Tuesday, June 15

Sunday Debate: Making a case for (and against) music marketing – brunch feature


“Billie Eilish not knowing Van Halen is like me not knowing Kishore Kumar!”

By Palash Sen

Palash Sen recently took a dig at millennials’ music taste

We (Euphoria) recently did a virtual tribute jam to Eddie Van Halen, who has been crucial in shaping my attitude towards music. When he passed away on October 6, we decided to celebrate what he’s done for musicians. Whether you’re a doctor or artist, you should look at all aspects of the art you’re following – Eddie taught me that.

But millennials aren’t really listening to music. They’re just going by what’s being marketed to them. Billie Eilish, a millennial who’s a multiple Grammy Award-winning star, said she doesn’t know who Van Halen is! It’s like me being a musician in India and not knowing who Kishore Kumar is. A musician should know the person who did the groundwork so we could create the music we do today.

In the 2000s, the music industry became more about marketing than music. So today, you’re bombarded with song recommendations on apps.

In India, we need to differentiate between what Bollywood wants us to believe is indie music and actual independent music. Musicians must realise if what they have created is good, then the numbers on social media don’t really matter.

But thank God for the Internet – it plays a key role in giving us access to folk and indie music that’s actually ‘independent’.

Palash Sen is a singer, musician and actor best known as frontman of indie pop/rock band Euphoria

“People should be allowed to enjoy what they listen to without judgement”

By Adityan Nair

Adityan Nair called out how young professionals and talents are sometimes mistreated by older folks

Adityan Nair called out how young professionals and talents are sometimes mistreated by older folks

When guitar legend Eddie Van Halen passed away after a long battle with cancer last month, musicians responded in reverence through a barrage of online Tribute Covers. One Delhi-based veteran musical group fleetingly rebuked young musicians like Billie Eilish for not basking in the glory of Van Halen. This sort of nonsense has been around for longer than one can imagine and it reveals a great deal about how young professionals and talents are mistreated by older folk for simply being young.

In a world where younger professionals are winning not just because of their varied skill set but also because of their fresh perspectives and radical worldview, the only weapon some older people have is their wealth of knowledge. But this idea that old is gold is merely a self-aggrandising maxim of those who stagnated in their mind once they got comfortable.

Knowledge has multiple entry points. People should be allowed to enjoy what they listen to without judgement. If one is unaware of an iconic musician, it doesn’t mean they are worth less in society.

So, the next time you hear older professionals making fun of younger people listening to Billie Eilish and not Pink Floyd, just move forward.

Adityan Nair is a Delhi-based musician, who performs with PANiC and The Urban Earlymen. He’s also an English teacher and HOD at St. Mary’s School in Delhi.

From HT Brunch, December 20, 2020

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