Young musicians from Kolkata launch movement for independent artists during pandemic


Independent Artist Association is a community that organizes concerts to generate income for independent artists

The group has already organized three live concerts and plans to host one in December.

Young musicians from Calcutta came together to form the Association of Independent Artists (IAA) during the pandemic to jumpstart the growth of independent artists. The 11-member group has hosted live concerts like Music On Air, Unplugged Music and Comic event, Whisper from the Abyss and Children of Rock.
IAA was founded by a group of like-minded artists. They aim to provide a platform for independent artists and groups and help them showcase their talents and generate regular income. From musicians of different genres to comedians, the group is a mixed group.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all independent musicians and artists. At the start of the lockdown, there was a bar on crowds and the live shows stopped, which reduced their main source of income. We provide opportunities and platforms for every performing art. Initially, we were only 10 people, but we have more than 20 independent acts associated with us, ”said Bishal Kumar Thakur, Director General of the IAA.

The group began their journey during the pandemic and since then have made constant efforts to improve Kolkata’s performing arts scene. In April, they had organized their first metal event which received a huge response. The COVID wave halted live gigs but the band made a comeback with much stronger support in November by hosting Children of Rock.

“We hosted our first live event on March 21, 2021. Our motivation was to generate a sustainable amount of income for the bands performing. We also wanted to eliminate the exploitation of talent once and for all, ”said Sritama Mandal, a second-year master’s student in sociology at the University of Calcutta and a member of the IAA central committee.

Ekla Cholo Re is the slogan of the movement. The campaign was carried out across Kolkata to promote live concerts. Gradually the movement grew and music lovers from all over Bengal joined in as well.

“We represent the emotions of independent artists. Our motivation is to create a real music industry that does not depend on promotional movie banners. We believe in the unification of the whole artistic community of India. That’s why we started the movement, ”said Souradeep Bhattacharya, 28, IAA chief of operations.

“The IAA has started a movement that not only brings together different genres under one roof, but also promotes the concept of the paid concert which is essential for independent artists like us,” said Boidurjyo Chowdhury, a 22-year-old singer from Distorted Chromosomes, a Kolkata-based band.

The IAA, a strong supporter of live concerts, believes that independent artists can only make a name for themselves through live concerts.

The pandemic had left everyone confined to their homes and the live concerts served as a meeting place for artists, IAA members and, of course, the public.

“This pandemic has prompted people to come up with the best alternatives to address their shortcomings. And now, digital entertainment is booming. Artists find it difficult to create digital content to virtually entertain the crowd, ”said Souradeep.

The IAA relies heavily on concert tickets for its income and merchandise sales. “We generate income primarily by selling passes. In addition, we had our partners who made donations for the concerts. Finally, we sold merchandise which also helped generate income for performing artists, ”said Bishal Kumar Thakur, a 25-year-old accounting graduate.

Artists can register on the site ( for free regardless of their genre and style of art. IAA is preparing for its next event, Mockery: The Statement, a hip-hop, rap and B-boying concert in December.

Last updated on 03 Dec. 2021

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