Instrupad: A Window to Contemporary Musicians and Instruments

Dhananjai Shinha, CEO & Co-Founder
Dhananjai Shinha,CEO& Co-Founder

The foundation of Mumbai based Instrupad - a marketplace to facilitate peer to peer music learning lies in as a cumulation of insights and ideas into the musician ecosystem. The founders - Dhananjai Sinha had been a part of the Pune Music scene as a musician and Pranoy Kanojia was a music journalist /photographer in the indie scene before they met at MICA, Ahmedabad in 2013 to pursue an MBA with a specialization in Digital Communications and Advertising respectively. At MICA, Dhananjai had to research and build a market of choice using digital frameworks wherein he chose to study the Indian music market. At the same time, Pranoy’s final year thesis was an ethno music study of the independent music culture in the country. The duo at this time observed how musicians were interacting and engaging with their work and that of others globally. “Our key insight was based on the observation that musicians across India were making virtual video performance of their instruments to reach an audience. Since there aren’t enough physical performance spaces, their virtual social media profiles were where individual musicians were building
a following. We saw a space in curating these virtual music spaces to begin with, with a vision to make different musician circles intersect and subsequently grow this ecosystem,” speaks Dhananjai.

"As a gallery of contemporary practising musicians in India, Instrupad is giving a space to unknown instrumental talents from all around the country to showcase their work based on their skill alone"

The music industry is a tough nut to crack but with its core intact and flexibility, Instrupad has best optimized its efforts towards the bigger vision. “Before we launched formally last year, we had been travelling the country, meeting musicians and producing docu-features around them,” he says.

As a gallery of contemporary practising musicians in India, Instrupad is giving a space to unknown instrumental talents from all around the country to showcase their work based on their skill alone. In fact, it is one of the few participative platforms for musicians to showcase their work as a personal portfolio. “We have tapped into the musician circles of major metros like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata, as well as smaller cities like Raipur, Jaipur, Jorhat and Tura. Our only filter is the technique and skill of the musician and we have uncovered so much musical talent through this approach.

Exploring Endless Possibilities
Instrupad started out with creating musician-oriented video stories through a concept called toolbox
where it explored modern musicians and learn how they produce their style of music. Shortly after wards, it invited drummers to send their video performances for a pilot campaign called Drummer’s Play followed by one for bassists called Bass Play. Instrupad’s flagship offering is Play of the Day. “The participatory nature of this concept has got a lot of musicians interested in and contributing towards it. There is a lot of hidden musical talents we’re helping bring up through this,” Dhananjai says.

Over the years, Instrupad has tapped into musician circles from most of the major cities in the country with a healthy relationship with them, with a high organic follower growth rate on social media. Since musicians are its central premise,the company caters to an ecosystem of music enablers which include schools, academies, instrument manufacturers, music producers, events, amongst others.

In a nutshell, Instrupad is redesigning music journalism and its scope. “With an ethno-musical lens, we’re also charting out ways to cover city music circles in the country through visual stories and documentaries, with the involvement of local filmmakers who are observing the scene ground up. There are a lot of unchartered territories which haven’t been covered by traditional media still such as classical and folk music, which we have plans to go into,” asserts Dhananjai.