Utsah Joshi aka Uniq Poet released his album ‘Kaalo’ on the Liveasily website in December 2020. He said he had to do so because there were not enough outlets for him to sell his music on. He also incorporated eSewa into the platform and gave the first few customers a discount.
Album sales for musicians have been very small as cassettes have become outdated and CDs are progressively phased out. Most sell them during their shows, while others, including Joshi, try to sell them digitally through their websites. There are also those who do not bother selling them and instead post the entire albums for free on YouTube.
However, in Nepal, things are changing. A group of musicians has launched an app through which they will be able to sell their singles and songs, as well as merchandise, to their fans directly.
Noodle, a new application launched on April 10 by musicians, was developed and managed by them. Ritavrat Joshi, Bartika Eam Rai, Shuhant Roy, Avishek KC, and Suzeena Shrestha are among the core members of Nepal’s emerging music scene.
The new virtual market in town for music
Many musicians have been relieved to hear this, as they believe musicians are being abused in the name of publicity.
“This is just what we needed because artists need money to finance their art,” says ASM’s Abhishek S Mishra, whose recent album was launched on Noodle at a Beers N’ Cheers function. “I know it will take time, but if we can recreate the cassette and CD days, when artists were really paid, we can have a strong environment that will last for a while.”
According to Mishra, many musicians have had to stop making original music because it is not enough to support them. Only a few musicians are able to support themselves solely through music. As a result, many people switch to side hustles or full-time jobs while trying to pursue music on the side.
The only money musicians make from music is from performing gigs in the Kathmandu valley and other parts of the world. But that, too, is a long way off and few, emphasizing the need for a forum like Noodle.
“Composing and writing an album takes months, if not years, not to mention the practice sessions and the recording process,” says Nikita Shrestha of Room. “Many people also tell us that their lives are incomplete without music. I hope that by doing so, they will be able to help musicians, giving us the inspiration to keep doing what we love.”
Ishan Onta of The Elements agrees that this is just what the music scene needs. “There has always been a void in the music-buying culture due to the lack of an open bridge between the viewer and the artist,” says the community. Noodle has flawlessly produced this opportunity, and we couldn’t be happier,” says Onta, who also expresses his motivation.
The app has received over 2,000 downloads so far and has received positive feedback from users. Noodle has sold 79 albums, 21 EPs, and 389 singles in its first month. Albatross released their latest album, “Suchana Suchana,” on May 14, and it sold over 300 copies in its first week.
“People who claim they’ll listen to it on YouTube aren’t likely to purchase albums or singles. Now, putting music on YouTube is a positive thing, but we plan what we put on YouTube strategically,” Shrestha says.
The app also has a section for selling goods, which many people find appealing. Ankit Shrestha, a New York-based singer and songwriter, says he’s thrilled to be able to sell both his albums and merchandise via the app.
He says, “It’s very nice because this can be a good side income for musicians who depend on live events for income.” “Musicians can now concentrate on making music because Noodle has taken care of most of the details.”
There’s also a crowdfunding option, which Joshi says will be used to support musicians in need, as well as a foray into event management.
Joshi explains, “We’ve been doing concerts and tours in direct contact with the artists.” “We recently completed a five-venue tour in Kathmandu with Retro Rockets and Zero Brains, bands from Itahari and Dharan, respectively. We want to give new artists a platform while also empowering the community.”
Visit Noodle at https://noodlerex.com.np/