation, execution, and it’s impact on the music ecosystem everything is worth taking notice of.
If you haven’t heard of them (shame on you!) but here’s a little about them.
What is Boxout?
Boxout is an online radio station that was started back in April 2017 by Sahej Bakshi aka Dualist Inquiry and DJ MoCity. With several years of experience, while playing across the entire Indian music circuit, the two found an urgent need for a community-run platform focusing on alternative music and culture in India.
Thus, boxout.fm was born.
Why I love Boxout.fm?
Being a community radio, it was bound to have impacted the community in various ways. As a music enthusiast and business professional, personally, I have managed to discover so many fresh talents in the country that I would probably not have come across. This was just easily and efficiently done through boxout. Not only do they cover popular sub-genres of electronic music like techno and deep house but I was really excited to see one of my favorite artists Nishant Gill aka A Maze, a drone artist a few weeks ago. Thanks to Boxout, I learned a lot of different genres that would later turn to be some of my favorites. Apart from that boxout promotes many other emerging dance music cultures in the country like rap and hip-hop. The startup has given me and many of its avid followers a lot of new experiences.
The Boxout.fm Events!
Some of my fun nights have also been thanks to Boxout Wednesdays at Summerhouse. This December, they also had the great opportunity of tying up with Boiler Room which has been my biggest source of enjoying live electronic music and method of discovery as well. Being able to collaborate with the largest electronic music broadcasting project in the world goes to speak about boxout’s impact not only in India but slowly on the global map. When we talk programming and live experiences, you know that boxout puts in the best they or anyone can. Like they say, if someone could do it better with that frequency, they would.
Boxout.fm Understanding The Need Gap!
If you notice most start-ups in Indian Music business are catering to a need gap. Be it OML for Indie music festivals, EventCapital for Bollywood Music Project, and many more such examples.
While I spoke to the community in itself, Agam Walia from Soundspeaks and a DJ Producer (Decisions & Three D) praised boxout for understanding the need gap perfectly. He said,
“Most of the clubs in India these days, what they don’t understand about electronic music is that there is more coming! A lot more! Boxout does! They are spreading like wildfire which is great for the industry as it will give more opportunities to those producing and playing different shades of electronic music.”
Dushyant Goel, who plays under the moniker Murklin and is head of content & strategy at Soundspeaks adds,
Boxout is fresh, innovative and exactly what the scene needed when it seemed to be stagnating. Their music curation and social aesthetic is on point and they are doing a great job associating with the right entities.”
Thus, we should be expecting a lot of more newer and fresher talents on boxout this year. Does that excite you? Sure as hell does me. Boxout.fm started out with about 6 shows a day on their radio and now that ranges from 15-17 a day. More slots, more music, more artists!
Music journalist Anurag Tagat has enjoyed watching boxout do their magic through 2017 too.
“Boxout.fm understands that the best way to give people music is to lay it all down on the table and let them decide. Whether it’s the live sessions they broadcast, the gigs they host, the numerous channels they’ve got up and running – there is never a dull moment when you’ve got so much to explore. That’s the best part about radio, especially when there are no ads at all.”, he said.
Boxout.fm and Brands
How does boxout manage without ads on the radio then? They have been extremely smart with their brand partnerships. Boxout curates some of the best curated live music experiences, especially around Delhi. The most prominent being Boxout Wednesdays at Summerhouse backed by Budweiser. They also have tie-ups with Music companies like Bandcamp, cross country venue chains like Social and lifestyle companies like Homegrown and Levis. This gives them a broader reach. As we know, everything sells better with music.
Ardaman Dua from Nightvibe and one half of DJ duo Collido had a lot of appreciation for their partnership work. He said,
“It’s for good reason that a lot of the big brands decided to get involved. Boxout built a culture and a space for artists which was executed extremely well. I love boxout and what they’ve done with the scene. They had the right people starting it, that made a big difference”.
Boxout.fm Uplifting the Music Circuit
About artist experiences, DJ Hemant Chotani said he had many pleasant experiences with boxout. He recalls his experience playing their first Boxout session and feels extremely honored to have done a Critical Label hour set too.
“They really are helping out the music circuit by prompting a lot of homegrown artists and good music. For artists it’s a great opportunity to showcase what they can really do. They are creating an overall experience through the radio, live shows and involving big brands. This helps everyone from struggling artists to the prominent ones”
Looks like artists seem pretty happy with the effort put in by boxout.fm. The team has expanded quite a bit from the start. Rohan Kale and Abhi Meer are some of the prominent artists that have been helping the startup grow. What about the consumers? Music enthusiast and Co-founder of new label Taabiir, Raghav Srivastava says,
“Programming a round the clock radio broadcast across a spectrum of sub-genres is a mean feat in itself and they are championing the cause of homegrown underground music along with bringing in some of the most versatile International artists for their weekly residency & other events. This translates into great exposure for the Indian audiences which really is the need of the hour. Special Kudos to their design team who are consistently putting out some cutting edge creatives & visual art.”
All of this leads to boxout.fm being our favorite start-up of the year. I am eagerly waiting to see a boxout.fm mobile app soon! After all, over 60% of India consumes music on mobile data in today’s day and age.
I will close here saying this year we will be watching out for a lot of more artists coming up through the startup and a lot more opportunities coming in for the Indian acts.
My ending question, do we really need to depend on international acts for a good night anymore?