Singer-songwriter Gajendra Verma is perhaps the best living example of how Internet has turned people into big stars, without any major record label backing them. If the virality of his first ever single, which released without his mention, or his biggest YouTube song till date,Tera Ghataare not proofs enough, his upcoming single, Maar Sutteyafor which he has collaborated with popular American rock/pop band Flipsyde, illustrates how pivotal virtual world has been for Verma in establishing his identity as a singer-songwriter.
“I still remember back in 2006, when I was in Jaipur, I used limewire to download Flipsyde’s songs for free,” Verma laughs. “For me, especially Internet has been the way, through which I have put the music I created, out. Even for this single, a common friend connected me with Flipsyde, and honestly I didn’t even expect this would happen. But its because of the Internet, that I was able to connect with the band, and work on this,” he adds further.
It’s a similar story for the American band as well. The band’s guitarist Dave Lopez recalls the formative years of the band, and how for the trio, it was only about “connecting with people” through their music.
As the band grew popular and started working with major labels, the band’s original philosophy took a back seat, which Lopez recalls didn’t help the band in the long run. However now, with the advent of Internet and decreasing reliance on major labels, Flipsyde, is back, creating music, which comes “straight from the heart”.
“The idea behind this song was also that only, it comes straight from the heart. I don’t understand Hindi and neither do any of the other members in the band. The fact that we connected just over the music, and we wanted to work because it was a really cool song, and was in a similar soundscape to what we create, instead of someone directing us to collaborate with an artist, with whom our sensibilities wont match, should tell you, how freeing this entire medium is,” he says.
And so for both artists, their decision to stick to their phliosophies, without focusing on trends or the commercial success, seems extremely validating. “At the end of the day it is all about connecting with people, through your music. I remember in the days of Limewire, as GV just pointed out, we used to get feedback from the label that no one is buying our music, but then when we did concerts, we saw so many fans already aware of the music. And that’s the end goal right,” says Lopez.
“My entire story has been through the Internet. I don’t even know how I would have done it, without it. I don’t think I would have ever been able to talk to members of Flipsyde, let alone work with them, had it not been for the Internet, in the first place,” Verma signs off.