A new music label, Tiger Baby Records, launches with an album of lullabies and a promise to nurture indie talent
Tiger Baby Films’ recently-launched Tiger Baby Records is the newest addition to a growing list of music labels from film production houses. Unlike most such labels, such as YRF Music for instance, which mostly release their parent companies’ movie soundtracks, Tiger Baby Records plans to issue singles, EPs and albums by independent artists, as well as podcasts and music-centric documentaries.
The studio’s co-founders, filmmakers Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, see the label “as an extension of our storytelling”. The pair enlisted frequent collaborator, singer-songwriter Ankur Tewari, to helm the enterprise, the inaugural release of which is Aaja Nindiya, a set of six Hindi lullabies by Tewari. It’s the first of four children’s EPs it will put out by the musician, whose discography includes Bachcha Party, a 2018 album of songs for kids.
“We want to be associated with different genres, sounds and soundscapes,” says Akhtar, adding, “[there’s] a gaping hole now in [original Indian] children’s music.” For Kagti and her, Tiger Baby Records serves as both another avenue for creative expression as well as an inhouse home for the music they have composed and curated for their productions. These have included the film Gully Boy (2019) and the web series Made In Heaven (2019—), for which Tewari was the music supervisor.
For Tewari, the label is a chance to provide indie musicians with the resources he didn’t have access to at the onset of his own career over two decades ago. “I want to be that person for upcoming musicians [who is] helping and enabling [them] to concentrate on their work rather than on all the logistics of putting out music,” he says. “We want to create a space for people where they can [focus] on writing songs, poetry and stories while we can, in a way, do the dirty work.”
Upcoming titles include Tewari’s next Hindi pop effort as well as a release by a female artist who has been signed to the label. “We also want to design bespoke music projects [where we] will have certain artists come in for just that particular album,” says Akhtar. The nature of their deals too will be flexible. “We don’t have a template as such,” adds Kagti.
But it’s not a given that all of Tiger Baby Films’ soundtracks will be on Tiger Baby Records. “That will be [decided] on a case-to-case basis, depending on how the film goes, who [we’ve] partnered with, who [our] co-producer is, and what’s the best decision for that project,” says Akhtar.