Friday December 31, 2010

When a leading South Indian music composer called me!

Posted by Karthik

I was very surprised when I got that mail…and subsequently, a call – from one of the leading music composers down South (no names – I got permission from him to quote our conversation and assured him that I will not reveal his identity!). He was reasonably offended that his songs did not top the Milliblog annual round-up in his language! My first reaction was that of immense surprise – I couldn’t even believe that he followed Milliblog and he did confide that he did not. He also explained that a day before Christmas, his neighbors paid him a visit to wish him. It seems one of them took out his iPhone, surfed to Milliblog, showed him the top 10 songs there and asked him why his (the composer’s) songs, which topped the music charts (do we have any decent, consistent one at all, in India?) in that language did not feature appropriately in Milliblog’s list!

The composer told me that he searched for actual reviews of those soundtracks and was surprised by my not-so-impressed reviews and that was the reason for reaching out to me! I patiently explained to him that I’m just a blogger and do not function like mainstream media, to which he countered with a ‘but, my songs were the most popular, no?’. Had to start all over again and insist on the list being one man’s personal opinion! He was only half-convinced and even added, ‘If more people like you start voicing your opinion, what will we do yaar?’.

This interaction started on an awkward note, but he was actually quite cool, towards the end – that was sort of unexpected! But it told me two things…one, that I continue to undermine Milliblog’s reach – I just go by the number of Twitter followers, RSS subscribers and the few thousand odd page views I notice via Google Analytics, but it looks like I may be missing a lot that cannot be tracked! Two, the shift from dependence on mainstream media to define what is ‘popular’ – I suppose everybody has reconciled to the fact that India doesn’t have any reliable music chart anymore, at least based on sales. Radio plays are restricted to states, the station’s reach and many other factors and increasingly, niche outlets like Milliblog (and other such sites) seem to be coming to the fore to make up for that gap, in some small way.

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