Monday, June 25, 2012

Rocumentary of the Daddy : Amit Saigal

What do you do when you are too passionate about some thing but don't get enough exposure to your need?

Revolution has many faces. From the violent struggles of Che Guevara to Gandhi's Satyagraha, all are different forms of revolution. Even a new start to something which is non-existent in a culture is a revolution itself.

But, Amit Saigal never knew he would be later known as a revolutionary leader in the field of music production when he was playing with his college band Impact in the 80s. All he felt was a need for a platform  for the Indian bands to showcase their art. The only platform being the college fests those days, it was hard for any passionate musician to make a living out of it as they had a very limited reach and exposure.

Amit Saigal and Sam Eric Lal published a magazine at Allahbad in early 1993. When Saigal printed the 2500 copies of the 1st issue, the idea was 'to come up with RSJ which would provide news about rock music anywhere in the country' recalls SamThus the Rock Street Journal was born.

At first it was a subscription-only magazine which was promoted by Amit in the different college festivals. With time the collective sub-continental non-bollywood music news monthly gained popularity and subscribers increased making the magazine most sought after music magazine in the country. This made them to shift the magazine's base to the country's capital and popular rock destination, Delhi.

But, like most revolutionaries do, Amit didn't stop there with the cup of success-blended coffee in his hand. He knew he had a long way to go. Up next was RSJ's major extravaganza, the Great Indian Rock. A rock festival where one could live rock, breathe rock and feel rock. 

The 1st five versions of the event were presented entirely by the RSJ. Since the 2000s, Indian music fellowship almost changed drastically. With the popularity of internet and digital music, the mission RSJ once started saw a brighter day. They used these tools as a fuel and came up with a new venture, the Great Indian Rock Albums. Bands from all over the country would contribute their demos to RSJ who would choose the best ones to perform in the fest and also would feature them to the GIR archive albums. 

Amit Saigal can be compared to what Ozzy Osborne did with his OzzFest to revolutionize Heavy Metal music. Amit Saigal is the father of independent music in India. He brought the underground music scene to the stage it is in today. The Papa of Rock will always be in the Hall of Fame in the Indian Music Industry.

(This article was first published on Click here to find it.)