Rajitta Hemwaani: Senior VP Creative Content & New Business, 9X Media
From being a degree holder in interior designing to landing up as the A&R head across prominent parts of my over 20 years in entertainment business, life sure does play musical games!
From having produced/launched names like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhosle, Abida Parveen, Shankar Mahadevan, Pandit Jasraj, Kailash Kher to Aqeel, Suketu, Indian ocean, Raghav, Whosane, Mohit Chauhan, Rishi Rich and Jassi amongst multiple other new musicians, its been a massively different A&R experience, both in terms of genre of music and musician personalities and talent.
Let me begin by saying , firstly, ensure you have the talent. If you do, half the battle is won.
Technology has given you many avenues today to reach out globally to the right people and be discovered. Also to auto tune your vocals. But the same technology , through social media and otherwise, will also not be kind to you if you falter as a talent.
Having said that, today of course you have multiple avenues to reach out to the top A&R guys in the industry, in India and even globally. Usually you would get their details online.
Frequent Social Media and Content
Talent and hard work is non negotiable in the ideal case if you want to play the long innings. Be social media active. You can now shoot your videos at no cost to you on a phone. Shoot and upload. Have your own you tube /facebook/instagram pages which are regularly updated by you with relevant content which would help you impress the right people.
Share the good ones with A&R across. Dont bombard them with it .Share them.
Be Yourself, Be Humble
From what my experience tells me in meeting talent across genres and age groups in India and globally, most importantly is `Be Yourself and be humble’.
A genuine, transparent talent is immediately liked. Talk about your strengths and weaknesses openly. It gives one a peek into the personality and also an idea of what is the USP and what needs to worked upon.
Be ready to learn. You might be the biggest singer in your mind but someone who begins with portraying himself like that, through his words & actions and not through his work doesn’t make the right first impression, i can assure you that.
Showreels and Tansparency
Prepare a good showreel, that showcases you as a talent working in the studio, on stage, snippets from your day to day life. These can be made within limited budgets too. Get out there meet talent management agencies. Try working with the ones who appreciate your talent and are transparent in their dealings with you. They will also help you reach out to the A&R in the business, Bollywood composers etc.
Patience is Key
Most importantly, be ready to learn and have patience. If you want to make your mark in the business, have the patience to wait it out but still keep walking. Be open to learn from the people who have been around longer than you know the business. You are a brand that needs to be marketed in the right way. To the audience and to the industry at large.
And if you are not here for just 15 minutes of fame, be ready to give it time and energy.
To sum it up, if you have the talent , respect the people around you and are always ready to learn and innovate, its then a matter of time, that you will be picked up and groomed by the person who could make you the next star! ☺