Long practice hours, complicated studio deals, and puzzling financial management—making music isn’t that easy these days, a group of music enthusiast friends realized. They decided it was time to do something about it.
“Who said music is easy?” asks Ritavarat Joshi, a member of the group. “As artists get paid for their influence and reach, and newcomer musicians spend time doing free gigs. There is no correct balance.”
The solution was to build an interactive community that grows together, says Joshi, co-founder of Noodle, an app to bring musicians and their audience in direct contact with each other by sharing songs, albums, merchandise, gig alerts or, even regular updates
The app was released on April 10, 2021 in collaboration with artists and avid music listeners. The grand vision of the makers of the app is to someday become a distribution portal for artists globally catering to the potential need of the Nepali market.”
When toying with the idea of doing something for the music industry, Joshi had been talking to different websites that supported the music scene, but couldn’t find any that supported big and small artists alike. He then talked to singer Bartika Rai about his ideas and together, they developed basic concept for the app.
But with Shushant Roy at the back-end and design, the idea slowly came to life. After Avishek KC and Suzeena Shrestha joined on the team, they finally moved forward with the app.
Since its launch, Noodle has been involved in various gigs and tours in direct coordination with artists such as Zero Brains and Retro Rockets, and the recent launch of ASM’s album at Beers N’ Cheers. But the main focus is still on the virtual streaming service app.
Noodle is built with a user-friendly interface that allows guests to get the full experience of Nepali music. After the login credentials are confirmed, app users can see 30-second previews of songs from various artists. The full songs can be purchased in HD straight to your phone. The purchased music is also available to you even when you’re offline.
The app doesn’t charge artists who want to upload their work on the platform. Anyone interested can simply contact them and answer a few of their questions. However, their songs must be original and of high quality since Noodle wants to bring HD audio experience back in style.
Any genre of music is welcome. The team provides the artists with personal dashboard where they can see sales and unit shifts in real life. The artist will be paid according to those numbers.
“Streaming platforms and fair payment ratios are still far-fetched ideas in Nepal,” Joshi shares. “What we’re trying to assure is a sustainable future for all artists. Here, the support they receive, both social and financial, is immediate and first-hand.”
The price of one song is minimum Rs 99. However, the artists have the freedom to change that. The price of an album can be decided after rounding off the number of tracks or by the artists themselves.
Users who are logged in can use digital payments services such as eSewa, Khalti and FonePay. Users outside Nepal can use PayPal, VISA and Mastercard services are being introduced soon. Cash on delivery is still in its developmental phase.
So far, artists in Nepal have been supportive of the idea.
However, the biggest surprise came from the audience side of things. The recently launched ASM album has already made more than 60 sales as of April 20, 2021, and that was within ten days of the app’s launch.
Consumers have also been buying older albums of Astha Tamang Maskey, Jerusha Rai and many other artists who have a substantial fan following.
Why did you name it Noodle? Naming the app was a long process but ‘Noodle’ stuck with us because we see the app like a bowl of noodles—full of different taste and flavors. We are also noodling around ideas to make the Nepali music scene better.