Utsah Joshi aka Uniq Poet released his album ‘Kaalo’ on the Liveasily website in December 2020. He said he had to do so because there were not enough outlets for him to sell his music on. He also incorporated eSewa into the platform and gave the first few customers a discount.
Album sales for musicians have been very small as cassettes have become outdated and CDs are progressively phased out. Most sell them during their shows, while others, including Joshi, try to sell them digitally through their websites. There are also those who do not bother selling them and instead post the entire albums for free on YouTube.
However, in Nepal, things are changing. A group of musicians has launched an app through which they will be able to sell their singles and songs, as well as merchandise, to their fans directly.
Noodle, a new application launched on April 10 by musicians, was developed and managed by them. Ritavrat Joshi, Bartika Eam Rai, Shuhant Roy, Avishek KC, and Suzeena Shrestha are among the core members of Nepal’s emerging music scene.
The new virtual market in town for music
“This was something that’s been in all the artists’ mind. I know many have wanted to start something like this for a while,” says Ritavrat Joshi, one of the co-founders of Noodle. “The main aim is to change the listening culture – to shake up things a bit – to spice up the music scene in Nepal.”
The app so far has over 50 artists affiliated with it. These artists range from bands like Albatross and Jindabad to individual singers like Bipul Chhetri and Bartika Eam Rai. People can buy entire albums or songs of their choosing.
“Everyone in our team knows how hard it is to produce and release a single song. We just want to make it easy for the artists to recoup some amount they’ve spent on producing the song,” says Joshi, who looks after the acquisition, content creation and finances in the group.
The app has an extremely user-friendly interface. After one logs in, they can listen to 30-second previews of songs from various artists. The full song, priced at a minimum of Rs 99, can be purchased in HD straight to one’s phone.
“We wanted to make it as simple as we could for the audience,” says Joshi.
As it is built by and for musicians, the app does not charge money from artists who are interested to upload their songs. There is one criterion, however: The songs have to be original and must be provided to Noodle in high quality.
“People will be shocked to see how better the sound quality of songs downloaded from Noodle is compared to YouTube,” says Joshi, who adds that they have not limited the app to a specific genre as they welcome all type of music.
Response and reception
“People who claim they’ll listen to it on YouTube aren’t likely to purchase albums or singles. Now, putting music on YouTube is a positive thing, but we plan what we put on YouTube strategically,” Shrestha says.
The app also has a section for selling goods, which many people find appealing. Ankit Shrestha, a New York-based singer and songwriter, says he’s thrilled to be able to sell both his albums and merchandise via the app.
He says, “It’s very nice because this can be a good side income for musicians who depend on live events for income.” “Musicians can now concentrate on making music because Noodle has taken care of most of the details.”
There’s also a crowdfunding option, which Joshi says will be used to support musicians in need, as well as a foray into event management.
Joshi explains, “We’ve been doing concerts and tours in direct contact with the artists.” “We recently completed a five-venue tour in Kathmandu with Retro Rockets and Zero Brains, bands from Itahari and Dharan, respectively. We want to give new artists a platform while also empowering the community.”
Visit Noodle at https://noodlerex.com.np/