Shaun ‘Sanjib’ Kalita speaks about e- magazines and their growth in Assam
Tell us something about your E-magazine - Indian Music Mug?
Shaun’Sanjib Kalita’: Indian Music Mug is a webzine which mainly focuses on promoting independent Indian musicians, artists, bands and promoting local events as well as intermixing cultures from around the globe with the independent scene in an effort to take the indian indie scene to the global level.
How the seed of this idea did come to your mind? When was it launched?
Shaun: I’ve been working with bands over 9 years now. Back when I started ,the Northeastern Indie music scene was different. Bands would record their albums, singles but they didn’t have the idea on how to publicize it. I noticed that cyberspace is attracting many public. Almost everyone started using online social networking sites as their daily needs. My first thought came when I was googling and I found sites which used to publish news on music. Then I thought of launching IndianMusicMug, I wanted to create a common place where people can find new Indie music by local bands. Also as cyberspace doesnot have any barriers I always wanted to take local musicians to international platforms.
Without proper publicity I’m sure even the best album on the planet couldn’t have reached to even a hundred listeners. Music is a subjective topic and people have radically varied opinions, tastes and preferences. Hence, the key to being successful is to reach out to your own target audience. Every album or song has a audience- reaching out to that group of people is the important bit.
IndianMusicMug was launched in September 2010 but then again I had financial problems as in 2010 I was a degree final year student and I didn’t had enough money to buy the server space. Initially I bought the domain and started the e- magazine with google’s free blogspot and on 2011 march I got my own space. I started learning graphic design and webdesign from my seniors at college.
After I booted the site I received a considerable amount of contributions and gusto from a lot of people around the globe and that kind of really pulled me into working harder for the site. Since 2010 IndianMusicMug’s team is Bhaskar J Das, Denny Kashyap, Trish Colaco, Nabill Phukan, Ajoy M Lanong who contributed many Articles, Reviews, Interviews. Also I thank Kaushik Jai Barua who helped me during launch.
In early 2012 Ashiqur Rohman who is now editor of IndianMusicMug joined. As a editor he brought us interviews of many reowned and legendary artists like Jason Becker, Vinnie Moore, Christina Scabbia, Allen Mckenzie, Brian Tichy, Tony Carey, Ann Boleyn, Steve Lynch, Ehsaan Noorani to name a few, which in turn increased our readers across the globe and which now help us to focus more on our mission i.e. to promote local musicians on the International circuit.
How is your e-magazine different from the rest?
Shaun: I always wanted to create a common place where readers can easily search for bands, music, where readers can get more information about a new band. Also as I said before our main motive is to promote local Independent bands, we always try to take their music/ creations to maximum people and be heard in all corners of country and the globe. We always try to approach more and more bands, musicians, singers who are yet unnoticed yet talented and give them the necessary platform. This whole endeavour of ours to unconditionally promote indie music and make it stand on its own makes IndianMusicMug different from rest.
Till date what are some of the most significant achievement of your e-magazine?
Shaun: Till now since 2010 we have never submitted our name to any nominations. So there have been no awards to talk about. But we got ranked as the No 1 Indian blog in Music category by Top Indian Blog this year. I dont know if this is an achievement or not .We got invitations at many prestigious events like Dewarist in 2012 which was held at Mumbai but unfortunately we could not attend that event due to prior commitments. To be honest, for us as a team the more people we can reach and the more indie music we can spread among the readers and increase the following is always the biggest achievement for us .
What are your future plans with regard to taking Indian Music Mug to new heights?
Shaun: I’m building IndianMusicMug’s database with links and information relating to bands and artists. I’m also looking for sponsors/ Advertisers and contributors. Recently we i.e. Me, Nabill Phukan, Nabaneet Parashar, Ashiqur Rohman and Lewis Borgohain started our new venture i.e. IMM Creations which is a part of IndianMusicMug. We are planning on an International Act live in Guwahati and if we succeed in organising this event, it will be the first of a kind and the biggest show in Guwahati.
Please mention a few lines on the scenario of e-magazines in Assam
Shaun: As I mentioned earlier cyberspace don’t have any barriers, at the time - and mainly because it is all free. The better content a publisher uploads the more readers will get attracted. E magazines in Assam are growing more and more with great content which is helping a lot to promote Assam’s culture, literature across the globe.
What are your thoughts on e-magazines earning revenue from their content?
Shaun: Earning through e-magazines is hard and at the same time it is easy too. Hard because when you go to advertisers to sell your banner space your site’s statics should have more and more unique visitors hits per day for which you have to promote your e-magazines more. Easy in the sense that now a days where social networking sites like facebook, twitter etc who made the world a small place helps e-magazines a lot, if the contents are unique and error free a publisher with little investment can promote an e-magazines easily to boost up and to reach more readers which at the same time increases the site’s stats counts and also helps in marketing and getting more advertisers .