S Venkat won many laurels for his music at college culturals. When the Mumbai born marketing professional moved to11 years ago, he left his music behind. The next decade was devoted solely to climbing the career ladder and settling down. Finally in 2015, Venkat got tired of the monotony. He enrolled himself into music training and started working on his aalaps and voice training.In July last year, the 44-year-old released his music single, recorded in a studio with professional musicians. The video has received over 1,40,000 hits on. “This week, I am recording a cover album of Kishore Kumar medleys, which will release in October,“ he said.
Venkat is among the many techies and corporate professionals in Bengaluru who are finding their voice, quite literally, in music., co-founder of music startup From Mug to Mike, said that while the number of people quitting theirto make a full-time career out of music are more in Mumbai and Chennai, the IT city leads when it comes to people wanting to balance their passion with their mainstream career.“Bengalureans realise that only a day job would give regular income. But we see a huge potential among these people to get onto the big stage and even cut their own albums.“ Koshy’s venture makes professionals out of amateurs.
Since 2013, the startup has trained over 5,000 people to sing, out of which 200 people have gone on to be regulars at ticketed stage shows. Only seven-eight, however, have managed to cut their own albums or move closer to playback ambitions. “Music directors usually stick to safe choices but if you manage to get an album out there, it is a stepping stone,“ Koshy , a techie who quit the software industry for music, said.
Samanvitha Sharma, an engineer-turned-playback-singer, said the flexibility of scheduling shows and rehearsals is one of the biggest draws. “Unlike fulltime singers who have to worry about doing as many shows as possible and increasing visibility through consistent PR, working professionals are less stressed. When music is an alternative career, it is like being paid to have a social life,“ said Sharma, who has given playback for Kannada movies and is one of the most popular faces in the city’s stage show scene.“However, it also becomes that much more difficult for producers or show sponsors to take you seriously given that working professionals might not be able to give this their 100% always due to professional commitments.“
Working professionals have to work doubly hard to prove their seriousness in the industry , believe singer Aniket Prabhu, who is aanalyst at a multinational company . “This kind of commitment comes at a cost. We must carefully balance our financial and emotional stability and family needs. There should be no self or collateral damage.“