“Third Culture comes from the term ‘Third Culture Kids‘, who are basically global citizens. They are individuals who grew up in cultures outside of their parents own. Their parents are from one culture, while the country they grow up in has a second culture, and the amalgamation of these two cultures results in a new, third culture, which is theirs and unique.”, says Tej Brar on the story behind the name of his artist management agency, ‘Third Culture‘.
Born to an Indian father and a English mother, Tej identifies himself as a Third Culture kid. He grew up across Australia and the US before returning to India, where he made a name for himself as the talented manager behind Nucleya‘s success story. Tej finally stepped down as the Head Of Artist Management at Only Much Louder(OML) early last year to launch Third Culture, a new company with a fresh mindset :
“We build culture, not individuals.”
“The idea behind the tagline is that our goal is larger than just creating successful careers for our artists. Sure, that is the base objective, but we hope those successful artists shape their city or even the country’s culture through their careers – be it introducing new sounds, putting on different live show experiences or even just the way they distribute music for their audience base to consume. The overall goal is to create a sustainable and vibrant community for independent music across India.”, says Tej.
If managing one of India’s biggest act isn’t enough, Third Culture’s illustrious roster comprises of another gem beside Nucleya, Gaurav Malaker aka BLOT. “BLOT is probably my favorite DJ to dance to in India. He’s essentially a house and techno artist but who plays and produces the more emotive and deeper side of those genres. He’s someone I have known as a friend for the last 5 or so years and we’ve always wanted to work together”, says Tej. While Nucleya is massive stadiums and outdoor shows, BLOT is Tej’s connect to the clubs and keeping his feet in the underground. He says, “Both Udyan(Nucleya) and him are no nonsense, let’s get the job done dudes.”
It’s safe to say the powerhouse duo of Nucleya and Tej has had an iconic run over the last couple of years and there’s no stopping them, but it seems that their personal relationship has blossomed as fruitfully as their professional one. “My relationship with Udyan, it’s changed a lot over the years. We started as a manager and client relationship, soon after became friends and now we’ve sort of moved into a place where we are family. At this point we are beyond brothers. Our careers have become so intertwined that it’s difficult to tell the story of one without the other. For me, my relationship with Udyan is about much more than just music and gigs. It’s literally about life planning and what is really important in life. The gigs and music and money is a very small part of what we share now. He is an amazing person and I am very lucky to have shared such an incredible ride with him so far.” When asked about the one thing fans don’t know about Nucleya, Tej surprises us by dropping the news that the Raja Baja is in fact a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. Tej says, “I mean, he has literally never used those skills ever, but he has a piece of paper saying he is qualified. After every show, there is always a bunch of kids who come up and talk about how they don’t want to finish college or that their family is forcing them to do a degree, but what they don’t know is that Nucleya had to do the exact same thing. He always tells them that they can do both, do the degree but also do music on the side, that those things do not have to be mutually exclusive and I think that is really good advice. It’s really hard to make a full time career in music and it’s important to have that backup option, because the reality is that not everyone will make it as a musician.” Well kids, if the country’s finest DJ tells you to take a degree before pursuing a career in music, you better do that.
Nucleya will stop touring in April 2018, in order to work full time on the full length follow up to Raja Baja which will come out towards the end of 2018, supported by a full blown tour and a new live show. BLOT! has a bunch of releases lined up that are currently being shopped to international labels. He will be debuting a brand new live show in 2018 as well which is currently being worked on. Tej concludes, “Third Culture will be looking at creating some video content of our own and probably move into promoting some shows next year with artists that we want to introduce to the Indian market. There’s a lot more ahead and I’m not in any rush to grow fast. Slow growth comprising intelligent financial decisions with an eye on longevity is how we plan to scale up.”
We wish Third Culture loads of success and hope that it inspires a newer generation of individuals looking forward to work in the music industry. All the more power to Tej, Nucleya and BLOT!
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