Sony Music India has launched a “genre and language-agnostic” sub-label called Day One, whose “sonic identity is new-age pop” according to MD Rajat Kakar, speaking at its online launch event last week.
The label’s first signings are singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar, electronic music producer-composer Pina Colada Blues aka Kevin Shaji, and vocalist, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Kasyap. That makes it Sony’s most recent foray into India’s independent music scene, the size and audience of which has been consistently growing over the last five years.
One reason few Indian indie acts have signed to major labels are the lopsided contracts on offer, in which they give up most of their rights for lump-sum advances. Sony Music declined to elaborate on the structure of Day One’s deals, so the jury is out on how far it will carry out its aim to “define a new music culture”.
While the label is fresh, the name and concept are familiar. Day 1 was the moniker of a short-lived indie-focused imprint Sony launched in 2011, which Kakar stated “was ahead of its time”. The company hopes that Day One v2.0 will have a brighter future because, as the company’s top boss said, today “niches in India are mass” with listeners running into millions.