Jmanshouts, RedFM RJ, drops his first single Chatu. The song showcases the situations a normal employee is put in. The blame game, favoritism, and politics are said to be part of corporate culture in India that is being talked about here with a funny narrative. Get a glimpse of all that went behind the scenes from Jman.
What do you want to show from this song?
I wanted to tell people that you don’t have to play boss-favor game to get ahead in your life. If you see my video song, you will find many people in the background wearing a monkey mask. These are the people I call “chatu”. This is the stinky part of the corporate culture nobody talks about. Sure there are hundreds of funny videos on youtube but again nobody talks about it seriously.
When did you get this idea?
I saw my corporate friends doing things for their bosses they weren’t supposed to. From small favors to picking and dropping them. They say these favors make their bosses happy and if the boss is happy you are happy. I think this shouldn’t happen as job promotions or success should be given based on your talent and hard work. This “Chatugiri” should stop. People should be known for their work rather than these favors.
How did you decide upon this name? Why Chatu?
I have a friend Jigar and while talking about this whole scene he literally cried saying “yaar ye chatugiri kyu hai?” I found that name most suitable for this scene so we went with the flow. I got this confirmed by Jay Rajesh Aryan who is a brilliant music composer and an independent artist. We made the beat for “Chatu” and went after it.
Whom did you contact first for this idea and what they said?
I called my friends and told them about this idea. A couple of them were like what is this and why you want to get into such nonsense things. But they also know that I’m a bit weird and always go in other directions so they supported me. I made the song and sang for them. They liked it but I couldn’t launch it back then for the public. It was 2017 when we were done recording but it took almost 2 years to make it live. The reason it took so long is I was going through stress after I lost my mom and thing weren’t that good for me. She was the only one I had. It was hard for me to accept it and move on.
What was the biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
As an independent artist, it’s always hard to launch your song. You don’t have a label (production house) to back you up. Everything goes from your own pocket from shooting, editing to drinks and snacks for your crew. Among all, I guess, the biggest hurdle was the location. My director, Harsh, from the amicable crew, who was about to leave for the US had finalized a place to shoot but at the last moment, they declined it. So we were back to zero and started searching for a new location to shoot. After a hectic search, we locked a location down my RedFM office in CEX building. Those guys liked our idea as well so they agreed and we did the shoot nicely.
How was the music launch and response?
The music launch wasn’t in my plan but I was asked multiple times about my music launch from friends and more importantly CEX people. They wanted to see the launch and they even allowed us to use their office. I was like why not because the location was corporate and what could be better place than launching Chatu in a corporate office. We did a small arrangement and I had called a lot of people - my colleagues, friends, artists from hip-hop scene and a lot of them showed up to show me their support. So this was a combined effort of all these people who made me feel I wasn’t alone and I guess that was the best moment for me. The support and love I got are incredible.
What’re your next moves?
I don’t have any particular plan set. My first song, a rap version of saare jahaan se acha, was a Bollywood release for the movie Tashkent Files. There’s no fixed plan yet but I’m going through tons of ideas in my mind. There are couple of songs coming sooner or later. I’m not in a hurry. I’m in no race or war. I just want people to listen to my music and enjoy themselves and have a good time. That’s it. I’m an artist who entertains people.
What would be your tips for independent artists?
I am no one to give tips to others but a couple of suggestions I have for independent artists. The first one is to work on your beat because that is more important than anything else. If you work on your sound, then you have probably won half of the battle. Don’t copy it from youtube videos and then say it’s yours. This is cheating and you can’t get far in your life doing this. Secondly, you gotta spend some money and work a little harder to get a good music producer who can understand you and your vision. Spend some money on sound. Learn some technical things like mixing mastering, levels and all. You need to know technical things as this is what makes you stand out from the others who are mass producing low-quality music. Figure out how you can differentiate yourself as what makes you unique is the key to survive in the independent scene.