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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. What are the biggest challenges in nurturing raw, untapped talent?
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.
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.
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.
5. Besides gigs and other performances, is A&M investing in studio time for the artists?
6. What would you like to suggest to the Music Industry?