The Covid19 pandemic hit global and Indian markets in a way that no one ever imagined. With the lockdown that was imposed overnight and a number of businesses had come to a halt. While a number of industries are still struggling to get back to their feet post lockdown, the music industry saw an overwhelming response in the sale of instruments as the lockdown gave people time to pick up or pursue their hobbies.

One such trend that was witnessed was that of a significant rise in the sale of the Ukulele. The instrument is a wonderful choice for people who want to learn music as it has an easy level of learning along with a melodious tune. Kadence sold on an average four times more Ukuleles in the last one year and the trend is continuing to grow.

All of 25, Entrepreneur in Residence at Kadence, Yash Gupta who began his journey with Kadence while he was in college as an intern tells us more on this trend in this candid interview. While he was still a student he landed a job as an intern at Kadence Xperience and caught the eye of Kadence’s founder, Siddhartha Jhunjhunwala, who found his enthusiasm and vision in line with what he was looking for. When Yash graduated, Siddhartha offered him a full-time role at Kadence and with his hard work, Yash worked his way up to becoming the Entrepreneur in Residence. With his eloquent and loquacious personality, he has been instrumental in inculcating the brand’s philosophy of Lets Music amongst a wide range of audiences starting from beginners to professional musicians.

Tell us about your journey so far.
Kadence is all about music and introducing everyone to playing an instrument is our core motive. Our instruments are high quality, affordable, and very consumer-friendly. We started in 2010 to manufacture stage equipment and grew into a full-fledged music instrument brand in 2015. Since then it has been an eventful journey filled with several milestones and achievements. We have received overwhelming responses from our consumers and we have worked really hard to build a community of artists with Kadence. Now we live in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Bhutan, and Nepal. With a philosophy of ‘Lets Music’, our company wants to encourage every individual to learn a new hobby.

How did a tiny instrument like the Ukulele become so popular? What are the factors that drove up the sales of this particular instrument?
Ukuleles, which are commonly referred to as “Chota Guitar” have always been in the market, but they became particularly popular during the pandemic because everyone has more free time to discover hobbies during work from home and lockdown. With only four strings, the ukulele has an easier level of learning. Anyone can learn and play a song on a ukulele in less than a month. The tiny and portable instrument is also very famous among celebrities like Shreya Ghoshal, Warren Buffet, and others which grabbed the attention of everyone else.

What are the projected future trends in the music instrument industry in India?
The trend of a rise in the number of people who are creating and publishing music online has seen an uptick since the beginning of the pandemic. We expect this trend to continue in the future while there will also be an inclination towards traveling with musical instruments. With Cajuns, guitaleles, and Ukuleles traveling will be fun and people will carry their instruments while going on trips. Live music is an emerging trend and is becoming very prevalent across age groups.

You work with over 3,500 artists across India every year, can you please explain more?
We have been working with a number of artists closely and has been encouraging the idea of music among everyone. We believe that music should be a part of everyone’s life and this is the key philosophy behind working with over 3,500 artists. Mainstream film music has dominated the talent of indie music artists. In India, we lack the understanding of new music and new artists. Hence, we encourage new talent and work with a number of new artists every year.

How has the response been so far in the United States? What are your future expansion plans?
The response in the USA market has been extremely positive and we are extremely thrilled as we successfully completed six months of operations in the USA. The overwhelming response has helped us establish a strong foothold in the USA and we are now focusing on working towards expanding our market further in Europe and Africa. Our efforts are focused on creating new experiences and adopting new strategies.

This is a brand that was born in Bengaluru. Would you like to shed some light on the city’s music scene and consumer preferences?
Bengaluru has always been one of the cities that loves live music and performing arts. The city’s cultural and music landscape is so wide and versatile that it becomes an ideal place for music lovers. Being a metropolitan city, Bengaluru is exposed to different genres of music and that has presented an opportunity to a company like ours to further amplify the Lets Music ideology.

A lot of A-list celebrities use your instruments. Why is that?
We make high-quality products at affordable prices. We have been supporting a number of artists across the country from their early days, as a tribute to their talent. We are also among one of the very few homegrown musical instruments brands in India making it the ideal choice for various celebrities.

Tell us more about the open mic nights in Bengaluru. When was it started and what is the idea behind it?
With the motto ‘Let’s Music’ we hold open mic evenings in Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad and Delhi. The open mic evenings are organised as a way to bring people together and celebrate music. It provides a platform for emerging artists to give up their fear of the stage and put themselves out there. As the only brand that gives artists a chance like this, we have developed a niche in this space.

What kind of music do you prefer personally?
I personally have an inclination towards listening to live music, irrespective of which genre of songs are being performed. At leisure, I look forward to visiting live music events and concerts. Live performances are very refreshing and the best way to escape the busy life. It’s also my go-to stress buster.

– By Namita Gupta