New Delhi– Like every other sphere of life, the pandemic has changed the music industry, accelerating trends, disrupting, discouraging and creating new opportunities all at the same time. Evolution of the live performance, along with a focus on skill building, collaborations, social media and streaming as well as music education have been the highlights of this change.
Bindu Subramaniam, a singer-songwriter, author, Founder and CEO at SaPa — Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts, shares her perspective:
The evolution of the live performance
Two years ago, the idea of a live concert over zoom would’ve been sacrilegious. At the start of the pandemic, artists and event managers were scrambling for ways to create meaningful live performances online. With the lag, it was impossible for even two artists in different locations to play together. However, with some ingenious planning and routing of sound, artists have found ways to collaborate online with live sound. As time progressed, online concerts have become more advanced with high quality production audio/video/lighting and ways for artists to engage with their fans who were watching the show. As we go back to live concerts in stadiums (many countries have already resumed), online concerts can be a great way for intimate concerts and a way for artists to engage with their audiences around the world.
With everyone stuck at home, most artists found themselves at home, upskilling in order to continue creating. Pre-pandemic, a singer could easily visit a nearby studio every time she/he needed to record a track, but with lockdowns in place, artists were in a position where they had to learn to record themselves, shoot videos at home, and even edit. This idea of multi-specialty artistry has overall been a good trend, because learning new and complementary skills can only help. As the world opens up again, it may still make sense to work with experts in different fields instead of doing everything yourself, but building that skill can help artists.
With everyone at home, the world has simultaneously become bigger and smaller. Anything outside the home was too far to travel, so artists have been collaborating more with other artists from different corners of the world. Video conferencing has taken the place of sitting in the same room to collaborate, and that has opened up opportunities that artists were hesitant to explore before. Although virtual and long distance collaborations have existed for a few years now, many artists weren’t open to them, thinking that nothing could replace “in person” collaborations.
Social Media and Streaming
Although social media and streaming services have been an important way for artists to stay connected and share their music with their audiences for the last few years, its importance will only increase, and it’s important for artists to spend enough time engaging with their audiences meaningfully, and using the new features and tools these platforms offer.
In the last year, online music education has grown rapidly, with many new players entering the fray. The last year has seen a large number of adults returning to learn music for themselves, as a means of finding joy, and as a result music educators like us have created courses that speak directly to this audience. Classes in a variety of formats from live-online to asynchronous and hybrid have found popularity around the world. And as live in person classes slowly start again, extra online material and a hybrid way of learning is definitely here to stay.
There is much to be said for the resilience of the music industry and how artists have continued to try to find ways to create music and stay connected with audiences.