At the start of this year, Aaryan Banthia released his acoustic version of the song “Paar”. It talks about inclusivity, spreading love which is apt during these uncertain times. Paar was conceptualized during the turbulent phase in the wake of the first pandemic lockdown in 2020, shares Aaryan Banthia.
There was a lot of chaos, fear, and labor exodus during this time. In such a panic scenario, he composed the song as a tribute to the resilience and faith of mankind. Also to underscore how positive thinking can manifest into beautiful outcomes.
Aaryan had a gut feeling that the song will strike a chord with listeners and give them hope. The fact that it crossed a million views mark on YouTube within 10 days of release.
In conversation with us, Aaryan Banthia reminisces the early days of content creation, social media as a powerful medium of expression, and shares his thoughts on many more subjects.
When did you start your content creation journey and how do you leverage your social media to reach out to the masses?
I started with covers initially. My first cover video content was a cover of ‘Jiyein Kyun’ (originally sung by my Papon). Social media has made things much easier for artists to reach out to a very big audience which wouldn’t have been possible organically.
For me, I started using social media for the first time as an artist whilst in lockdown in 2020. Like that, I started creating and building on my fan base online.
Do you remember your first viral piece of content and what was the feedback like?
Yes, all my songs, right from my debut Hindi track, ‘Yaadein’ is close to my heart. It was a rock ballad with a subtle touch of blues and released by Zee Music. The feedback was even better than my expectations. The song crossed a million views on YouTube in a short span of time and made me realize the love that my music received.
Content creation got a boost during the pandemic. How did you manage to maintain a creative streak during the lockdown?
The pandemic, especially the lockdown stages, have been helpful for content creators like me. Due to the suspension of social activities, travel, and other excursions, there was a lot more additional time on hand to contemplate and work on music and also observe, practice, and conceptualize.
I made full use of the extra hours on hand. And I also managed to create a lot of music that is thankfully being loved by the audience as it is released.
According to you, how has social media shaped the creator and artist ecosystem in today’s world? What opportunities and challenges does it come up with?
Social media has great power and has undoubtedly been a game-changer for creators and artists. The biggest advantage that it has given to us is that it has eliminated entry barriers. You no longer necessarily need a ‘break’ or a Godfather to make your mark on the music scene.
There is YouTube as well as other platforms where artists can independently release their work and put it in front of almost a limitless audience. In fact, social media often delivers even better visibility and reach than a full-fledged audio release or conventional promotions. Apart from the opportunities such as access to a massive global audience, there is also the challenge of maintaining one’s profile on social media.
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Since the artist-fan relationship on social media is direct, things can get a lot personal and are difficult to handle sometimes. As an artist, you must be extremely conscious about the content and the quality of work you create, because anything that doesn’t go well with fans can also damage the artist’s reputation.
Are there any brand collabs you have done in the past or in talks for? How do you approach the brief for the same?
I have recently shot a video with Red Bull India that would be coming out soon.
When it comes to creating musical content, what game plan do you follow? Can you take us through the entire process?
I love to explore genres, and as you would find with my music, I alternate between different music forms. There is no pre-defined game plan, and one of the characteristics of my music is that I love to use the guitar. I am basically like a kid in the candy store who wants it all. Therefore, I research, conceptualize and test before getting the final composition out.
Lastly, what do expect from 2022, and how busy or calm does this year sounds to you?
The year 2022 is highly promising, and I am working on multiple things currently. There is another pop-rock track-ready, and I am quite excited about sharing it soon. I have also shot a highly creative video with Red Bull India where you will see three avatars of myself performing on a mashup on two of my own love songs, ‘Yaadein’ and ‘Tere Bin.’
As a year, 2022 is going to be a crazy ride with lots of music from me coming out through the year. I am really looking forward to it!
Rapid Fire Questions
How would you describe your social media presence in a hashtag?
Which music content creator you would want to collab with next?
There are so many and since I like exploring genres, to answer this will be very hard for me.
What are the top 3 music reel trends you are currently hooked on to?
I’m not a very enthusiastic user until now. Have only just started making reels.
Name one global content creator you get inspiration from?
I am hugely inspired by various renowned guitarists such Mark Knopler, John Mayer, BB King, and Paul Gilbert.
One social media application you can’t live without?
YouTube because that’s where all my music is.