| 29 Feb 2024
Atul Churamani's publishing company targets Indie space

Saregama, EMI and Magnasound are label companies that Atul Churamani has been associated with for over two decades. The experience and knowledge that he has acquired over the years have helped him put together his own publishing business- Turn Key Music publishing.

Churamani speaks to’s Jescilia Karayamparambil giving insights into his latest endeavour, deals and his focus for the new company.

Why did you name your company ‘Turn Key Music’?

I had multiple responsibilities to handle and I was switching roles and turning keys. That is why this name.

Why did you decide to set-up a publishing company?

My heart and soul have always been in independent music and innovations. The whole business has changed today so instead of a lot of artistes approaching labels, people are looking at self releasing their product. This opportunity is given to the artistes by the internet. Not many know about publishing, it is an opportunity, and it is also necessary if we want to develop the whole indie music space. Publishing is a very critical element and it is necessary that we focus on that. For international markets, there is a system that is set. You do not have to do anything like the registration or how the money comes in, as everything is set. The challenge here is that the artistes and composers do have the contacts or team which would do the follow-up for them. This would be our focus.

We are talking to different artistes and composers. There were opportunities with labels when I was with setting up the publishing business for Saregama in the international market. I approached many of them and asked them to license their catalogue to us. At that time, there was a conflict of interest. However, once I left the company, people started speaking to me about the publishing business so I told them that I would like to know more about the mobile business first. But now, I am out of OnMobile and I can focus on newer things. We are also talking to people with large catalogues who want to take their music to appropriate markets.

My main focus would be music creation, exploitation and publishing. I claim to understand the space and so I took the opportunities that are available in the market. I realised that it was high time; I should turn my focus to this side of business.

What is the strength of your team?

At the moment, we have four shareholders and we are looking at getting a few more people on board. It is a small operation and it is not funded by anyone right now. I do not want to talk to investors till the time the company is not able to achieve a certain number of businesses.

You have been a part of many new teams in many label companies in the past. Comment

I do not think about it. I know there is a job that needs to be done. If one has done it well then good things happen. I have relationships with people and value them. If you are unhappy in a contract then you have the freedom to walk away. I would rather be friends with people then fight with people over money. If I do a good job for people, I do not see a need for people to be unhappy with me or my work. But things do not work always; I am aware that we cannot live up to people’s expectations all the time.

Are there any new deals in pipeline?

We have a few deals. There is one with Guitarist Babu Choudhary. He has a band called ‘Babu n Friends’. They have three albums under them have already been signed. Rajshri music has been very good. For the international market, they have given their catalogue. We are working with Hindusthan Records, they already have some contracts in the international markets but we are working with them and developing other areas. There is a whole bunch in the process.

What is your target for the company?

I do not really want to put too much in the bucket. We are focussing in smaller areas. We are looking at different opportunities. We do not want to flood things and also I would not like to set a target on the number of signings. The target would be how I will manage what I have in hand.