By Hans Ebert
As with love, when it comes to music and finding new homes and futures for it that actually pay for the upkeep, too often we keep going to the same well over and over again and wonder why we’re not an Ed Sheeran, or a Rihanna etc. Well, maybe it’s because there’s no place for variations on a theme or musical copycats unless in one of those cover bands that’s actually trying to be soundalike outfit. Nothing at all against covering music by other artists. Hell, even the first Beatles record was almost made up of covers. And let’s never forget how Chris Cornell made Billie Jean and Nothing Compares 2 U, all his. All it took was a dose of originality.
When it comes to career moves, it’s also about creativity and throwing that net as far as possible and doing some homework. Am certainly not about being a concert promoter and has always been wary of “artist management” in its present incarnation, but because of my days with Universal and EMI Music, longtime contacts get in touch.
The other night, a group of investors from Mainland China got in touch about playing a role in bringing Bollywood to that country along with the type of Judas Priest/Iron Maiden type of heavy guitar-driven hard rock that’s never gone out of fashion in India.
In fact, when with those music companies, the Indian market was always important when it came to selling our Classic Rock back catalogue and even working on concert tours by acts that many other markets had forgotten ever existed.
So, these investors, who are very business savvy and who most definitely know about their market asking about bringing music- and not just Bollywood musicals- to Mainland China was something to absorb. Yes, Bollywood movies like “Three Idiots” and a few others have been hits in Mainland China, but looking at feeding the need for more of the same albeit with a twist plus what could be called “IndiRock” called for thinking outside of the square.
One Indian artist who has been mentioned recently by a number of people is actor Farhan Akhtar who, like a Johnny Depp, a Kevin Bacon or a Keanu Reeve, has his own Rock band.
There’s always been Mainland China-based companies and individuals looking at investing in projects by the usual suspects from Bollywood and Sino-Indian film productions, but the knowledge by this group of investors about Farhan Akhtar showed that though there might be some political tensions between the two countries, just like love conquers all, so does the multi cultural world of entertainment. Their thinking had more legs to it. It was more than part of a junket to attract gamblers to one of the casinos in Macau. These have been successful, but for for less than a day. There’s never been any sustainability.
At least when with EMI, we produced Bollywood remixes of tracks by David Bowie, and Robbie Williams for telecom sponsors in India- great productions to work on between Hong Kong and Mumbai and which really should have led to much greater things. Same with the excellent UK-based band Trickbaby led by my old friend Steve Agers. Where did all the time go?
There was then the absolutely brilliant Raghu Dixit Project who really must be seen in a ‘live’ setting.
Here, however, with their business partners, is an investment group with a Big Picture plan about bringing Bollywood and “IndiRock” to certain markets in this region plus Australia, the UK, Canada- needless to say, Trumpland is given a wide berth- and, a little surprisingly, Eastern Europe.
These are early days yet, but big ideas always start with a kernel. And his surname isn’t Sanders either.
#Bollywood #Threeidiots #IndiRock #FarhanAkhtar