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The Illustrious Leader of India's Electronic Music Scene

Meet Aneesha Kotwani



Aneesha Kotwani is best known for two things - her work on radio spotlighting South Asian artists, and her single handed development of running events within Mumbai bringing a diversity of electronic music to a growing crowd of music lovers. Having found herself on the dancefloor, Aneesha places music at the forefront of all the work she does. This extends to being a music strategist and marketeer, managing female musicians and helping them grow in their career, as well as touring artists to India from around the world.



Having been part of the scene for over ten years, Aneesha talks to us about the highs and lows of paving her own route into the role of cultural ambassador, manager and event coordinator. As well as her personal experiences of maintaining a close knit community of friends and family around her.


 

Cultural Advisor


For Aneesha, a fundamental part of her work has been to research and advice global brand projects who want to understand India's market from a creative standpoint. "I help them with insights and I enjoy that because I try to be as authentic as I can with feedback so they can make the right kind of decisions or partner with the right kind of people". This is fundamentally important for Aneesha to be able to direct the evolution of the industry and empower people who deserve the opportunity to shine, stating how she is always rooting for the underdogs.



Understanding the industry


After living in the UK during her twenties, experiencing the world of warehouse raves and big venues hosting electronic music nights, Aneesha set her intensions on building a similar scene in her home city of Mumbai. This led her to run events for many years, bringing artists from across the world to India to play their sets and introduce a fresh wave of sounds.



However, when discussing the way Aneesha is infusing electronic music into the cultural landscape of India, she tells us how there are many challenges. One being that "people think [India] is a great market because there are so many people here but the number of people who actually listen to dance music is very small." She tells us how this is, in part, due to language barriers amongst other contributing factors. This makes the work Aneesha does with artists within the country even more important, spotlighting their sound and creating opportunities for their work to be seen and celebrated amongst those who are potential fans around the world.



When you work in an industry where the supply is more than the demand, it makes it tougher... so stay persistent. You have to keep at it.


Staying Persistent


We asked Aneesha what her advice was for folks pursing a career in the music. She tells us how "When you work in an industry where the supply is more than the demand, it makes it tougher" so Aneesha's advice is to keep pushing. Among her many learning curves, she understood that it's about staying persistent. "You have to keep at it. People will look at you when you've achieved great things thinking "wow" but they don't know the number of years that went behind it". This means picking yourself up when you want to throw the towel in, and doing jobs (such as working the door) that aren't glamorous but are necessary. With this history of experience and enduring mindset, it's clear how much effort Aneesha has put into building her way up within the industry and fostering a new movement that supports a whole wave of artists.



The Importance of Friends


When discussing the importance of surrounding yourself with people who uplift one another, Aneesha discusses how "it's good to have a support system...There's a lot of creative friends who have been extremely supportive and helped me out when I've wanted to create something just for the love of it." She explains how those friends are few and far between because "I like to pick my circle and keep them close" even though Aneesha points out that working in music is an extremely social world. "Over the years I've been able to channel my energies and invest in people who I want to build relationships with." This has been an intentional decision of Aneesha's, allowing herself to be in her own lane and feel secure with the people she surrounds herself with.


It's good to have a support system...There's a lot of creative friends who have been extremely supportive and helped me out when I've wanted to create something just for the love of it


As she progresses in her career and life, Aneesha tells us how her joy of working in an industry she's passionate about can often make her a workaholic. With an intension to continue adventuring through life and finding ways to travel around the world, we look forward to seeing which direction projects will take her. Certain that Aneesha will continue to generate significant musical interest for artists in India and beyond.



In this episode we hear music from KAVYA, Ditty, Traumer, Sheherazaad, and SiR. Tune in to the full interview and hear Aneesha discuss her relationship to these artists and the inspiration behind their tunes.


 

Keep up to date with Aneesha's work via her platform WAVLNGTH  or via IG @aneeshakotwani


Interview by Bethany Burgoyne @bxsassy2



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