Digital giant Qyuki has signed singer-actor Arjun Kanungo in an unprecedented deal for over $1 million. Details of the collaboration are slowly being revealed but the media company let loose some information about what’s to come. “A collaboration with Arjun, an exceptionally talented musician and a digital ‘first-thinker’, will help create better music for the ever-growing independent music fan base,” says Abhimanyu Radhakrishnan, Managing Director at Qyuki. “We’ve always believed in empowering the talent of the future and will be by Arjun’s side on his rocket ship to mega-stardom.” This includes the recent release of an exclusive musical NFT collection in memory of the company’s late founder, Samir Bangara.
Kanungo, a Mumbai-based 31-year-old musician, actor and composer rose to fame after his song ‘Baaki Baatein Peene Baad’ went viral. A trained classical singer and method actor from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City, Kanungo is known for his songs ‘Waada hai’, ‘Tum Na Ho’ and ‘Fursat’. Commenting on the record signing deal, he tells Music Plus, “I’ve always believed in investing in people and that’s why I’ve partnered with Qyuki.” The singer adds that the digital media company will now exclusively represent his brand work and work with him closely in creating new music and properties. “It is not a music label deal so I’ll be free to work with whatever label I choose to but I felt I needed someone to help me, creatively and operationally with some projects I have for the next 12 months,” reveals the singer adding that he’s also working with Qyuki to create some online properties, news of which will be dropped on November 29.
Founded by the late investor Bangara, music composer AR Rahman and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, Qyuki is backed by angel investors including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Varun Singh, Singapore Angel Network and Anisha Mittal. The company has been around since 2010, steadily empowering content creators to take their work to larger audiences. “Qyuki empowers emerging artists,” says Radhakrishnan. “A mission of ours is to help creators reach their goals, no matter what stage they’re currently in: right from taking baby steps, to walking the red carpet.” So far, the company’s roster includes names like Salim Sulaiman, Gajendra Verma, Ritu Agarwal and others that transcend music, content, make-up, cooking shows, dance and more. “
The more-than-$-1million deal arrives at a time when the country has witnessed a substantial wane in Hindi film music, a catalyst to the content creator economy that is thriving today. India is touted to be a huge market for short form video and original music. “If you’re not digital savvy today, you’re not relevant,” cautions Kanungo. “We’re in the digital age. Digital is 90% of the game today.” He advises young content creators to seek collaborators steadily. “Don’t be impatient and work on something you can be proud of. Rome wasn’t built in a day and anything worth building takes time and effort,” he says.