| 22 Sep 2023
We have become a curator on Apple Music: Vijay Basrur Founder OK Listen

MUMBAI: OK Listen Founder Vijay Basrur, recently revealed that his company, OK Listen has turned curator for Apple Music. Basrur was speaking on the occasion of a conference held for music and its business. In an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic, Vijay Basrur spoke about the curatorship, independent musicians and digital platform.

On their curatorship on Apple Music, Vijay Basrur said, “We have become a curator on Apple Music. We are getting a curator status on Spotify also. What we are trying to do now is to work towards the discovery of musicians. The idea is to help discovery as such and we are taking baby steps towards events as well, but these will be more like the curated events and not large concerts.”

“For the last one and a half year, streaming platforms like Apple, Saavn, Gaana have become very popular because data has become cheap. Therefore, it is now much easier to put content out there and we help it,” he further added.

Explaining about curated events, Vijay said, “So, basically, we listen and we get a lot of music. Today, on an average, we release 25-30 musicians every month. So we do get a sense of what kind of music is emerging in the country. So, we try and find venues for some of the music we or the youngsters like We try and find venues, who can actually showcase these artists, thereby helping other people to discover the artists. Since we are digital first, we discover music digitally and then look at and try and take them to physical space.”

On the panel, Basrur said, “The idea of the panel was to try and get a mix of people and try and convey the message that slowly but steadily independent musicians are seeing a revenue source, which is purely driven by music because historically a lot of independent musicians have always struggled like its a day job. But, now slowly, but steadily, a mix of digital, mix of brands; mix of live music is getting money for most of the musicians.”

On Bollywood and its impact on independent musicians, Vijay further exclaimed, “That’s a reality as everybody today knows that Bollywood is definitely a bigger influence. But, I think, today, because of digital, people are discovering music. Today, it is far easier for you to discover various genres of music than it was five-seven years back. For, example, Local Train has their audience and it is growing over time and they are able to monetise the audience. In that sense, it’s a neesh. You can’t really compete with Bollywood, but I think you can find your space as well.”

OK Listen is a digital platform, existing in the business for six years now. Sharing his company’s goal, Vijay told, “Our primary focus is to help musicians distribute music digitally. We actually help them to expand the digital footprint to large extent. The idea is to; you know most musicians, today, find it difficult to figure out how to put music. So, we make that very easy for them, we are very transparent and we share 85% of the revenue with them.”

“So, today, we help more than two and half thousand musicians across Assam to Kanyakumari and others, who work with us. We primarily focus on digital distribution space,” he further added.

OK Listen has brought to the fore Local Train, Bipul Chettri, Pratik Kuhad etc. They also represent Ram Sampath, Sona Mohapatra for their original content. Also, they have worked with Shreya Ghoshal on her original content.