Dhaka Electronica Scene is a thriving collaborative network of 150+ music producers, graphic designers, and visual artists along with writers and promoters who are shaping up the brand new music culture from Dhaka and beyond.Their network of members span 12 different country. DES will be stepping into their 4th year this January.
What is your product/service?
The DES network is a hot bed of creative startups. We can see the music labels using this network to find the artists suitable to them; the next would be event management companies naturally. We curate the content submitted to us through the Facebook group and emails and highlight the best work. There is a strong sense of community and hence the old members help out the new ones. Everyone learns from each other and collaborate on a variety of projects. At one end we are throwing concerts and parties at the other end we are collaborating on sound installation projects. We help new creative businesses to find the talent they need. We are hoping to export more and more Bangladeshi electronic music artists globally, our artist Space/Ghost is currently touring India and we are very excited about the entire international prospect that exists. In short, talented artists are our products.
We have introduced our workshops which feature local and international instructors for nominal fees. We hope to model the network similar to Art Council England but it’s still a long way to go.
What sets you apart from other firms of the sort?
Of course, original content that we produce. We are a network of music producers and we only entertain originally produced music.
How did you get started?
With a Facebook group and few like minded people who are passionate about electronic music.
What is your business model? How will you profit?
DES itself is a nonprofit startup which will allow the record labels, artist agencies, event management companies find the key people they need. The sustainability of the network is based on individual participation which has only increased over time.
What are some milestones/targets you hope to achieve within a year?
Currently we are working in partnership with Akāliko Records, a for profit artist management agency who will commercialize the artists in its roster. We are hoping to get more artists get international limelight. We are hoping to scale the number of events we host in partnerships with both in-house companies and external event companies and reach a reasonable frequency for a proper organic scene.
Why did you choose your own startup over getting a job?
Because I want to see Dhaka becomes a cultural capital and because of my passion for electronic music. Culture and economy are interlinked; we are still to realize how much economic boost a city like Dhaka can get by developing infrastructures which will support creative businesses. I find the prospects exciting and hence couldn’t help but do it.
What are some challenges you faced?
Infrastructural challenges have been the biggest. While we have talent all over the city we don’t have a single music technology school which is pathetic while more and more cafés and lounges are letting music events to take place but what we need are proper music venues and a new business model for the whole event industry.
What advice would you offer budding entrepreneurs like yourselves?
Think global; your business should be globally competitive and it should be scalable.
Where is your office
All of us work from home studios but our first physical work space Akāliko Studio will be launched in 2015, which will allow artists to come together physically in Dhaka and use the shared facilities and create great content. It will be heavily subsidized for talents as discovering them is the biggest priority.