| 23 Feb 2024
Indian music market is growing, says legendary record label owner Terry Ellis

MUMBAI: Former owner of Chrysalis Records, Terry Ellis spoke of the potential of Indian music and its export around the world at the 6th MixRadio Music Connects. Ellis started with a clip of him interviewing Bob Dylan back in the 1960s, which was used in D.A. Pennebaker's film ‘Don’t Look Back’. The clip showed an intellectual joust with Ellis in a circular conversation that is, at times, good natured and at other times, tense ending with Ellis introducing himself as ‘The Science Student’.

Talking of his early years, Ellis spoke of Chrysalis Records that he co-founded with his partner, Chris Ellis. In addition to artistes that Chrysalis directly managed, it booked Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Roxy Music, Curved Air, Yes, King Crimson and signed David Bowie to a music publishing contract, and entered the recording studio business with Sir George Martin, who was producer for The Beatles.

Ellis also said that in the 1940s /50s, the sale of records depended upon the popularity of the artiste, “If people loved the performer they saw one night, they would go, but the record the next day to retain the memory of the artiste’s performance,” said Ellis. He pointed out that the music business and the record industry are not interchangeable. “The music business has not changed. It is still about getting the musician getting on stage and entertaining,” stated Ellis.

The record industry saw a change in the 1960s and 1970s, where the recording artiste would make money from merchandising and endorsements, and not from their performances. “The record labels need to change their business modules with time. When 50 per cent of revenue was generated from record sales and the other 50 per cent from performances, the entire 100 per cent of revenue should be generated by live performances. The musician should be known for his/her musical talent,” said Ellis.
Ellis continued saying that, “This is a very exciting time for India. The Indian music market is growing at an attractive rate. India is also on the global Electronic Dance Music (EDM) map. The export of Indian music is also increasing because firstly, Indians also speak English, especially since majority of the international music is in English. And secondly, the country of India is rich in musical traditions.”

Ellis concluded by stating that, “In 5 years, India will take its rightful place in the music industry.