With the lack of initiation from the government as well as international distributors in the Nepali music scene, the artists are bound to settle with a limited number of options to reach an audience in the global market. The art of songwriting is not just limited to composing and writing lyrics.
In fact, lots of production work is involved in it which requires an investment of time and money to deliver a decent quality to the audience. With the artists swinging more towards the indie approach, they, despite having to bear the recording costs on their own, enjoy lesser financial returns due to piracy and unawareness of buying culture in Nepal. That’s where Noodle comes in. Their motto “Artist to audience direct” is clear as day.
At this point, you might already be wanting to know what it’s all about. Noodle is an online buying and selling platform where artists can sell their music and merchandise directly to their audience. Founded in 2021, the online platform has developers, who are themselves musicians, with an understanding of the kind of issues that local artists have to go through, which is why they have designed the app with an artist-centric vision.
In a way, they are preserving the local art scene by creating an environment where the artists no longer need to resort to other sources of income that they might not even enjoy, and can and thrive and sustain their lives through music. Let’s look at the Noodle team and delve into how the idea for this amazing platform came forth.
Noodle’s Origin & Long Term Vision
The app was released on April 10, 2021, with the vision of connecting musicians directly to the audience, relieving them from the hassle of dealing with third-party distributors. Ritavrat Joshi, one of the co-founders, who also looks over the Acquisition and finances department, realized how there are no platforms that provide payment services and copyright protection to songwriters and creators.
He then shared the idea with Bartika Rai after which a basic concept for the app was formed. It was finally formulated after the other co-founders Sushant Roy (Design, Logistics & PR) and Avishek KC (Development and Partnerships), who is also the Underside frontman, joined the team along with the singer-songwriter Suzeena Shrestha.
In a time where the local artists were left with no choice other than dealing through unverified brokers on international platforms, the team revolutionized the Nepali music industry by providing means for the audience to support their favorite artist from anywhere around the globe.
Noodle is greatly contributing to keeping the morale of local artists high with their pledge to artist protection, piracy checking, and providing a platform where the artists can actually monetize their craft. The app has many interesting features like allowing you to post reviews which can help if you’re interested in looking at them before buying a song or an album.
You can simply browse through the reviews other people have left after purchasing a certain song or a record. Users can download the Noodlerex app on the Google Play store and also sign up for weekly newsletters on their website if you want more updates about the platform.
The app allows multiple payment options through which you can support your favorite artist from anywhere around the world. You can buy merchandise and songs via Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, eSewa, Khalti, Union Pay, and Fonepay.
Artists, Noodle is for you!
The online musical platform provides many beneficial services for artists. Sometimes when a musician is financially limited and unable to put out a record in a way that they want, a practical way to approach this problem might be crowdfunding.
It allows the artist to connect to his/her audience and raise money for their projects. There was no means to do this before Noodle, which gives our own local artists access to GoFundMe and other financial platforms through which they can organize fundraiser programs whenever they are in need.
Noodle also provides copyright protection to the artists who release their music from the platform. Many emerging songwriters of Nepal miss out on the protection of intellectual property rights due to unawareness of copyright laws and the bothersome system of having to manually register their creations.
This process is made hassle-free exclusively for Noodle artists as the company does it for them without claiming any cut from it. At the end of the day, the artists own their records without them having to go through all the trouble of registration. They also gain the freedom to plan and schedule their releases without the pressures of YouTube and other platforms, which is an added benefit to the musicians.
One of the major problems that hit the musicians hard today is that of piracy. Creators work hard giving not only their time and money but also their body, mind, and heart into making a song, but because of piracy, they are refrained from gaining the monetary benefits they deserve.
This is one of the main reasons why you might wanna consider releasing your songs on Noodle, which initiates a collective effort among fellow artists and listeners to discourage any kind of copyright breach for albums and songs registered on the Noodle platform. This is a mutual support system between artists and their loyal listeners which actually works if the effort is from many people. Recently in the month of May, it was through the collective effort of Noodle artists and audience alike that they were able to remove an unauthorized upload of Albatross and Bipul Chettri’s new release from the channel that went by the name ‘Nepali Songs.’
Noodle’s Business Model Is Proving To Be Effective
The innovative music portal with its transparent business model has encouraged more and more songwriters to be a part of the movement. In just the fifth month from its release, the app hosted the sales of 355 singles, 34 albums, and 73 EPs. The highest singles sales were for the songs Ma Bato Hidejhai by Pahelo Batti Muni and Hanging on The Phone by Kirk Lazarus.
The audience gradually moving towards a buying culture is evident with these numbers and we can expect it to grow in the coming years. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Noodle is the future for this country’s music industry.
With rising popularity among musicians, emerging talents have become more inclined to release their songs on Noodle. The music portal is increasing the chances for listeners to come upon the music of new artists. To show you what I mean, one of the interesting features of the app is that you can browse through any artist’s profile and listen to the teaser of the song that you want to buy.
This feature is beneficial in scouting the songs of any new artist that you might not have heard before and if you like what you hear, the artist will benefit from it.
The inclination of even well-established Nepali artists towards the app is apparent with them increasingly putting their content on it due to the convenience and support that it provides to them. For instance, a revered singer-songwriter Sajjan Raj Vaidya has put out his latest EP Parkhaai on the app. Other examples are Bipul Chettri with his new EP Samaya, and the indie band Phosphenes, who started out from YouTube.
If you’re an artist, Noodle is one of the best choices available to you right now. Their Instagram page mentions how they have eliminated distributors and unfair pay schemes and also freed artists from the hassle of logistics.
Another service that they provide is the delivery of products, be it music or merch, all over Nepal. They are even planning on conducting a global fundraiser to support existing as well as new artists.
Also, take a moment to look at the first digital boxset of Nepal containing music from the legendary rock band Cobweb. The boxset is exclusively available for purchase on Noodle.