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Loy Mendonsa on Shankar-Ehsaan-Loys Chennai gig for The Shakti Foundation

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Not many music directors of Bollywood can boast of a better discography than that of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s (SEL). Having been present at the forefront of the Hindi movie industry’s contemporary music revolution during the first decade of the millennium (a period that is undoubtedly the group’s golden period as well) SEL has consistently given us memorable soundtracks for over two decades now, while exploring a range of genres and styles, starting with most notably Dil Chahta Hai.

Over the years, they have forayed into other regional languages as well, like Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, and have also been actively involved on stage with live concerts. This week, the trio will perform in Chennai, as a part of The Shakti Foundation’s annual fundraising concert Gurucarana, to enable medical aid for underprivileged people in rural areas.  

Ahead of the performance, we caught up with Loy Mendonsa for a quick chat, which started with him talking about their association with the Foundation, a partnership that goes a long way, we learnt. “It was around ten years ago that we first performed for them after they approached Shankar to put a band together. He gathered a group of musicians including Sivamani, U Srinivas and me, and named the band Shraddha, which performed a unique brand of spiritual fusion music at special occasions with socially-inclined causes,” says Loy. As for SEL themselves, their first performance for the Foundation was around six to seven years ago, he further adds. 

Sharing his thoughts on the kind of work done by the Foundation, he says, “It’s fantastic. As much as one side of the country has progressed, there are still some with a mindset that thinks that somebody who is handicapped should not work and should be at home. So the fact that they provide facilities for them, especially in the fields of education and medicine for all age groups, is a very beautiful thing. It’s good to be able to support that.” 

Every second counts 
Do they plan their live performances based on the themes of such events, we ask. He says, “There will definitely be moments where we will get into that zone. But the truth is that a lot of people know that our music is very diverse. So they will be expecting us to play tunes that are popular among them, including some of our regular classics. We actually have a whole list of songs, but we have to first gauge the audience and its age group before finalising what tracks we will finally play.” 

Speaking of songs, SEL has produced some of the most memorable music for Bollywood in the past, that too with incredible consistency. Talking about how they have stuck together for so many years, Loy shares that it goes beyond movies and music. “We have developed a very beautiful working relationship. I guess our personalities and characters come into play. But it’s not easy…what with different points of views, but we always try to look at it objectively, keeping in mind the movie or the song.” 

Which is perhaps why, in general, the number of songs has reduced in every movie, he observes, while crediting the rise of technology to the changes in the way people consume music. “Unlike the days of cassettes and CDs, the present-day digital era sees an incredible amount of musical data at our disposal. There’s so much to take into consideration when making music now. With dependence on streaming services higher than ever before, long songs may not appeal to audiences of today, who may be tempted to fast forward it!” he says, adding, “Also, with buffering and network speed being crucial factors, especially in rural areas, long songs might be a hindrance to a smooth viewing experience as well.”

 

Hear, hear!
But regardless of length or the movie that the song belongs to, we know it is hard for talented songwriters to be noticed in the present scheme of things. Loy agrees while sharing his opinion about the kind of music that Bollywood is churning out at present. “This problem stems from the fact that only one or two record companies are promoting content, and they may not give priority to the good ones. It’s like a store that doesn’t put out its entire range of products and forces its customers to consume only what it’s selling, till the time there is an alternative. But I believe a shift will happen soon,” he assures, saying, “Think about it — just like there’s a section of people wanting to listen to film music, there’s an equally massive section of music lovers who do not want to listen to film music. Instead, they are into folk, classical and alternative. But the impending change needs time to come about.” 

This way, that way
However, there is another section of the audience that plays a crucial role as well, he points out — those who take the trouble of recommending lesser-known songs of unsuccessful movies, regardless of who composed it. Talking of examples like Yuvvraaj, which was a massive box-office disappointment but featured one of AR Rahman’s best ever soundtracks, Loy says, “Box-office hits strike a chord with only a certain section of people, but it doesn’t always need to mean that they are great.”

That said, the way music is represented is naturally evolving. Loy is quick to come with a stirring comparison of the yesteryear and modern way of video production. “Let’s say that there’s a song that is supposed to be shot in a desert. Earlier, a helicopter would be the way to shoot lengthy shots here. But today, we can shoot the same with a drone as well, giving it a completely different perspective. Also, with the advent of virtual reality and the 360° experience, things are shaping up,” The same logic applies to remakes as well, he says. “Also, the new generation may not like to listen to a song in the way it was originally composed. This is where remakes come into play. So, I think that’s okay since consumption patterns keep changing, as long as they listen to music.” 

 

 

Future is bright
Looking ahead, Loy shared details about their upcoming projects this year and delighted us with names of some familiar collaborators and throwback projects — namely Farhan Akhtar in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s sports film Toofan, and Bunty Aur Babli, the sequel to which is in the works. But before all these, there is Yash Raj Film’s epic Prithviraj, directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi and starring Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chillar. “The year started well with Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak, and it looks like it’s going to continue in the same vein,” concludes Loy.

February 15, 7 pm. At The Music Academy. Donor passes available at The Shakti Foundation. 

 



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The Gig Economy Gets It Together

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Anyone who’s ever done gig work – from rideshare drivers to freelance writers – experiences moments of doubt. At those times, it’s easy to believe that no one is thinking about your value as a worker, or how to protect you in the most basic ways that full-timers might take for granted.

Rest easy, gigsters: Someone is thinking about you, starting with governments around the world that suddenly seem aware of how big of a deal gig work has become in the past 10 years. The February 2020 Gig Economy Tracker, powered by Tipalti, analyzes recent trends and headlines in the mushrooming gig belt, which will comprise some 75 million Americans by the end of this year. Put another way, that’s closing in on half the U.S. workforce. It’s also revising long-held definitions of “workday” and “payday” as gig work (and gig workers) proliferate.

Another thing freelancers know about are all the ways payments can go wrong. They’re experts on the many snags that prevent gig folk from getting paid in time to make rent. But that situation is giving way to more enlightened and humane ways of getting freelancers their money, as industry and government finally face gig economics they’ve been ignoring.

As Manish Vrishaketu, COO at payment services provider Tipalti, notes in this latest Tracker, “Gig and marketplace partner payments are integral to the business model and require careful consideration. Ineffective payments can literally hurt the business, because the supply chain is so closely tied to performance and success. An unhappy provider – who likely is customer-facing — may taint your reputation with customers. Gig payments are mission-critical.”

Who Am I?

Much of the gig economy talk these days has to do with California’s Assembly Bill 5 – known simply as AB5 – which is essentially forcing large gig economy players like Uber to start treating their gig workers more like team members and less like expendable cogs in a machine.

California’s legislation set off a wildfire of sorts, with U.S. cities and states – as well as nations including India – announcing laws similar to AB5, at least in spirit. Some actually go quite a bit further into fairly draconian territory as governments set things right for gig workers – whether gig workers want the help or not.

Many are unhappy with how the new laws are written, and how they recategorize freelancers. U.S. legal maneuvering over gig work is far from over, as New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that reclassifies certain freelancers. And the wrangling has just begun.

Legal standing hasn’t stopped companies from snapping up gig workers, though. Package delivery service Amazon Flex debuted in Australia in January, and could be coming to a city near you soon.

The Gig Grows Up

India has proposed one of the more interesting takes on this. The country’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade wants only licensed professional freelancers to do gig work. They would be issued a kind of vendor ID number under the plan – but it’s not a done deal.

In fact, when it comes to the gig economy, very little has been settled, from regulation to the legal status of “workers” to who’s responsible for what under these agreements. It promises to be a rollicking year as these laws (and their court challengers) zero in on what “gig” means.

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GiG platform to power new lottery business

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After securing a license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), lottery newcomer, Megalotto, has gone live across multiple markets in its effort to “redefine” the online lottery experience of its customers.

Backed by venture capital company Optimizer Invest, the new online lottery and gaming business will launch its mobile-first lottery product on the Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) (GIG:Oslo) platform.

Megalotto will give millions of players access to lotteries on a global scale in a mobile-first environment.

According to a recent press release

…the St. Julian’s-headquartered business will be a unique brand within the online lottery vertical as its product is a departure from traditional transactional lottery products while its interface is intuitive for ease of use.

In addition to offering the largest jackpots from top lotteries around the world, Megalotto will also have on offer scratchcards, slots and instant win content, from well-known third-party suppliers.

“We are delighted to be going live with our new venture and to get our product in front of customers, said Megatotto’s Chief Executive Officer, Grant Williams.

“Our vision from day one has been to design and build an innovative and disruptive lottery product, and we believe we are on track to do just that. We have recruited a high quality, experienced management team to lead the launch of this new Optimizer Invest backed product, matching the ambitious plans we have in place for the markets we will be targeting, added Williams.”

Also commenting on the recent tie-up, Chief Executive Officer for Optimizer Invest, Petter Moldenius, said…

“The innovative Megalotto product is the result of a successful partnership between two of our portfolio companies, bringing a world class, truly customer friendly experience. Megalotto will give millions of players access to lotteries on a global scale in a mobile-first environment that is pushing the envelope for innovation of iGaming experiences on-the-go.”

Betsson acquisition:

In related news…

…Swedish holding company, Betsson AB (BETSB:Stockholm), has reportedly acquired Gaming Innovation Group subsidiary Zecure Gaming Limited, which operates its inhouse brands in Sweden.

The approximately €31m (US$33.6 million) deal, which consists of a €22.3 million cash payment, plus a prepaid platform fee of €8.7 million, has seen the transfer of GiG brands – Guts, Kaboo, Rizk and Thrills – to the Stockholm-headquartered company. The brands operate under licenses held in Malta, UK, Sweden and Germany (Schleswig-Holstein).

According to the press release, the Rizk brand will be launching under licenses held in Croatia and Spain. In addition to gaining opportunities with other brands in the two European countries, Betsson plans to integrate its own payment platforms and proprietary sportsbook with the GiG platform. The move will allow the holding company to offer its advanced technologies to potential B2B clients of the platform.

Growth potential:

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive Officer for Betsson AB and Group President, Pontus Lindwall, said…

“Betsson’s ambition is to outgrow the market in the long term, organically and through acquisitions. This acquisition confirms that Betsson is a driver of the consolidation of the market. We believe this deal offers a good opportunity for Betsson to consolidate, at good value, where we can create synergies and apply our core B2C skills and marketing insights to scale these assets to their true potential. The agreement with GiG further strengthens and expands Betsson’s outreach and growth potential for its proprietary sportsbook and payments platforms in the B2B market. As one of the largest European operators, Betsson is well positioned to continue building on its strategic position.”



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Gig Based Business Market Projected to Witness Vigorous Expansion by 2019-2025 – Jewish Market Reports

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In this report, the global Gig Based Business market is valued at USD XX million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the period 2019 to 2025.

For top companies in United States, European Union and China, this report investigates and analyzes the production, value, price, market share and growth rate for the top manufacturers, key data from 2019 to 2025.

The Gig Based Business market report firstly introduced the basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the world’s main region market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the Gig Based Business market report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.

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The major players profiled in this Gig Based Business market report include:

The key players covered in this study
TaskRabbit
Guru
Rover
HopSkipDrive
Freelancer
Fiverr
Favor Delivery
Upwork
DoorDash
BellHops
Turo

Market segment by Type, the product can be split into
Website-Based
APP-Based

Market segment by Application, split into
Freelancer
Independent Contractor
Project Worker
Part-Time
Other

Market segment by Regions/Countries, this report covers
North America
Europe
China

The study objectives of this report

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The study objectives of Gig Based Business Market Report are:

To analyze and research the Gig Based Business market status and future forecast in United States, European Union and China, involving sales, value (revenue), growth rate (CAGR), market share, historical and forecast.

To present the Gig Based Business manufacturers, presenting the sales, revenue, market share, and recent development for key players.

To split the breakdown data by regions, type, companies and applications

To analyze the global and key regions Gig Based Business market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.

To identify significant trends, drivers, influence factors in global and regions

To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the keyword market.

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