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Sony Music dives deeper into independent Indian hip-hop with Raftaar


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One of the trends that’s been bubbling for a while now in India is the rise of independent hip-hop.

Note, ‘independent’ in this context means ‘independent from the film-music industry’ more than it does ‘independent from major labels’ – Sony Music in particular has been active in signing rappers from the independent scenes in India. You can read more about that in this piece journalist Amit Gurbaxani wrote for us in November last year.

Anyway, there’s more news today: Sony Music India has signed an exclusive deal with rapper Raftaar, including a partnership with the independent label that he co-founded, Kalamkaar.

Raftaar had previously been releasing his music through Indian major Zee Music Company, while Kalamkaar had been operating fully independently.

There’s a pattern of deals here too: in June 2019 Sony Music partnered with independent firm Desi Hip Hop, then in August 2019 it launched a 50-50 joint venture with management firm Kwan to create the Big Bang Music label.

This week, Sony Music India also appointed a new head of A&R, Jagjit Singh Bhogal, formerly of Viacom18 India.

Stuart Dredge

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