5.4 million minutes on Facebook
1.31 million views on Facebook & YOUTUBE
10,478 new followers
Sung 1,784 songs
970 unique songs
156 hours of programming
50+ artists on the show in 125 episodes so far.
Ladies and Gents, these are the figures amassed by Bandra boy Carlton Braganza on his show “Jukebox Jammies” through the lockdown.
Carlton studied electronics but joined the merchant navy before moving to a new city. He has since dabbled in event management, the advertising industry, art, theatre, the FnB industry, photography, has been a Radio Jockey, entertainer and is now is an online live performing artist.
“I am the kind of guy who gets bored pretty soon, be it one genre of music or field of work.”
While the lockdown put most of our lives in a quandary, Carlton took it as an opportunity to have fun. Just before the lockdown was imposed, Carlton was performing at a live show in Chennai when the tour was called off. Instead of flying back home, he flew to Sri Lanka because he got cheap tickets. He took the last flight out of Sri Lanka to return and found himself stuck at home with nothing to do.
“When PM Modi announced the lockdown, I went online and jokingly said since PM Modi is not letting me go out of my house, I will entertain you guys from in here every evening for half an hour to an hour till I can get out of my house. It started as joke. If you look at the first few videos they are very rudimentary. I was just trying to amuse myself,” said Carlton.
The Joke That Went Live and How!
Like all good things, Carlton’s live show started on a miniscule note. The first few shows had just 20 odd attendees. But these attendees developed a value chain kind of a model. They invited their friends to attend who in turn asked others. This not only increased the eyeballs but also prompted Carlton to be more efficient and deliver maximum entertainment value.
Things started shaping up in just about a week and the audience number was in triple figures. Not only were applauds pouring in but many were ready to help him iron out technical glitches and help the show reach a wider spectrum.
What started as a joke, went on air daily for 120 days. The shows weren’t monotonous largely due to Carlton’s wide repertoire of music and the ability to cut across age groups. But it needed an identity.
“I called it ‘Jukebox Jammies’ as I wanted it to be a live jukebox. People would request for a song in the comments sections and I was entertaining most of those requests. So I didn’t have a curated set list initially. I would just sing the requests as per the vibe of the evening,” commented Carlton.
Nostalgia Works Always
This approach helped build a connect with the audience. They were listening to the music they liked and the comment section was like a hangout place. People connected with friends, some after years. Not only requests but the comment section had a lot of jokes, the odd trivia, and banter. This along with the music made ‘Jukebox Jammies’ a daily evening ritual and more than just a music show.
“Music was the adhesive, I was just lucky to be in the middle of all this. Anybody could have done it but it happened to be me. And the people made all the difference,” said Carlton, trying to be humble.
People weren’t just reconnecting with their friends from India but also internationally. Most of them had some Mumbai connection. The audience was made up of people from all walks of life. Advertising executives, music label heads, artists, music fans and even passersby. Carlton made it a point to interact with them and keep the session lively with his chatter. Some would join in for the music while many for the nostalgia. But the music definitely played its part in invoking nostalgia.
“Initially I made it a point to touch upon things that have influenced me in some way. I did shows about Mumbai parishes, choirs, the colony I grew up in. it was more of a community driven thing. They would listen to songs which they haven’t heard in years and reminisce. Someone told me, this show is taking us to a happier and uncomplicated space,” smiled Carlton.
While the audience was enjoying the music, the music royalty collection societies were also keenly observing the live online shows to check for copyright violations. Artists, bands, DJs and others who performed copyrighted music online were on their radar.
“It never really happened during a live show. They would mute certain songs once the video was uploaded. I let it go because I don’t have any claim over those songs. In terms of clarity about these rights, I still don’t have any. As I said I am amusing myself and others,”said Carlton.
Money! Money! Money!
Carlton initially set up an online monetary account where the audience could contribute. It was more like a ‘throw money in the hat’ model. People were free to contribute the amount they deemed fit. But certainly this wouldn’t be enough in the long run.
“Bookmyshow had shown interest in working with me. We worked, without any commercials involved, for a month or so. They would promote my show to their database but it didn’t really affect my audience. I wanted to do a curated show which could be ticketed but it didn’t really happen. I have done quite a few private and corporate gigs so that kind of takes care of my stuff. I am a simple man with small needs. If this amount takes care of those needs I am happy, “admitted Carlton.
“Last 4-5 months have been wonderful for me. Of course I have to do 30 gigs to make the same amount I would in 4-5 gigs. But the ease of doing things is tremendous. Come on, I perform in my jammies in my bedroom.”
Like a true Goan, Carlton loves the susegad life. A believer in taking things as they come he isn’t much of a planner. He is content being a singer and performer rather than becoming a songwriter. But he is surely a dreamer. His future plans don’t involve raking in the moolah but ride the joyous wave of life.
So what lies ahead for Carlton?
“I would love to host an old school style chat and music show. Get a couple of guests and have some jokes along with great music. I am also looking at a travel format. I want to take this bedroom project to a scenic location and do a live show from there. Talk about the local food, get a local artist on board and all. Doing a live show from an exciting location is what lies ahead, I hope. As of now I am having too much fun in what I do and I am too lazy to write a song.”