Chaitanya believes that the music industry works in a very archaic manner. Be it film music, advertising, recording, or Bollywood music — people stand set in their ways of working.
One person can make incredible content, but a team of people can make incredible content consistently. The idea of working as a team, pooling your skills and resources can create magic. This is this strategy that works flawlessly for Chaitanya Kataria and GullyGang Entertainment.
Gully Gang, launched by Rapper DIVINE in 2019, is a one-stop shop for all things rap music. They cover independent studios, function as a record label, manage talent, and produce unique content.
This week on Pepper Spotlight, the weekly podcast by Pepper Content, Chaitanya Kataria breaks down the nuances of collaboration, insights of working with niche content, shared stories from the rap-music work, and a whole lot more.
We bring to you some of the memorable and insightful segments of this episode.
An Understanding of Gully Gang
“DIVINE and I wanted to create something that is bigger than both of us, and we shared common insights,” said Chaitanya Kataria to Pepper Spotlight. In his words, his job at the establishment is to “keep the chaos in check.”
They defined themself as a media company that wants to create content across as many channels as possible. They mainly make IPs and, of course, manage rappers. According to Chaitanya, each rapper is a sub-brand within the company, and it’s their job to help each of them grow.
Spearheading the Rap Movement in India
Being the first, and only all-rap-music creation house must be an overwhelming task. Being a front-runner can be seen in two ways — one, you are the first mover who gets to set a precedence for the industry to follow. Second, you make all the mistakes, so there are fewer for the next generation to drive.
Chaitanya believes it’s a little bit of both. “Being a first-mover is definitely an advantage,” he said. “Especially with the way Indian media works. There is a demand for content and a boom in the internet entertainment business; being a first-mover is for sure an advantage.”
However, Chaitanya believes that the music industry works in a very archaic manner. Be it film music, advertising, recording, or Bollywood music — people stand set in their ways of working. GullyGang is creating a change in this system and aims to make music production more artist or creator-friendly.
“Being a leader does not add pressure; it gives us a chance to build and add creative ideas,” he said. Gully Gang started as a music label and then moved on to client servicing and talent management. Their next aim is to build a pool of creators and creatives to function as a one-stop solution for all things rap music.
“Since we are not a corporation, we can make mistakes and do trials,” says Chaitanya. They are on their way to building a solid team that can help both the brands and artists alike. They believe that music consumption will always remain a niche choice, the teams behind the scene should also build content the same way.
Each Artist Is Their Own Brand.
As a brand, GullyGang has a diverse pool of artists. And this can be both a benefit and a disadvantage.
According to Chaitanya, the advantage is that they have had many talents who each have their own USP. This range gives them many options to pick and choose projects and create different content. They have also become a one-stop-shop for all kinds of clients, because they can provide variety.
The disadvantage is that one approach will not work for all artists. As creators, they need to constantly brainstorm and innovate new ideas and ways to promote each artist’s music.
When asked how Gully Gang picks their artist, Chaitanya said it boils down to two significant factors. The first is, of course, a need for incredible music. It is disadvantageous for the brand if two artists make the same kind of music. They must each have their own voice and USP.
Secondly, in Chaitanya’s words: “We want an artist who is hungry!” If we are looking to build a space where the artists make more than the agencies and the brand that support them, then the artist should also be willing to go the extra mile and put in all they got.
GullyGang also believes that all artists work at their own pace and time, which is acceptable if the underlying belief system remains the same for all.
How Can Artists and Creators Stand Out in The Cluttered Market?
When more people have the vision to create content and make their way to the top, it’s often hard to stand out from others in your domain. According to Chaitanya, people must bring focus on building music or content in a niche.
A niche choice helps you find audiences, give your creations a distinct voice and help you gain more from the efforts you invest into your art.
The other factor that helps you make exceptional content is relatability. “A lot of what we do is storytelling,” says Chaitanya. “If it does not evoke emotions, there is nothing that will bring the users back to your content.”
We often revisit songs, books and even movies for the same reason. “The music industry is very data-driven, but I believe that music is a connection of emotions,” Chaitanya adds. These emotions range from being funny, sad, hard-hitting, and much more. No matter what the mood, the artists should try and bring out the most of it.
Planning and Promoting Your Creations
Make a product so good that it markets itself. For the most, Gully Gang believes their content has the right niche following to keep the music alive.
Additionally, they also work with other record labels, which assist them with promotions and distributions. These decisions change for each music launch and taken in the best interests of the artists. Once the track is live, the whole group gets together and hammers out ideas for the weeks to follow.
Over the last six months, they have noticed exceptional reception for short-form videos during promotions. Short-form videos like Reels are easier to consume and work wonderfully for the low-attention span millennials.
You Have To Check This Out!
Towards the end of the conversation on Pepper Spotlight, Chaitanya tells us the process behind making one rap song. He takes the example of MIRCHI by DIVINE and highlights the many steps they went through to create this epic chart-buster.
When more than one mind gets together, they always create magic. This is true not just for music but for all forms of content. If we had to wrap this up into a single line we would say — Good content comes from being relatable and niche; while keeping a close eye on the needs of the audience.