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People need to understand that you need to create your own sound that is truly independent: Nikhil D’Souza

Singer-composer Nikhil D’Souza has always tried to maintain a balance between his Bollywood songs and indie music. The singer who recently released and EP titled Waqt, says that he did it to have more indie songs to his credit. But he feels that India will take some more time to accept the genre entirely or love it as much as they love Bollywood music. “In India, we started out by saying that we want to put out independent music, but a lot of independent music ends up sounding exactly like commercial Bollywood music. And that’s because musicians and producers here still feel that the public’s taste is still so tuned to Bollywood’s sound that they might not really accept anything that’s different. So, for the fear of losing their audience, they are keeping the sound kind of in the same zone which I think is wrong. It needs to change, people need to understand that you need to create your own sound that is truly independent,” says Nikhil, who worked in the music industry in the UK for two years from 2016 to 2018.


He says the main difference between creating music in India and in the West is the level of competition. “The main difference over there is there is a lot more competition and there is a lot more music coming out every Friday. We have a very small number of indie musicians putting out music here in India, and it is nothing compared to the volume out there,” he says.

D’Souza, who has given Bollywood hits such as Shaam (Aisha; 2010) and Dil Hi Toh Hai (The Sky is Pink; 2019) says that indie music should have it’s own unique sound and it will take about another year before that truly changes here. “There are a few labels that started out by calling themselves non-film music producers, but they now only exist as namkesakes. They are all producing the same sounds and the same music. And the film labels are creating non film music, but they don’t feel the need to create a different sound or experiment with a different sound. They don’t feel the need at all because why would they change something that’s working. So, it comes down to the artiste really. It comes down to the person who is creating the music, singing and wants to put it out. There are a few independent labels just waiting to emerge and they kind of promise the artiste that they want to put out your music as is rather than making it sound like something else. So, I feel like its going to take some time, like another year ” says that singer.


He adds that streaming platforms are now giving a lot of importance to indie musicians and that is a good thing. “Streaming platforms are putting a lot of emphasis on their indie playlists. They are trying to build that listener base. The numbers are going up and when they go up to say a million, then the labels will understand that okay there is another audience for this kind of music also so maybe we should encourage this and let the artiste do this,” he signs off.

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