Rocker and MD of Universal Music India, Devraj Sanyal says there is finally hope in the non-Bollywood independent space
When Devraj Sanyal joined Universal Music India as managing director three years ago, his mandate was to create a 360 degree music business and not just grow a label business. Today, he has created an enviable business, with a lofty turnover. Sanyal, who is part of rock band called Brahma, is also entering the music intellectual properties business.
Talking about the changing music scenario in the country, Sanyal says, “Needless to say Bollywood rules the roost. But in the last few years we are seeing a huge consumption in the non-film independent space. From EDM to rock and indie pop to regional, they are all coming centre stage.” However, Sanyal believes that talent always comes before profitability and viability.
Sanyal spearheaded Contraband, as part of Universal Music, a platform for new talent. “Vh1 and Hard Rock are brilliant partners and they see the big picture. We’ve already put out two amazing artistes—Lost Stories (India’s leading EDM band) and Boomerang (a rock band from the North East). Next month will see a young hip hop star called Krsna, followed by rock act GATC (Girish and the Chronicles) and the One Night Stand,” he says. As for his band, Sanyal says it has taken a back seat. “As a leader of the band I have been busy pushing other people’s music. However, we are in the middle of writing our third album (Brahma III),” he says. Sanyal has worked with some of the biggest names in the country—from Priyanka Chopra to Sonu Niigaam, and new stars like Shraddha Sharma. “We work together at every stage from writing to recording to releasing and deployment. I am a hands-on music MD,” he concludes.