CounterCulture – The Indie March
From The Indie March festival, to the latest at CounterCulture; Guru Somayaji – Programming and Production Director, chats with IndiEarth.
IndiEarth: What’s the scene for the month of March over at CounterCulture?
Guru: At CounterCulture, the aim has always been to showcase live music – and while at it; to encourage artistes and bands to really showcase original content. March has a month long festival titled ‘The Indie March’. The idea behind this festival was to get young, fresh sounding bands to really bring out their music to our audiences and beyond. Put simply, the artistes appearing at The Indie March are on this line up as they bring some fantastic new music to the table – in this case the stage. The line up is as diverse as Kabir and its derivations to indie/alternative to dub-step and hip-hop. For me as Program Director, this festival was also to get some of these band’s music from out of their bedroom to the stage.
And why not recognize true Indian Indie Music? The best honour for this is to put them on stage!
Calendar For The Indie March
IndiEarth: How do you scout for talent to perform at CounterCulture?
Guru: It is a combination of ear for music with our audience in context and requests from partners that we work with – cultural organizations, independent music platforms [like IndiEarth] and many a time coincidence. At the end of it all, as a Programme Director my job can take a vicious turn if customers/patrons get put off by music that we have showcased. Unfortunately, music can be contextual – my cup of tea can be your cup of sugar… There is really no formula when it comes to scouting for talent. If the band sounds good, and we think our audiences will think they sound good, they will get on the bill.
IndiEarth: What sort of music does the general population visiting CounterCulture like?
Guru: CounterCulture has been known to be quite eclectic with the programming. As long as it is good music and music that is genuine, we are not scared as a space when it comes to programming. As a Programmer, the idea is to expose cultures through music. We recently had a Kabir music recital that lasted 2 hours 45 minutes – simply because the audience wouldn’t let the artistes stop their music.
Primarily we are known for hosting Blues music. We also take pride in our 7-10 day Blues Music Festival titled ‘An Ode To The Blues’, details of which you will hear soon.
IndiEarth: What are some of the key essentials performing artists need to include in their press kit that you, always look out for?
Guru: The first thing a performing artiste needs is conviction. It’s not how good your press kit looks, or how detailed your ‘hospitality rider’ is. I typically do not like artistes that send in MP3’s. A simple web link, a honest bio with a nice photo is enough. Also, since when did a few artistes become insurance salesmen? Your music should speak for yourself.
For more details or to connect with the folks over at CounterCulture visit www.counterculture.co.in