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From 32 Artist Jam Sessions To Creating The Next Big Platform For Talent Growth – In Conversation With Manpreet Kochar from A&M Studios

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Manpreet Kochar the visionary founder of Talent Representation firm A&M Studio has worked with the likes of Abida Parveen, Daler Mehndi, Shuba Mudgal, Kailash Kher, Shankar Mahadevan, Rekha Bhardwaj, Benny Dayal, Hariharan, Sukhbir, Shaan & Sagarika, Alisha Chenoy, Shobhna , Usha Uthup, Mika Singh Sandeep Vyas of Vyas Brothers and many more during his career in corporate life. A music enthusiast himself Manpreet Kochar has served in LEADERSHIP positions in Marketing Team for top corporates like KPMG, Coca Cola, ICICI Bank and served as Head of Retail & Consumer Marketing with Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra, ICICI Bank, DHFL and middle and senior management positions within Timesgroup ENIL Division & RPG Telecom.

Manpreet Kochar

This year Manpreet started his own artist management firm called as A&M Studio. It houses talents such as Ujjawal Singh Bhandari, Nishant Gadhok, Abhishek Rathore who have been successfully performing to a packed house at places such as Radio Bar & Café Haqq Se. Also their 17 year old prodigy and first ever exclusive A&M artist – Rishabh Giri, the youngest member, who has been learning music since the age of 5 was discovered by Manpreet Kochar himself backstage at a concert. 2 years later he got to be their first ever exclusive artist. Rishabh represents his school music team and undeniably is an upcoming rising star.

A&M Studio has collaborated with Fever 104 F.M and most of the singers of A&M Studios are associated with the Fever Unplugged program which is hosted by RJ Urmin. This collaboration brings forward the singers of A&M studios on one by one basis of their selections and promotes them on the channel.

We had a chat with Manpreet Kochar on his new firm, international markets, challenges of artist & repertoire, his IP – Fusion Nights and much more.

Read Below.

1. In a country like India, where the number of performing artists is so high compared to the avenues available, How will A&M tackle this issue? Tell us more about your process.

Fusion Night

Yes there are enough artists in the circuit. The ones who are young and super talented, are the ones A&M Studio have taken up to channelize them through the proper routes such as Live Music, Playback Singing for Movies and Digital Mediums like YouTube and music streaming platforms. We are doing tie ups for our artists with multiple platforms and then groom them to make their original tracks. Thanks to my 22-23 years of corporate experience in organisations where I worked in Senior leadership positions and as head of Marketing positions such as Coca-Cola, KPMG, ICICI BANK, Kotak Mahindra Bank and would have collectively invested almost hundreds of crores into sponsorship of Music concerts, tours and Music festivals. International artists have also been brought to INDIA to launch international brands. I personally know how to pitch a particular brand to a particular genre of a singer and which product category would be relevant to a singer.

For the live Shows we are engaging with the entire database of Event Planners, Event Managers, Wedding Planners, Corporates then Restaurants, Bars, Pubs and Lounges. Coming to the second platform, playback music gives you a name and identity. A Playback singer’s monetization increases by 3-4 times if their song gets popular and also live show fee increases by around 6-7 times. What is happening unfortunately is that the singers are dependent on the film industry to get a break. Dependability on the film industry is almost 70-80% for the success of a singer. We at A&M Studio are talking to movie producers, music producers and music directors so that a mix of all is brought together. We keep a library of voices so that when a music director comes looking for fresh voices we can submit them.
Nishant Gadhok

Exclusive artists of A&M studio had the opportunity to visit the Youtube Office and first hand receive the fine intricacies of digital marketing. This kind of a platform is not available to lakhs of singers in our country and such exposure on how to effectively use digital marketing was primarily done for agencies only and not artists directly.

All three platforms are being reached out to create visibility of the artists of the A&M Studio that being our biggest differentiator. A&M is not like any other Artist Representation which is more about brokerage and commission. We are promoting them through media drives like Fever FM where our 17 year old prodigy who has never done an interview in his life went live on air with 2 Crore listeners all across the country listening to him – It was a surprise element completely!

2. A&M is focusing on overseas markets like Dubai and Canada, what is the reason behind that? and how are they different from the Indian Market.

Ujjwal Singh Bhandari

Music like we say has no language and a footprint to ensure that we get more brighter, different and refreshing talent to come on board at A&M studio where we will give them a similar platform. The platform is to promote them from scratch to ten. A singer like Manpreet Kaur who is the first ever winner of a musical reality show in India and also featured in the legendary album like DDLJ OST somehow got lost and now is based out of Canada. We are trying to get her back to playback singing in India and are in process. There are so many other young talented singers in Canada because Canada is one base where Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati popular music is still running and you will be amazed to see the talent coming out of there. Markets where PTC Punjabi and A&M Studio are together, we are trying to having associations with them.

Dubai is enjoying Bollywood as an extension of Bollywood and artists are a mix of all of South East Asia Region. We have Coke Studio Pakistan artists as part of our Dubai group. We have artists based out of Dubai who sing for Bollywood movies and also those who have been singing Kishore Da Songs in Dubai since past 20 years but no one willing to give them a platform in Mumbai.

3. What are the biggest challenges in nurturing raw, untapped talent?


Rishabh Giri

Time is the biggest. I will be on a call with a singer based out in Canada at 4am listening to their song. Timezone and availability of the singer is a big challenge since 80% of singers sleep at 9am in the morning after dubbing.

Hunting for new talent is also challenging which we are doing very aggressively over social media. The inception of A&M studio is anybody to everybody whether you are an Architect sitting in your office or a President of a bank.

4. Coming to your IP’s, Fusion night is an interesting concept with crossover music at its core. How has the response been so far and how do you plan to take it ahead.

What different we are doing with our IP – Fusion Nights is that we get the community of singers together around 20-30 in numbers. When 20-30 singers started singing together it created magical situations with jugalbandis which we had never thought of. We start with Hindustani Classical to Country English music. We travel from Bryan Adams to Gurdas Maan all in one night non stop.
Abhishek Rathore

The first session had 32 singers which happened over at my House. We have now moved to a bigger place place which gets transformed into a studio for Fusion Nights. The longest Fusion Night has gone on for 12 hours from 9:30pm till 9:30am. This is where the magic really happens and the community got together. We are also planning to do a Genre wise flow where 8-10 specific genre singers collaborate non stop dedicated to music that night.

We have formed a community of Singers consisting of maestros, legends teaching new upcoming artists. Its a collaborative effort to make a singer today. It cannot be limited to only live shows, digital mediums, playback singing. It is a comprehensive package that you have to groom the artist for. This is what A&M Studio is doing.

5. Besides gigs and other performances, is A&M investing in studio time for the artists?

We have already come up with the first song of our prodigy Rishab Giri- a song dedicated to Independence day. Out of the 60 singers from the Indian team, we will be selecting 10-12 singers with whom we will be making fully professional single music videos which will be aired on social media platforms. These will be original songs produced by us making us a Music Production House as well.

6. What would you like to suggest to the Music Industry?

Singers in the playback industry are not remunerated the way they deserve. Dependability only on the film industry is not good for the singers. We need to create more platforms for them. We need to promote new original tracks. A&M Studio is just behind this vision to make these rising potential stars into superstars,

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