Groove to the Rhythm: ThisDay 2023 Rewind
Desi beats pulsate like a beating heart, Bollywood bangers meet lo-fi chills, and Punjabi heat ignites dancefloors. From local legends to global stages, Indian artists spin cultural threads into sonic tapestries, carrying their heritage wherever rhythm takes them. So crank it up, lose yourself in the groove, and celebrate the vibrant soul of Desi music!
Just like Spotify, we like yearly wraps too, and trust me, the year 2023 has been phenomenal for the Indian music industry. It emerged as one of the leading nations that reported 2.5x growth over the year, adding to millions more listeners streaming Indian-origin music across the globe. According to Spotify, most of the listeners in the UK, US, and Canada are seen to be streaming Desi Music, with a whopping rise of more than 50% in the growing number of listeners in countries like Australia and UAE. In this digital universe, Indian Music is not just riding the wave of innovation but also opening up endless vistas for people around the world to explore Indian music. However, let's look back at the year that was and recount the mesmerizing moments when India grooved to its rhythm.
You certainly shake a leg or two whenever your favorite music plays in the background, but there was this one song that made everyone around the world dance to its beats and made us win one of the first-ever Oscars for producing the best original song. Not just here, the internet erupted with people rejoicing themselves in the classic hook steps of Ram Charan and NT Rama. As it became one of the most viral songs on Instagram, we are surely hooked to Naatu Naatu and shake a leg with our friends.
As pandemic restrictions eased, live concerts and music festivals roared back to life, this year. For 2000s born, it was a year when they could reminisce about their childhood with a classic comeback of Backstreet Boys to India after 13 teen years, quite literally. We are not sobbing, you are! However, even West had a taste of Indian roots with Diljit Dosanjh being the first Indian artist to perform at the most prestigious Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. What else can be said about this punjabi munda who even made a famous Australian Singer, Sia sings in Punjabi? It's not funny! It's Hass Hass and we are serious, listen to it now.
Talking about Punjabi Pop, I know we all were not just ‘obsessed’ with Vicky Kaushal’s reel moment on the popular hook, gadiyan unchiyan rakhiya… we played it like crazy. Believe it or not, a lot of Punjabi pop’s success has to do with its ability to cut across linguistic barriers, something that other regional genres fail to accomplish.
As far as music scenes in the Indian landscape are concerned, we are unapologetically, living in Arijit’s world as he tops the most streaming chart for the fourth consecutive year. Contrary to this, Indian hip-hop has the highest audience retention and we are still not complaining. We have only two moods, to say the least
Apart from this, many independent artists and emerging indie bands have made it to the center stage. With an increasing number of collaborations of established Bollywood musicians with injecting fresh energy and raw talent into mainstream productions. This cross-pollination led to genre-bending gems that resonated with diverse audiences.
Looking forward, India is also among the world’s AI startup hubs trying their luck in the music industry. For the Indian diaspora, which happens to be the largest in the world, music is an integral part of how they stay connected to their roots. It indicates that film, as well as pop music, appeals the most to those listeners, and Indian artists performing at international music festivals are a testament to the impact that they are making is beyond.
Although some artists may have stayed away from becoming internet sensations, it was not enough to not be recognized internationally as the album Divine Tides sung by Ricky Kej won GRAMMY in its annual 65th Award Ceremony. Based out in Bangalore, he was able to win this gramophone trophy in the best immersive audio album category, for the third time and, we cannot be prouder than this. Also, he was declared as the GQ Man of the Year 2023. I hope we intrigued you because it's never too late to explore new music.
Now putting some spotlight on the total music production of the year, India produced over 20,000 original songs that have been contributed by 40,000 music creators and emerging artists. While the promotion of these shattered cultural and geographic boundaries for good, it has been witnessed that the paradigm has shifted from conventional marketing to a more interactive and community-driven approach in the digital scenes. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have served as intimate backstage venues where artists unveil their creative journey, bond with fans, and cultivate a brand persona that echoes beyond the melodies.
So yes, it isn't easy to be seen on the internet but when it happens it booms. ** Even last year a connection was felt when Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s crack opened the borders and became popular with their track “Pasoori” from Season 14 of Coke Studio Pakistan. However, this year, another classic of Coke Studio Bharat, Khalasi by Aditya Gadhvi and Achint took the plunge and made everyone do garba. Well, let’s just acknowledge how beautiful it is that music travels beyond borders to connect people with languages and cultural differences.