Music Inc Conference 2018: Speaker Interview – Chaitanya Kataria (OML)

Chaitanya Kataria, Artist Manager at OML(Only Much Louder!) started his journey as Head of Artist Bookings at Limn Entertainment and over time has become one of the leading Artist Managers in India. He has been making all the right moves for his clientele which include artists like Divine and MojoJojo. Chaitanya is an alumnus of the University of Sheffield and after coming back to India decided to dive into artist management. His past clients include artists like Hansel Soans aka Hans Seance who is one of the rising Techno acts in India.

Chaitanya will be speaking on Independent Music panel at MTV presents Music Inc. curated by Loudest.in & Exchange4media on the 13th June to shed light on the indie industry workings and what lies ahead. Loudest.in had a chat with Chaitanya about his experience working at OML, his clients Divine and MojoJojo and how we can improve the Independent Music scene for the betterment of Indie Artists.

Read Below.

1. OML is one of the biggest management agencies in India, how much have you grown as an artist manager since this past one year.
Even though it’s just begun, the journey at OML has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride! From working with some of the country’s top independent musicians to having an insider’s view of putting together world-class live and content experiences, the learning trajectory has been quite steep in a (relatively) short span of time. I’ve only grown richer with the experience and as a team, the artist management division is looking to apply the learning and knowledge from other disciplines of the business to help us grow our artists’ career trajectories.
2. Indian Hip Hop is gaining momentum and Divine is finally reaching out to a global audience, whats in store for his desi fans this year? 
While DIVINE, his story, and music has captured the imagination of fans for the past few years, it was only in the previous year we were able to deliver on a more complete and regular live performance experience with him, adding the likes of Randolph Corriea, Krishna Jhaveri to a setup which already included Jai Row Kavi. This year we intend to take it to another level on both the domestic and international front as far as performances are concerned. With a string of new music and releases in tow of course! I believe this is the year he’ll surprise many with the progression in his musicality, and evolution as a rapper and a writer.
3. Tell us about OML’s latest acquisition Akshay Johar aka MojoJojo.
MojoJojo has been quite an exciting prospect in the electronic music scene over the past few years and in him, we see someone with immense crossover potential having come from a live indie background with interesting compositional sensibilities. The idea with him is to progress beyond the electronic sphere and see where that leads us. We’ve also acquired a bunch of new bands recently including the boys from When Chai Met Toast and Skrat, with the music roster shaping up to be quite varied and interesting.
4. OML has branched out to different avenues in the past one year, Music had always been OML’s primary focus. Is there a shift now from Music to Comedy?
While Comedy has come forth in leaps and bounds over the past few years, Music has always been at the heart of OML. However, in today’s content first digital age, it would make more sense to categorize our artists as ‘Creators’, be it Comedy or Music. It’s now up to us as managers, agents, and marketers to work with them in order to leverage their creativity in ways that are adapted better to the digital age.
5. What are your thoughts on the Indie Music Scene in India, how much progress has the industry made when it comes to investing in homegrown Indie Artists’ developments.
India has had a thriving independent music scene over the past years however one that’s shadowed by the might and reach of Bollywood. The bigger production houses, labels, and studios will always look to invest more in established, mainstream acts so the onus falls on the artists and teams under the independent/alternative umbrella to seek opportunities involving players from outside the industry. Making a bigger pie, as they say.
6. What improvements would you like to bring in the Indian Music industry which will help an artist to reach their full potential globally?
I think right now more than ever is an exciting and more opportune time for artists and their teams to really reach out to a bigger and smarter audience in India and globally. I think a thorough understanding of available data will go a long way in identifying trends, patterns and building careers upon that. These are audiences that are hungry for quality music and content, it would be a shame if we don’t deliver that to them.
Music Inc. is a conference that aimed at finding solutions on how to improve the packaging of music as a product by aligning it to media, advertising, brands, and technology. The conference is a push towards a collaborative effort for creating innovative music experiences. 
 
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