Managing musical talents, the Karma way

Published On: July 21, 2016 09:54 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 20: Growing up as a shy kid who had no confidence in performing on the dais, Binod Lama, eventually overcame the fear to start a recording studio in his later years.  

The CEO and founder of Karma Records believes in searching for raw talents in Nepal with the hope to harness their talent. With this vision, Binod is striving forward to make a mark in the Nepali music industry where he believes managing talent is what’s needed the most at the moment. 

In a chit-chat with Republica’s Arun Budhathoki, the entrepreneur talks about his love for music, the opportunities he has seen in the music industry, and the passion he has to take the Nepali music scene to the next level.  

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I have a faint memory of how music entered my life. When I was in grade four my teachers told me to sing but I couldn’t do it. One of my friends told my teachers that I sing at home but not at school. Finally, I tried to sing the song ‘Mohani Lagla Hai’ but I cried after singing few lines. That was when I realized that I could sing in front of others. 
I grew up listening to English and Hindi songs. Nepali music was later introduced to me when I got curious about the quality of Nepali music.  

What is Karma Records? How did you start? 
After completing my 10+2 at Madan Bhandari College I went to Macau. I spent 20 months working and came back.   
Karma Records was founded in August 2015 at Mitraplaza, Mitrapark. It is a complete digitalized production company run by eight people.

Have you released any songs/albums through your studio? 
We released Swoopna Suman’s four songs. We have also recorded cover songs. We have plans to release albums of mainstream musicians in near future.  

How do you groom young talents? What’s the payment like for making music videos? 
At our recording label, we have this policy of looking at artists’ passion and skill. Budget is not an issue with us, if we find someone promising.   
We are charging minimal prices of Rs 2,500 for audio tracks; Rs 5, 000 for covers, and Rs 10, 000 for original videos. When a recording studio plans to make a video, there are costs involved in transporting the crew and technical equipments, hence the high cost.     

How is it like to run a recording studio? 
There’s this perception going around that Nepali music is collapsing. I want to differ because I see a new generation of talent with high prospects. 
The problem I see currently is on talent management. That’s where we are working on. 

What’s the vision of Karma records?  
I started the recording label with Rs 1, 50, 000. And since then I have invested now and then. The important thing is to have a clear vision. 
When we meet an artist, we check their vocal and skill. There are also live and practise sessions and only then we take them to the studio.  

What opportunities and challenges do you see in Nepali music industry? 
Our recording label is trying to find the right market. We are currently investing in digital distribution. I think we have to respect our customers and try to fix the distribution channel. There’s this opportunity to mend the loophole and make a big profit out of it.  
There’s a lot of payment system right now but it should reach to the consumers on a personal level.  

What future plans you have for Karma Records?    
We simply should not depend on technology. Live music still has huge potential.   
Our company is focusing on artists who can give live performances. 

Do you have any message for Nepali entrepreneurs and young artists?  
I suggest young artists to follow what they really want to do and the kind of songs they deliver. One needs to take risks in starting a company and have the confidence to succeed.

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