The vast, lush green expanse of IIT Bombay campus is definitely a place where you can expect to run into great minds. The campus brimming with young minds, best and sharpest of the nation, churns out lots of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial talent is nurtured here and allowed to bloom. The result is students who leave the campus not looking for jobs but for creating jobs. The IIT’s have given India some great minds, leaders and personalities. Keeping this torch burning bright are four students who have recently launched an online radio ‘BC Radio’ or ‘Be the Change Radio’. BC Radio is platform whose vision is to promote Independent music and bands. As of now the radio has an outreach of 750 awesome Indian bands! Discovering Mumbai proudly presents the boys from IIT Bombay who are doing commendable work to popularize Indie music.
BC Radio is the creation of a rebel group of musicians from IIT Bombay. These rebels are spread across the country. Music is the common string that binds these creative souls. Having been part of music bands themselves they clearly understand the problems faced by their clientele – the bands; and thus are poised to guide them in a better way. The aim of this group is to bring about a paradigm shift in the way things work in the Indian music scene as of now. Music comes first for these guys, “All of us here at BC Radio are Musicians first, and then engineers”. The guys found each other in college by playing together in various bands. Over the course of time they realized that to listen to good music one need not obsess over the West. The entrepreneurial culture of the campus, that teaches to ‘create jobs’ rather than ‘getting a job’, ensured that the guys would make a career out of their passion for music.
Having composed their own songs, playing at many gigs and having won at many events the guys began contemplating about their future - "Were we going to live our lives being thinkers, or do something (through what we're good at - technology) that brings the plethora of Indian music to the masses". The answer to this question was a no-brainer. BC Radio was initially unstructured, but it was an idea the team held very close to their hearts, and as more people joined, the idea became more concrete and thus was born BC Radio. “There is so much good music out there in the country and we're just doing what should be done, to give it the platform it has deserved all along”.
The vision of BC Radio is to become a pioneering change agent in the Indian music scene. The independent music scene is very successful, if one looks at it musically. However it suffers at the hands of contracts, as bands have very little knowledge of existing laws and even the nature of these laws is not very conducive for the growth of Indie music. There are very few avenues online to put up your music for sale and if you want to go in for offline distribution then again you have to go through exclusive contracts. The guys at BC Radio believe that the independent music scene needs access to multi-distribution channels and this can be achieved through non-exclusivity. BC radio is not fighting for exclusivity over artists like labels, channels and studios do. They do not stop artists associated with them, to search for other avenues for promoting their music or even earn from them. BC Radio has no exclusivity contracts, no hidden clauses and no ‘terms and conditions applied’. Everything at BC radio is upfront and honest; this is what makes it so fun to work with for bands. The primary objective at BC radio is to provide listeners with a no-nonsense stellar audio visual experience around band’s music; everything else comes later.
Setting up BC Radio was a tough task and the guys went around planning everything meticulously. The team defined their roles based on what they saw as their core strengths, took up time bound responsibilities and steered them to completion. The work done by BC Radio can be summarized into following – Artist Relations, Brand Management, Social Media Engagement, Publicity, Marketing, Tie-ups, Band Affiliations, Parties, Live Shows and Artist Provision. The group didn’t want to limit themselves to online media for promoting their platform and thus ensuring regular features in popular print media was one of the big tasks for the team. So far, BC Radio has been featured in The Hindustan Times, Forbes magazine and Rolling Stones India; with many other prominent publications like The Indian Express and The Tribune in the pipeline
BC Radio’s core team has a vast experience of handing big events and this strength came to their help in the initial days of setting up the radio. The team has organized many concerts like Porcupine Tree, Parikrama, Karnivool, Katatonia, Zero, Thermal and Quarter. They have also handled the very popular Livewire at Mood Indigo and Desh Raag, a unique original patriotic song competition organized by US based NGO ‘Rakshak Foundation’. Their journey took them across the country in search of bands that were just breaking onto the scene. They are very excited about what they came across; the country has many amazing bands and they hope they can have all them on BC Radio! One more important lesson the team learnt was to focus on your goals both in long term and short term.
BC Radio is still in beta phase and the team is looking to roll out some major technical releases this year. The plan is to make BC Radio a cool, no non-sense music discovery platform. Social media integration is another major work in the pipeline; so is the feature to create your own playlists. One of the most popular shows on the radio is the ‘The Pirate Mixtape’ which is a collaboration with the Delhi based BoomBox project. The show airs every Sunday from 3 to 5 PM. Someday down the line they also plan to conduct live events and parties where bands will get an opportunity to perform live.
Team BC Radio is on a high right now. People have found the platform unique and are appreciating the quality of music featured. Biggies of Indian music scene like Parikrama, Demonic Resurrection, Cactus, Theme Clones, Something Relevant and many others have loved the concept and have contributed their material free of cost. The team envisions BC Radio to be a pioneering music – tech platform for independent bands to get featured alongside established names, while maintain their legal rights and non-exclusivity. “Creating and showcasing music should be free of hassles to the musicians and we will make sure it is as smooth as possible”, say the team at BC Radio. Future holds a lot for BC Radio and we will see them featuring into actual radio broadcasting phase and live events. Thanks to BC Radio many good bands will be able to reach out to a larger audience; the audience in turn will be able to discover more independent music; a win-win situation for both. We wish team BC Radio all the best in their endeavours. For now it’s time to listen to some cool music, see you on BC Radio!