Everyone wants music for free, people don’t realize that it is an art form and it costs a lot financially, emotionally, and mentally to be a musician: Ritnika Nayan
Ritnika Nayan is the Director of Market Development for CD Baby India as well as the owner of the company Music Gets Me High. Throughout her 19 years of experience in the music industry, she has worked with artists like Maroon 5, Nickelback, Guns & Roses, Nucleya, Advaita and also consulted on festivals like Sula Fest, Ziro Festival of Music, Wonderflip Fest, to name a few.
After completion of her bachelor’s degree in Television, she returned to India, where she dabbled in Television (MTV NY, ITV London, Star India) and Film (Gandhi My Father) as an Assistant Director. Later she moved to London to pursue her master’s in music business management from Westminster University. She worked as a promoter in London for a year managing concerts at venues like the Troubadour, 100 club, Borderline, and Nambucca. After a brief work stint at Peter Jenner’s Sincere Management, Ritnika moved to India to set up her music company that deals with artist management, live concerts, consultancy as well as operates a rehearsal studio in Delhi.
Ritnika has won various awards including the contribution to the creative industry award by the University of Westminster, UK, and the Young music entrepreneur runner-up award by the British council. She has been a speaker at various conferences in Mumbai, Delhi, Geneva, and Los Angeles, including Tedx India.
Ritnika authored a book on music, ‘Indie 101 – The Ultimate Guide to the Independent Music Industry in India’ and has also set up India’s first standalone Music Business Certification course at SACAC, Delhi.
After experimenting with various energy healing modalities to heal her emotional issues and dissolve her blockages, Ritnika was drawn to the healer’s path. With the guidance of her teacher, she learned about indigenous methods of energy healing and started her practice in Natural Vibrations. She is a Breakthrough Coach with Hypnosis and Timeline technology, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner, a Spirit healer based on shamanic principles, and a gifted oracle card reader.
Ritnika also runs a free monthly sharing circle called ‘Good Vibrations’ for the music and artists community.
Apeksha Sandesh had a chance to interact with a versatile music professional, Ritnika Nayan. Check out the excerpts!
Tell us something about your journey in the music industry so far.
My journey has definitely been a very interesting one. I have now spent nearly 20 years working in music (more if you count my years as a musician). I have always loved music and I am very happy that I get to wake up every day and do what I love.
What exciting developments have you seen in the music industry since the time you started?
The music industry in India has evolved so much since I started. Back then there were hardly any proper companies, music festivals and the industry was still in its nascent stage. Now we see a lot of international companies interested in India and even Indian families are now open to having their child pursue a career in music.
Why did you choose music as your career?
I grew up surrounded by amazing music. I used to play the piano and the drums when I was younger and my parents love music. For me, music has always been a part of my soul and I am a strong believer in ‘Do what you love, and the money will follow’.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
Honestly, I have been lucky enough to not care too much about what people thought of me. I have had to deal with people who didn’t want to take orders from me at a music festival because I was a woman. I have had people spread rumors about me to undermine my intelligence. But I try not to let these people pull me down. I know my strengths and I have always made it a point to only work with people that respect me.
Being a strong advocate for local music, what do you think we must do in India to bring out more local music noticed and appreciated?
I think we need to attach more value to music. Everyone wants music for free, whether it is free entry to shows, listening to music on free apps, and so on. People don’t realize that it is an art form and it costs a lot financially, emotionally, and mentally to be a musician. We need to value it and nurture it. We also need our local government to create programs to nurture music from all genres. Not just classical or Hindustani.
How do you think India is placed when it comes to world music? What all can be done to ensure that the Indian music industry is at par with the international level?
I think India has a lot of amazing art forms from traditional to modern. However, as mentioned earlier we still need to nurture it further. From an international standpoint in terms of music, most people think of India and think Indian Classical or Bollywood. But we have so much more to offer. We need to start showing the world what all India has to offer as a whole.
We need to get a lot more professional. We have a very casual attitude in India with delays in payments and so on. We need to shape up and act professionally. We also need better rules and regulations for events.
Our government needs to work with the music community to understand our needs so that issues like permissions for events, curfews, etc. do not affect the growth of the industry.
What is the biggest struggle of a musician today in India?
I think it is the lack of opportunities and education. India is still developing when it comes to independent music. We have venues, we have festivals but we still have a long way to go. With Covid coming into the picture, most artists have lost their livelihoods as they could not perform. Artists need to understand that they cannot rely on just one source of revenue like shows. They need to diversify and focus on things like releasing music, sync license, etc. Hence, they need proper music business education.
Do you think the existing programs introduced by the government for artisans need enhancement? Any suggestions to the government?
Absolutely. 100%. We don’t have anything that supports independent music in India. Nothing at all!
You are a Breakthrough Coach with Hypnosis and Timeline technology, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner, a Spirit healer based on shamanic principles, and a gifted oracle card reader. Please share some tips with our readers to lead a meaningful and stress-free life.
The most important tip I can give is to realize that nothing is set in stone. We need to understand that things can change overnight so rather than dwelling on an issue, we should focus on how we can fix or alter it because at the end of the day everything is energy and our thoughts create our reality.
The second tip I can give is to be grateful every morning, every night, or even when you are feeling lost. Start writing or listing out things you are grateful for in your life. It will automatically change your energy. The more grateful we are, the more things we will attract that we can be grateful for.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
The ability to choose the life they want. I was lucky to be raised by parents who supported my dreams. But most people aren’t that lucky. Girls, especially, have it harder as they are expected to get married, raise a family, etc. at a particular age. I would love to see more young girls choosing alternate career paths and doing what works for them.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?
‘It will all work out; the universe has a plan’ – is a piece of advice I would want to give to my younger self.
Despite me being an energy therapist, I too suffer from anxiety often and I have to keep reminding myself that everything is happening for my highest good and it will all work out.
In your opinion, what is the significance of International Women’s Day?
I personally think women should not need a day. If we truly want to be considered equal, we should be treated the same way – equal. Every day should be women’s day.
Apeksha Sandesh congratulates Ritnika Nayan for her contribution and commitment towards the field of arts and music with her works, and wishes her all the best for her future endeavours!