“Kalamkaar serves as a launchpad for upcoming artists by providing them with the right resources”: Ankit Khanna

“Kalamkaar serves as a launchpad for upcoming artists by providing them with the right resources”: Ankit Khanna

The label is the exclusive home to exceptional artists like Raftaar, KR$NA, Deep Kalsi, Yunan etc.

Ankit Khanna

Mumbai: Kalamkaar - India's premier boutique Hip-Hop Music Label. It has been a pioneering force in the Indian Hip Hop industry and is a proud member of the AK Projekts family. They are the exclusive home to exceptional artists like Raftaar, KR$NA, Deep Kalsi, Yunan etc.

Kalamkaar is dedicated to nurturing artists from various musical genres, ensuring that their unique voices are heard and appreciated. From indie rock and folk to electronic and experimental music, Kalamkaar Indie is committed to promoting a broad spectrum of musical expressions. This initiative not only broadens our artistic horizons but also offers music lovers an exciting array of sounds and styles to explore.

Indiantelevision.com caught up with Kalamkaar Music founder & CEO, AK Projekts & co-founder Ankit Khanna where he delved more into the evolving landscape of music.

Edited excerpts

On the inspiration to launch a record label, especially in a niche like hip hop

The inspiration behind launching Kalamkaar Music stemmed from a desire to create a platform that not only celebrated the culture of hip hop but also provided a nurturing environment for emerging talent to thrive. Hip hop has always been a medium for self-expression and storytelling, and we saw an opportunity to contribute to the genre's growth in India by establishing a label that truly understands and resonates with the artists and their craft.

On the evolving music landscape in India, particularly for hip hop artists and Kalamkaar Music contributing to the scene

Kalamkaar Music plays a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Indian hip hop by providing a platform for artists to showcase their authentic voice. At the heart of Kalamkaar’s mission lies a deep-seated commitment to nurturing talent and providing artists with the support they need to thrive. Through initiatives like Mic Check and Takeoff Thursdays, Kalamkaar actively seeks out undiscovered talent, regardless of their background or genre. The label’s inclusive approach to artist management has paved the way for the rise of stars like Deep Kalsi, KR$NA, Karma, and Yunan, whose impressive growth in followers and streaming numbers attest to the label’s success.

On receptive audiences have in India been to hip hop music, and its change over the years

The reception to hip hop music in India has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years. Initially perceived as a niche genre, it has now grown into a cultural phenomenon, capturing the imagination of audiences across the country. Movies like Gully Boy and shows like MTV Hustle were instrumental in making this genre mainstream. Hip hop's rise in popularity can be attributed to its authenticity, relatability, and ability to resonate with the youth. As more artists emerge and push the boundaries of the genre, we've seen a growing acceptance and appreciation for hip hop music in mainstream culture.

On elaborating on your role at Kalamkaar and how it aligns with your broader vision for the company

At Kalamkaar, my role is to oversee the strategic direction and creative vision of the brand, ensuring that we stay true to our mission of nurturing talent and driving innovation in the industry. I work closely with our team to identify emerging trends, forge strategic partnerships, and explore new avenues for growth. By aligning our efforts with the broader vision of Kalamkaar Music, we produce content that resonates with audiences and propel the label forward.

On Kalamkaar serving as a launchpad for upcoming artists, and how do you support their growth and development

Kalamkaar serves as a launchpad for upcoming artists by providing them with the right resources, support, and guidance they need to succeed in the industry. Through initiatives like Mic Check and Takeoff Thursdays, we actively scout for talent and provide artists with opportunities to showcase their skills and connect with audiences. We offer comprehensive artist management services, including marketing, promotion, and distribution, to help artists navigate the complexities of the music industry and achieve their full potential.

Kalamkaar’s dedication to artist empowerment is evident in their remarkable growth metrics. Over the past year, the label has amassed over 540 million streams, with artist streaming growth reaching an impressive 70 per cent. Additionally, our commitment to cultivating a strong online presence has resulted in substantial follower growth on Spotify, with standout artists experiencing exponential increases: Deep (+99.8 per cent), Archit (+1187.1 per cent), and Yunan (+71.8 per cent). These numbers will give you a perspective on the growth on their growth graph over time.

On the future plans and aspirations you have for Kalamkaar Music and envisioning its growth and impact in the coming years

Looking ahead, our aspirations for Kalamkaar Music are ambitious yet rooted in our core values of innovation, collaboration, and artist empowerment. We envision expanding into new genres and exploring innovative ways to engage with audiences through technology and multimedia experiences. In the evolving landscape of entertainment and entrepreneurship, we stand at the forefront of innovation, leveraging technology and creativity to drive progress.By staying agile and responsive to the evolving needs of artists and audiences alike, we aim to solidify our position as a leader in the industry and make a lasting impact on the music landscape in India and beyond like Kalamkar Indie which is not another label but a small initiative.