Sona Mahapatra Becomes First Independent Indian Musician To make It To Times Square Billboard

Sona Mahapatra, who gave hit songs like Rangbatti and Bekhauff on July 26, made her debut appearance on the iconic Times Square billboard in New York. She is the first independent Indian musician to get featured on Times billboard as a pop-culture milestone.   

Sona has received such an honour after she joined the ‘EQUAL’ global campaign by Spotify. She joined international female artists like Meryl, Bowklylion, Nadin Amizah and Anikv for the worldwide campaign. As a part of this campaign, her single track ‘Aise Na They’ got featured on the ‘EQUAL’ playlist throughout the month.   

Composed by Ram Sampath and lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the ‘Aise Na They’ soundtrack is being distributed by Paris-based music distribution and marketing service, Belief. Through this music, a relationship that has lost its fizz implies. However, optimism is infused in the song through the soothing sound of the hills with pop-rock blended with flutes and tingling mandolins.   

“To be woken up in the middle of the night to see photographs of my face on a billboard covering a skyscraper in one of my favourite cities, New York was a surreal feeling,” Sona, an Indian artist and music producer, told IANS. “To be one of the first independent musicians to be given this place is a pop-culture milestone because it paves the way for artistic expression of various hues and colours free from cookie-cutter formulas in musical mainstream success.”   

“I have been consistently releasing original music for several years, have fought many battles for IP and residuals for artists and it has been exhilarating, exhausting too but now, with my indie label Omgrown Music collaborating with a global name like Believe, I truly feel optimistic about the future of the music scene in India as well as for other independent voices like mine,” she added.   

On asking about the celebration for this achievement, Sona said she was dropping her a new single, ‘Ek Din- Manhattan Memories’, a heartbreak love song.   

The pandemic has been a difficult phase for everybody and each industry. Likewise, it has not been easy for Sona Mahapatra as well. However, “we are slowly coming out of a very tough time together as a society, but this phase in India has been the best for independent music releases without the big banyan tree of Bollywood taking away all the media and audience attention with its big promotional budgets,” stated Sona.   

She exclaimed that the Times Square billboard validated her constant hustle of never giving up on the power of music and self-belief.    

She thanked her allies to stood by her through thick and thin. 

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