Growing up in the 80s, Mae Mariyam Thomas would record radio shows on blank cassettes. Back then, radio was a space for discovering new or forthcoming music, staying informed, but the reality was far from it when Mae joined 94.3 Radio One, a commercial radio network in India, as a presenter. She quickly discovered that you had to “be popular or Bollywood” to get any airtime. Even the best independent acts of the day like Pentagram were a no-go on her afternoon requests show.
Today, as the founder and host of indie music podcast Maed in India, she helms one of the leading platforms showcasing independent musicians in the region, carrying the legacy of radio forward in her own way. Inspired by the format of BBC Radio 1’s Peel Sessions, Mae’s show embodies the seasoned integrity of live music production in the studio, in turn, acknowledging an oft-ignored reality for independent artists. “It’s not always easy for musicians to record, produce, mix, master and release their music regularly,” Mae tells Border Movement.…
Image Credit: Prasiit Sthapit / Sine Valley Festival 2016: Rajan Shrestha (Phatcowlee), Daniel Arthur Panjwaneey (Alien Panda Jury), Ranzen, Chandresha Pandey, Pranav N Manandhar and Irina Giri (Flekke), sitting – Manal(Autonomotor)
“It seems like every time there is a momentum here in Nepal, we are struck by some sort of calamity”, Prasidha Yonzon almost laughs it off, reflecting on the unfortunate obstacles that have hindered the growth of audiences and infrastructure around electronic music in Nepal – the latest of which has been the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to that was the disastrous earthquake in 2015. A little more than half a decade before that, the nightlife industry had to lobby and protest against an 11pm curfew imposed by a Maoist-led government that cited clubs as spaces harbouring illegal activities.