In the last three years, we have seen multiple startups emerging in our country. From mobile apps to IoT products and from solar panels to drone ambulances, the startup landscape is filled with all types of common and extraordinary ideas that one can think of. With the internet in the palm, youngsters, with fantastic ideas, can now solve all problems they face by clever use of technology.
Similar is the story of the emergence of Skadana, an Electronic Music Record label, started by none other than an 18-year-old guy from Lahore named Haider Uppal.
What is Skadana and why you should care?
“Skadana is an Electronic Music startup, record label and Pakistan’s first electronic music blog, incubated at Plan 9.”
The music blog cum record label is made with the intent to promote electronic music, may it be local or global. The startup provides a platform for the emerging music producers and artists to publicize distribute and market their work without the fear of privacy invasion.
Unlike other startups that are working on Ecommerce, Web apps, Machine Learning, AI, Skadana’s founder has taken an unorthodox approach to solving the music promotion crisis for emerging and established producers.
The course of action:
“We handle the distribution, promotion and marketing of music that falls under the genre we release.”
Uppal says Skadana is not just a blog but an established CMS and tech services company for Musicians and artists.
An artist can sign his music, and Skadana’s team takes care of all the digital production. That includes publishing on digital frontiers such as Beatport, Amazon Music, Traxsource, through its very own distributor Symphonic.
“We also help brand artists with websites and other marketing related work.”
As of now 32 artists have already signed up with Skadana.
Haider is a DJ himself; he says his inherent love for music gave him the inspiration to initiate a music startup.
Living in a third world country, he always compared the electronic music in Pakistan and abroad. “I wanted my country to go to that level, to achieve the stardom and prominence, and this tiny little desire was the seed of this startup.”
But does Pakistan need Skadana?
Electronic music is not hugely popular in Pakistan and is thus very much ignored. But I tend to get up the label for Pakistani producers and help them produce, release and promote their music. Right now, the majority of the branding agencies that do exist only work with headliners and take tons of cash for that.
“I believe Pakistanis need an organization that helps unknown artists become known.”
The two major challenges we face are the alienation of the country folks toward music. That is, people are just unfamiliar with the music. Though, they listen to it. Secondly, the invasion of privacy on the internet is a dilemma that threatens every music producer.
Skadana has around 16 team members. The team includes graphic artists, developers, writers and others.
Haider plans to get as many artists on board as he can. His primary focus in on local artists, who are the deprived beings, also “CMS platform is also under consideration”. He says many artists use WordPress CMS; however we are working on a better one that can relate to artists’ needs.
Advice for New entrants:
Haider, being an 18-year-old himself says, people were not taking me seriously, but I proved them wrong. His suggestion to others is, “never give up your dreams and ambitions”.
“People might underestimate you, but the only thing that matters is that you believe in yourself. Other than that, never give up on your education because it’s the thing that got me here.”