After 15 years organising events for various charitable organisations, Nanni Singh, CEO of ShowCase Events, felt the need to empower traditional and folk independent musicians by giving them a proper voice and representation, in an ever-changing market. Thus, she began ShowCase Events as her own events space. Once lockdown was imposed, she became cognisant of the immense challenges faced by popular Indian music artists and decided to highlight their work in a truly unique live format, so they could grow in 2021. In this weekly digital show, the artists conversed with renowned music journalist Narendra Kusnur and shared the histories of their art forms, while also performing exclusively for the digital audience. In the run-up to the finale of Season 1 of showcase studio, Nanni Singh speaks about her vision for the show and the artists.
Q1: With experience of over 15 years in the Indian Events industry, what led you to enter the events industry?
A1: Events of all sorts, have always excited me. Curating the concept, coordinating with the right vendors and associates and then executing the event, has always been my main area of interest. I started organizing full-fledged events for Charities and for friends, almost 15 years back. My hands-on involvement in these events, brought in a lot of learning and experience as well as good connections. However, sometimes I faced challenges with the quality of the vendors, which made me want to start my own company.
Another reason for setting up my own venture, was my close connection with popular Indian music artists, especially independent and folk. I felt they were losing their sound and voice over commercial music and Bollywood, and wanted to create a space for them, that promoted the amazing talent in our country.
Q2: The events industry has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic. What measures have you taken to reinvent ShowCase Events and its sister brands in recent months?
A2: Yes, with the pandemic and lockdown, the space for LIVE and on-ground events too shutdown. The events industry came to a standstill. Fortunately, our team stepped up and took this crisis as an opportunity to learn technology and enter the space of virtual events. We modified and re-invented ourselves and our thought process, collaborated with associates and learnt how to manage and execute events virtually, which allowed us to explore the space of virtual and Hybrid events. Thus, we could give our clients on-ground support to the extent it was permitted in the pandemic, balanced with our virtual events platforms.
What was especially being looked over was access to good quality music, because of the lack of live concerts and performances. This gave birth to the newest vertical of ShowCase Events called ShowCase Studio. The first season of shows is a series of Conversations, almost like lecture-demonstrations (LEC-DEMS). Our focus has been on inviting popular Indian music artists who have stayed pure to their art forms, taking them beyond their narrow binding rules without diluting or commercialising their sound. Further, the in-depth knowledge shared about the art forms and the musical instruments in each episode, has brought in an audience looking for pure art. ShowCase Studio is set to showcase its finale episode this week and has a fabulous lineup ahead.
Q3: The events industry refers to you as the brand ambassador of Indian folk music and artists across musical genres. How are folk artists and performers, traditionally dependent on concerts and live patronage, being represented in the current scenario and making a living?
A3: That is a huge honour, but I honestly cannot take it. Folk music is so rich and so deep. The folk artists are the ones that are the true ambassadors of our folk heritage. To keep any of these folk forms alive, we need to save the artists. The pandemic has hit them very hard. These artists only know their music and their only space for survival is that of live music. They don’t understand technology or any other form of making a presence. In this period, to be able to survive, many of them have turned to farming and other work that could fetch them some money, so their families could survive. Our team has worked with some of them and helped them learn basic technological aspects, so they can use their smart phones better. Some have started offering lessons and others are doing small virtual performances. Rehabilitating them will take time and we are hoping the government takes dedicated interest and reaches out to each of these folk musicians to help them in whatever way possible.
We are grateful that artists across genres consider ShowCase Events their safe space and reach out to us often for help, conversations or to brainstorm ideas.
Q4: Do you think the future of the events industry will be entirely digital?
A4: I don’t believe so. Real life on-ground events will return but technology will no longer be treated just as a medium to enhance the event. In the last few months, we have seen a lot that technology is capable of. It has certainly brought the whole world together. Today our events are being streamed and watched by audiences across the globe and artists are able to join from different locations. We couldn’t imagine doing this pre-pandemic. As I have mentioned above, crisis often brings opportunities and learnings.
Q5: What advice do you have for new entrants in the events industry?
A5: I would advise them to be sincere to their commitments and infuse passion into everything that they do. They must be open to improvising and re-inventing themselves. Above all, as long as they are true to their work, they will never fail.
Q6: What can one expect from the ShowCase banner in the future?
A6: That is the interesting part and to know more you need to follow us on our socials to keep up with what we will offer next. We recently started ShowCase Studio, a virtual platform where artists connect with the audience in a conversation broadcast LIVE. We also have an on-ground state of the art studio called RRE Studios where artists or bands can record and dub, as well as live stream their performances.
We will soon be launching another vertical, but I will let that be a surprise.
Wish us well!
WATCH THE FINALE EPISODE OF SHOWCASE STUDIO LIVE HERE: https://m.facebook.com/showcasestudioofficial/
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