I’m going to sound like an old man writing this post, but it was only in the 90’s that these events took place, yet they seem so distant to how we consume music today and also to those who never experienced the rush of that period, well I’m sorry you missed out.
Every town no matter how big had a local video shop, it usually had an arcade machine and also sold some real dodgy films, especially the ones that came out of the back stock room with no markings on, only elder men seemed to want these?
Anyway, the buzz of spending 30mins to 1 hour in the local video store will never be replicated, and it was here where people discovered new music, and if you were the owner of the shop you soon became much despised, why? Because, the artists and the record labels said the new album would be out on this date and two weeks later it is still not in stock!
Now, this was never the fault of the shop keeper, but record labels were terrible at keeping dates and in addition to that the Des Pardes newspaper used to tease us by printing the words “out now” on each album promo just for a laugh, I’m sure of it.
So, we as the public would make regular journeys to the video shop to see if the album of choice had been released, 9 times out of 10 it had not, but we would return with a random selection of albums anyway, this was a marketing ploy I’m sure of it. We were that hooked into the music journey of these albums that we would buy anything, and trust me there was some poor products out then too, it was not all golden hits and good vibes.
In 1991 a new label was launched called Nachural records, the label was the brainchild of Ninder Johal (Achnak fame), now this was a new generation label, they were led by forward thinking UK Punjabi’s who grasped fully what the youth of that time wanted, they wanted music, and lots of it and to be kept informed.
Now, if you are reading this and you were worn after 2000 you will probably not grasp how important a move this was by Ninder Johal and the impact it would have on the scene. What was this move? A Flyer inside each release that highlighted what was coming out soon and which acts were releasing what!
Simple we know, but all of a sudden Nachural records had become a friend, no longer was we reliant the video shop man or the des pardes as the “flyer” told us all, new bands, old bands and what was coming next, and then add to that to really cement the deal… upcoming gigs were also added!
We were in an age where social media was a pipe dream and something as simple as this the flyer made us feel like we were a part of the Nachural records brand, and we as music fans loved it. We were being told who new acts were, given actual release dates, which were fairly accurate and made us buy into the scene even more.
Only the biggest and best gigs made it onto these flyers it seemed, well as a music fan who was not going to the gigs you bought into the whole idea that this was “the” event.
It was a flyer, we can’t really mention more about it than that, but if we skip forward to today’s modern Punjabi music scene, artists and labels should ask themselves if they have that kind of relationship with the music fan now as Nachural built up in the 90’s?
Does a video promo do that? Does a generic tweet here their do that? Not replying on Instagram does that does that?
The times have changed, but relationships still need to be built, and I for one will always be a Nachural fanboy, simply because of a black and white piece of paper…. Thank you Ninder Johal