A lot of people (practitioners mostly) with a passion for fine arts stumble upon this block at some point in their careers. What is the best career choice for Indian classical singers? How can I branch out? What will be the appropriate choice for me?
Am I making the right decision? Is being an artist a financially rewarding career?
We begin pursuing an art form, for example, Indian classical singing from childhood because of our intense desire to learn music. As we get into adulthood, we doubt our choices. Are my choices going to help me grow? Can I make a career out of it? Must I give up my art form when having conflicted career choices?
Here are a few career choices for Indian classical singers.
Teaching, the best career choice for Indian classical singers
The demand for Indian classical singing classes is only increasing day by day. With a huge spike in the awareness of the art form in our own country and abroad, children and adults are equally enthusiastic in pursuing the same. As for exploring various avenues, it can be achieved through teaching. The pandemic has compelled the fine art industry to shift to an online platform. This has enabled teachers to reach out to students across the globe thereby, increasing their market and at the same time extending the influence of the art over a larger cross-section of people.
The online music learning platform has benefited many teachers to make the classes more interactive and fun. In fact, if more students begin to learn classical music online there will be an increase in demand for teaching careers. This will also boost many of them to take up teaching as a career and strive in a cut-throat competition to bring out the best in children.
A lot of young artists come together online these days and experiment with various kinds of music. Jugalbandis (fusion) between different kinds of Indian classical singing (Hindustani and Carnatic) or between Indian classical singing and western singing are more visible in the market at present. Social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube are being utilized extensively in order to promote the same. Apart from this, there are organizations that invite artists and provide platforms, infrastructure and many more to facilitate such collaborations. IndianRaga is one such standing example! This online Indian music platform offers a fellowship program for artists across all age groups, where they can collaborate and produce music videos virtually.
There are several singers in the fine art industry. As a result, the competition is very high to make it to the top. Branching into new avenues is the best career choice for Indian classical singers. For example, there are terrific Carnatic singers who specialize in singing only for classical dance concerts, and from there on they carve a niche for themselves.
Kutcheri Season – Best career choice for Indian classical singers
This is the most well-known career option for a singer to rise to the top and become a popular singer. Though this does take time and effort, once established in the industry, it opens up several avenues such as being a well sought-after and a regular in the Margazhi season (season of Kutcheris, that is concerts) playback singing, representing the country in international forums, etc.
Forming one’s own band will give adequate exposure. Promoting and performing for different kinds of occasions will bring the required attention that will aid in marketing the group.
These are just a few ideas to ponder about. At the end of the day, it all depends on what you want to achieve as an Indian classical singer.