Chaitanya Kataria talks about the business of Indian Hip-Hop in ‘Pepper Spotlight’
Gully Gang Co-founder Chaitanya Kataria recently recorded a podcast with Pawan Rochwani of Pepper Content where he discussed how Hip-Hop is perceived in India & what the future holds. Pawan Rochwani is the Lead of Community, Events, and Partnerships at Pepper Content. He also routinely hosts webinars and is the host of ‘Pepper Spotlight’-The weekly podcast series. Pepper is a managed content creation services platform for sourcing high-quality content. They enable creators in text, design, and language to get the chance to work with some of the best global brands and enhance their portfolios.
Chaitanya started by explaining the vision behind Gully Gang & its operations. He identifies himself as someone who ‘keeps the chaos in check’ & at the same time blocks any burden before getting over the artists. As for ‘Gully Gang’ – it’s mainly a media company that focuses on creating IPs and manages exclusive talents. According to him, each Rapper is a sub-brand within the large umbrella of the label, and it’s their job to help each one of them grow. When asked about the overwhelming pressure of being the leading Hip Hop brand in the country, Kataria differed by saying that since Gully Gang is not a corporation, it’s totally acceptable to try new things & learn by mistakes. He aims to build a pool of creators who can benefit from this one-stop-shop for anything related to hip Hop.
Since India is such a diversified country, Gully Gang’s roster is pretty diverse too, which can be both a benefit & a drawback, as per Chaitanya. Benefit in the sense that all the artists have their own USP, this range gives them many options to pick and choose projects to create distinct content every time. A drawback is that one strategy 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.
Gully Gang was launched in 2019 when Divine & Chaitanya(who was already managing Divine) decided to create a platform for artists where they can put out their quality content without having to deal with everything on their own. But how does one cut through the noise? How does one make sure that they stand out? Chaitanya responded to these questions by urging the artists to create a niche audience of their own rather than running after trending things. “The music industry is very data-driven, but I believe that music is a connection of emotions,” Chaitanya adds, if an artist is successful in evoking an emotion inside the listener, he could instantly gain a fan.
Towards the end, Chaitanya gave an insight into the process that went behind creating ‘Mirchi’, the biggest commercial hit of 2020 by the Gully Gang team. It started with Divine & Phenom jamming in the studio when the 30-year-old rapper came up with the catchy hook. Soon after Phenom created the beat, they decided to get MC Altaf in on a verse. At the time, Divine was listening to a lot of Stylo G’s music & wanted him to feature in the track as well. The team reached out to the Jamaican rapper’s A&R & got him on board quickly. Chaitanya claimed that Stylo G gave them the verse in a short span of 2 days which is considered lightning fast in the music industry.
Listen to the full podcast below to learn more about the running mechanism behind one of the largest independent labels in the country.