From Justin Bieber to the infamous ‘Gangnam Style’ by South Korean musician Psy, the internet has forever changed the dynamics of the music business and the way artists launch and approach their careers.
India has its own emerging group of online sensations who’ve built their following and reputation entirely online. Here’s a look at 6 Indian artists to watch out for on Youtube:
1. Shraddha Sharma
After failing to make the final cut for a couple of Indian TV talents shows, she started remixing popular Bollywood covers (like her immensely popular cover of ‘Dum Maro Dum’) and uploading them for viewers on YouTube. Her 4th video went viral in 2011 with more than 700,000 views and there’s been no looking back since then.
In 2013, Shraddha signed a long-term contract with Universal Music for producing original material, which also gave her access to the professional music industry. Her first album, ’Rastey’ includes tracks written by noted songwriter Ankur Tewari, and has been produced by Jim Beanz, producer for superstar Timberland, and here in India by Leslie Lewis. She launched her debut album at the YouTube FanFest held in Mumbai, when she performed there last year.
2. Anirudh Ravichander
Just in his mid-20s, Anirudh has garnered more than 85 million views on YouTube for the now famous song ‘Kolaveri Di’ he composed at just 18, for Tamil star Dhanush! He comes from a famous artistic background, being the son of actor Ravi Raghavendra and nephew to the playback singer, film producer and wife of Tamil superstar, Rajnikanth.
He has been composing Telegu and Hindi songs as a songwriter since 2011 and made his foray as a playback singer in 2014. He has also been nominated for and won several awards as Best Song Director since 2013. He recently started his own YouTube Channel which already has close to 30,000 followers.
3. Prateek Kuhad
Prateek’s sound is best described as multi-lingual, appealing to both English and Hindi audiences who like the soulful pop-rock genre. He launched his own YouTube Channel in 2014 and one of his tracks ’Oh Love’ has already been viewed 35000 times. He sings and plays the guitar, writes his own material and streams his music on SoundCloud. The video for ‘Raat Raazi’, his most famous work which went online in 2012 has almost 50,000 views. He recently performed at an event in Delhi promoted by OyePancho !!!
Prateek’s work has been appreciated by the likes of Rolling Stone India and Time Out India who have predicted bigger things for him.
4. Sanam Puri
This 22 year-old Delhi boy found his way into Bollywood with almost 1.5 million views of his song ‘Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi’ on YouTube. He sings and plays with his eponymously-named band, Sanam, and bandmates – Venkat Subramanium, Keshav Dhanraj and his brother Samar. They released their first album, ‘SQS Supastars’ in 2011.
In 2012, Samar released another album, ‘Samar Sanam’, with his brother. He became an instant name in the industry when he sang on the track ‘Dhat Tere Ki’ from the Bollywood hit ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’.
5. Arijit Singh
Arijit Singh is one of the more unexpected inclusions in this list of YouTube Sensations. However, with more than 10 million views of his performance at the Mirchi Music Awards last year, Arijit was a shoo-in.
Even before he was awarded the Best Playback Singer at the 59th Filmfare Awards, he had already arrived on the Indian music scenario with his hit single ‘Tum Hi Ho’, which was featured in the 2014 blockbuster, Aashiqui 2.
Arijit participated in the popular ‘Fame Gurukul’ series on Indian television and despite losing in the final rounds of that competition, Singh persevered and went on to become Asst. Music Programmer for some of the biggest names in the Bollywood circuit, including Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekhar and Mithoon.
6. Junkyard Groove
An Alternative Rock Band from Chennai, formed in 2005, they’ve been on YouTube for 5 years now. They’ve played at venues across the country and won an International award at a festival held in Dubai, which is how and where they got their slick first album produced and have never looked back.
Their indie hits ‘It’s OK’ and ‘FolkYou’ with close to 170,000 views on YouTube were a huge hit and still receive airplay on popular radio stations across the country. While Junkyard Groove has been through several changes in line-up over the years, the essence of their music – happy, pop-rock melody and riff-driven sound, and their original vocalist, Ameeth Thomas remain the same.
More recently, the band has been featured under the KappaTV banner on YouTube on their ‘Music Mojo’ festival which is in its 3rd season now since 2013 and is being actively promoted as well.