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Live music - OML interview

Move over mainstream musical careers because the guys at OML (Only Much Louder) tell us everything we need to know about a career in live properties management. Yes, these are the guys behind the rib-tickling AIB shows and the heart-throbbing NH7 and Nuclea that you are raving about! We speak to Debayan Deb from the programming team at OML, the rocking music enterprise!

How is the scene of live properties music in India?

There is a whole bunch of festivals in India. October-February is the whole season for these festivals. Also there is a lot of branded work happening in the live music buzz.  Live Brands like Coke doing Coke Studio, Red bull- Red Tour buzz. There is also a tour buzz that converts itself into a stage with live performances. It is really popular in the college circuit. However, it is very sponsorship-dependent. You don’t break always on ticket revenue.

How does the process of taking up artists/bands and creating new properties work?

We don’t sign an artist before seeing him live. He needs to be hard-working. The artist needs to have original sound and be unique in his own way. Like Nuclea has Indian sounds which is interesting. We look at all these parameters. Also, the artist must be as enthusiastic as the manager. We also look at live show on the parameters of sound and brands involved in the show. Décor also planned according to it. The whole look and feel planned around it. After that, we get into the marketing of the brand.

Please explain the planning and production that goes on behind the scenes?

Firstly you call the artist and see the availability. Find a date which is not clashing with public holidays and exams. See the capacity of the slow and the venue. Put together the artist budget and production budget and estimate the sponsorship and ticketing capacity of the artist. F&b is another big source of revenue. Selling their T-shirts is also a thing. Apart from that, there are also newspaper ads, TV ads that are done.How is the marketing and promotions of events managed?

How is the marketing and promotions of events managed?

There are two sides to it. We do billboards.  There is above the line marketing. Say for example, for a brand like NH7, we do a lot of college space marketing. We spend a lot of money digitally too. An important aspect of this is that the promoter needs to understand who he is actually talking to. There is a lot of marketing that happens in clubs. Also, there are a number of gigs and pre-shows to give people in that city a flavour of the festival. This is a big part of the club circuit. Brands like Nh7 have atleast 25-30 pre-parties across India although it is happening only in Pune

How has OML as a brand evolved over time?

Everything we do is centered around the artists we manage. AIB, Nuclea. We manage comedians too like Kanan Gill. We do YouTube Fan Fest. There are two sides to the company. It is live division and content division. We co-create a lot of IPS. We have also been responsible for brands like Red bull India which have played upto 100 shows across India. We manage YouTube creators too and the videos they make. We look into everything.

What are the aspects of your job which keep you going and hold your interest in it?

The brand is constantly touring. There is quite a bit of travelling. If you are tour-managing the brand you are literally responsible for their life on the road. There is a whole lot of checklist you need to take care of.  When you show is sold off and people are having a good time it is also really rewarding.

A piece of advice from your side for those aspiring for a career in this field?

Follow your heart. Finishing your education is really important. If you have made up your mind, just dive in!

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