What MTV did all those years ago, was basically kill radio. They even made a song about it, Video Killed the Radio Star. What ushered in was the phenomenon of music videos and people paying more attention to what the visual said, rather than what the song it was supposed to accompany was about. Some people embraced this, while some strongly discouraged it. However, it stuck. Now it is the fabric of every great single and making music videos has become an invested art of sorts. TV ruled for decades as its medium and we all have our iconic moments like the Tuborg Walking by Myself commercial to Macarena to Californication.
Then, came along the Internet. And slowly but surely it took over all our lives; and now it reigns over our lives. Music, videos, movies, TV shows are all one button away and the ever changing landscape of entertainment now rests on the shoulders of your router. Such dependency has naturally brought a big change in how music is made and heard as well. Gone are the days when people were asked to tune in to a band’s video being broadcasted on TV. Now it’s the likes on facebook and views on youtube. And musicians who have failed to embrace this now, have been left on the way side. The smart ones have realized that for their music to be heard they must understand and imbibe the social networking culture to their and their music’s advantage.
Look at online portals like Soundcloud and Reverbnation. You can find music there by platinum selling artists like The Foo Fighters to someone so humble as yours truly. It is all a vehicle, and to ride it the right way is the catch. Some may not understand as to why a Nepali band would spend thousands of rupees only to have their video on Youtube, but when you understand that a local TV station will reach hundreds while this online portal has the power of reaching millions, you will see the benefits. Online radio stations like Moksh Revolution are also the talk of the town and their Top 10 charts are followed. Now if we look a little westward, all music has gone digital. Forget the Vinyl days, the CD days are becoming a thing of the past gradually and now its all about the 99 cents at the iTunes store. Mukti Shakya’s new album Sadhai Bhari also catered to the online culture by becoming available online for a nominal price, powered by muncha.com.
Digital sales are the future for Nepalese music as well. The only snag is the mode of payment. It will take some time, maybe another 10 years for people to be comfortable dolling out their credit card number. Provided we get a credit card ever. More feasible would be if e-financing would let you create an account of a small amount which is only used to buy music. People would be ready then, but so far you don’t see any headway being made in this sector. If there is anyone reading this and needs a million dollar idea, there it is. If such an online transaction system existed that only asked you to put in a couple of thousand in your account and then let you buy music from local and domestic artists, they would change life as we know it and be a part of Nepalese history. And that’s what it is all about, leaving your mark by keeping up with the world, whether it be in music, banking, art, movies; as long you make the people embrace what you do, as long you make them believe in your craft, it doesn’t matter if you are up in the online clouds, they will reach you. !