After a very engaging conversation between talk by Shankar Mahadevan at Raymond presents MTV India Music Summit 2018, we had a conversation with him about his perception of music business and why he dove into the world of music education.
Do you think it’s important for artists to learn about the business side of things when it comes to music?
Very important! If you have talent, if you have the music but you are not able to exploit the opportunities and reach out to people using the marketing strategies or having a good business sense, it won’t work out. I’m not a good businessman. But I’m sure that there are people out there who have done way better than me in way lesser time just because they know how to market themselves and have knowledge about the business. Had I known these tools, I would’ve become something else..very rich and famous probably.
But can marketing tools be used unfairly? Sometimes people who might not be as talented but have a great marketing sense, do better.
That’s the norm of the world. There a lot of mediocre artists that succeed cause of their business sense. But I don’t think that that should be your motive. You should be a good musician first. You should first aim to have aesthetics, depth, and vast musical knowledge and only after that you should work on understand the business better and using it to your advantage. Otherwise you are not a musician.
Why do artists need to start perceiving themselves as brands?
It’s essential for artists to perceive themselves as brands. There are things like public perception that are attached you as an artist. And it’s important to work on developing that. It’s also about positioning yourself in the market. It’s for people to understand your value in the market. For example, I don’t know if me coming to Raymond presents MTV India Music Summit has added any value. But if people take back anything at all from that talk I just gave, I feel like I’ve achieved a lot. Basically, it’s about taking the right decisions. And more than what to do, it’s about what not to do.
You have recently launched a music education academy. What made you dive into the field of education?
I feel that music education is extremely important, if not most important, when it comes to being a musician. And there are barely any good music schools available in the country. There are only Gurus who come home and teach in their personal capacity. There are no institutions that have got a regularised academic curriculum, or a step by step approach when it comes to music learning. It’s important to have that in order to calculate your progress.
What makes your academy different?
We have about 80 teachers and it’s the only academy in the world that functions 24×7. We took time to develop the curriculum in order to make sure that the global industry standards are met. And we also have a training program for teachers to make sure that quality of education is maintained and also to make sure that there’s consistency.