CHENNAI: Before the pandemic hit, one of the up and coming sector was the indie music sector. Restaurants, malls and pubs in the city were proving to be spaces for artistes to showcase their prowess. But, with the lockdown and ban on public gatherings, local artistes are the worst hit. That’s why Circle of Love was born. “Circle of Love is a Chennai-based independent music community platform that’s passionate about developing India’s artistic diversity, particularly the local indie scene. New Delhi and Mumbai are often projected as the hubs of indie music but we have some of the best artistes sitting here in Chennai. All they need is recognition and we want to give it,” says Sameer Sethi, an entertainment innovator and the founder of the platform. Sethi’s work includes popular cultural events such as Sunburn, Sensation India, Filmfare Awards, Mirchi Music Awards.
Circle of Love launched the first season of Centre Stage, featuring performances by six popular homegrown indie acts, on October 22. It had indie bands such as The Easy Wanderlings, Mali, Jbabe, Profanyty, Stevie and Henny. Produced entirely in-house, each episode of Centre Stage was shot at locations around Chennai during the lockdown and streamed on their social media platforms for free.
Sethi points out, “Both, audiences and artistes connected to the indie music scene, have been missing out on live gigs this year. The artistes are supported through this venture, which potentially widens their own reach, and the audiences get to enjoy their pre-recorded music safely, free of cost and from the comfort of their homes. The effort has boosted the spirits of many struggling musicians. The high point for any artiste is to have an exclusive music video featuring them and we wanted to offer them that experience. They need to be prepared for the future.”
The platform is also spearheaded by DJ Manny, a renowned underground music expert. “Live gigs, music production, music journals, and performance series...Circle of Love has much more to offer. We also focus on the budding musicians who deserve more attention and help during this time. We are also working with Carnatic musicians and opera singers. As of now, we have multi-lingual musicians of various genres. There are no boundaries. We wish to collaborate with anyone who shows interest,” assures Manny.
Performances and events such as the Centre Stage series showcase the culmination of Circle of Love’s larger work in the community, which is about connecting artistes to resources that allows them to develop their work. Manny says, “What we do at Circle of Love goes far beyond curating performances. We are committed to giving artistes our engagement at every stage of the creation process, whether it’s building bridges across genres for collaborative work, facilitating workshops and residencies, producing videos and much more. We provide infrastructural support and creative, administrative and technical expertise from the ideation stage onwards.”
The duo is looking forward to working on conceptual events and an experimental project for special children. “We want our platform to provide everything that’s happening in the global scene of independent music. It has to be a one-stop-solution for youngsters who wish to explore and discover new talented indie artists. The response has been encouraging so far and we will be releasing more videos in the series,” sums up Sethi.
For details, visit: fb.com/circleoflovein and Instagram (@circleoflovein)