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Indian Royalty
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Royalty

Since its inception in 1994, The Royalty Network functions as a bridge between the East and the West. On the one hand, their roster includes numerous artists such as Evidence, M.O.P., Dead Prez & Run The Jewels. On the other hand–and here it gets more interesting for beatmakers: the imprint administers the lion’s share of the world’s Indian Music in North and South America.

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The Royalty Network started out as an administration company: helping producers and songwriters to collect all money they rightfully earned, as well as educating them and preventing them from making dodgy deals. “Our ‘Administration First’ approach was attractive to the Indian market,” explains Ben Gray, World Music & Data Specialist at The Royalty Network. “That’s why we were lucky enough to snag a couple of major Indian signings early in the game. Really, we were just paying attention to the developing market, and hearing the quality of [Indian music].”

Their catalog now spans Indian artists immortalized through sampling by artists such as Childish Gambino, Four Tet & Rakim (Lata Mangeshkar), Madlib, Prince Paul, Kanye West & Nas (the late great R.D. Burman of the iconic Burning Train OST), and Erick Sermon, A$AP Ferg & GonjaSufi (Asha Bhosle). And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Gray: “One personal favorite is ‘What’s Happenin'' by Method Man & Busta Rhymes. It features a sample of ‘Dum Maro Dum,' as performed by Asha Bhosle in the classic 1971 Bollywood film, Hare Rama Hare Krishna. The track puts a classic beat behind two of the greatest rappers of all time, and puts an irreplaceable psychedelic underpinning to the whole work. It’s genius.”

“Sampling helps to close that gap: it’s an important creative bridge between Eastern and Western audiences, and between the past and the present.”

Ben Gray (World Music & Data Specialist, The Royalty Network)

Yesterday, it was announced that YouTube's recent Top 10 of 'Global Top Artists' was completely made up of artists from India and Latin America. Indian singer Alka Yagnik topped the list with 204 million weekly views, with another Indian singer as a close runner-up (202 million).

Gray: “With the help of such digital platforms, it shows Indian artists are becoming more important in the global cultural sphere. The content is simply too good not to be on the world’s stage. Sampling helps to close that gap: it’s an important creative bridge between Eastern and Western audiences, and between the past and the present.”


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