Azadi Records: Clifr
In the vast and diverse landscape of India's music industry, independent record labels are carving out their own niche, providing a platform for talented artists to showcase their creativity beyond the mainstream. As India's indie music scene continues to evolve, these record labels are at the forefront, championing diversity, creativity, and authenticity. These labels are not just platforms for artists; they are cultural movements shaping the sonic landscape of a nation. With a commitment to breaking barriers and pushing boundaries, these indie labels are paving the way for a new era in Indian music—one that celebrates individuality, innovation, and the power of independent expression.
We shine a spotlight on four indie record labels that are making waves in the Indian music scene.
Pagal Haina lives up to its name by embracing the eccentric and the unconventional. Founded by Dhruv Singh and Lucy Peters, this label is the force behind putting some of the best-known indie musicians on our radar. From repping the young Prateek Kuhad between 2011-2018 to now focusing on Peter Cat Recording Co., Lifafa, Shantanu Pandit, Run It’s The Kid, The F16s, Rounak Maiti, Karshni Nair, and more, Pagal Haina’s roster features musicians adored globally, making them a force to be reckoned with in the subcontinent’s indie scene. Their sound is young, free, and unleashed. In many ways, this label celebrates enigmatic songwriting in fostering the country's finest musicians. Pagal Haina creates an atmosphere where artists can unleash their creativity without conforming to industry norms and gives the artists a community to rely on.
Pagal Haina:Karshni Nair
Founded by actor Ranveer Singh and Navraz Eranee, IncInk Records is not just a record label but a cultural community. Based in Mumbai, IncInk is on a mission to discover, nurture, and promote raw, authentic talent that represents the voice of the streets. Specialising in hip-hop and rap, IncInk Records has become a pivotal force in shaping the contemporary urban music scene in India. The label's focus on storytelling through music, particularly addressing societal issues, has garnered attention and resonated with the masses.
IncInk Records is committed to inclusivity and social impact. By breaking stereotypes and providing a platform for artists from diverse backgrounds, the label contributes to the broader conversation surrounding representation and diversity within the Indian music industry. Rewriting the narrative of Indian music, this label has repped artists from Kaam Bhaari, Slow Cheeta, Spitfire, Devil The Rhymer, Kampai, and more.
IncInk: Kaam Bhaari
Big Bang Music
BGBNG Music, headquartered in Mumbai, was founded by Gaurav Malik Wadhwa with a mission to provide a space for alternative and experimental sounds. The label is known for its commitment to diversity and strives to break away from conventional genre boundaries. From indie pop to electronica, this eclectic mix allows the label to cater to a diverse audience, fostering a sense of inclusivity and openness within the indie music community. Beyond being a record label, BGBNG Music actively contributes to building a supportive community for artists. With their roster holding artists like Anumita Nadesan, Jasleen Royal, The 9TEEN, and more, they encourage collaboration and experimentation, creating an environment where musicians can grow both creatively and professionally.
BGBNG: The 9TEEN
Azadi Records, established in 2017 by Uday Kapur and Mo Joshi, is synonymous with freedom and liberation in the world of music. With a commitment to amplifying voices that challenge the status quo, New Delhi based Azadi Records prides itself on being a platform for South Asian artists to release forward-thinking, conscious, and critically engaging music. Their diverse catalog spans hip-hop, electronic, and alternative music, reflecting the label's dedication to fostering a socially conscious and musically rich environment. Artists managed by the label include Seedhe Maut, Rebel 7, Clifr, Vasu Raina, Tienas, and more. This label is a masterclass in being fire blazers in the musical industry.
Words Devyani Verma
Azadi Records: Seedhe Maut