The Clef Music Awards 2023, organised by Radioandmusic.com and Indiantelevision.com celebrated and honoured the best talents from the music industry. The awards, now in its third edition, recognised independent musicians from various regional languages and international entries. Prestigious guests who attended the event were Siddhant Bhosale, Sudesh Bhosale, Sonu Nigam, L Subramaniam, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Gaurav Chanana, Shamir Tandon, Sanjay Tandon, Rumpa Banerjee, RS Mani, Sunny Subramanian, Sheldon D’Silva, Sherrin Varghese, among others.
Among the winners, renowned singer Sonu Nigam stood out, winning three awards for his remarkable rendition of the song Hanuman Chalisa. Sonu Nigam, known for his mesmerising voice and versatile singing style, received accolades in the categories of Best Devotional Song, Best Male Vocalist and Best Music Video for his song Hanuman Chalisa.
Overwhelmed, Nigam commented emotionally, “A lot of people don’t know that I began my career as an independent artist. I have a very soft corner for The Clef Music Awards because it stands for and celebrates independent artists. I am very glad that my devotional album Hanuman Chalisa has won three awards today.”
Sonu Nigam’s rendition of the sacred Hanuman Chalisa touched the hearts of millions of listeners with its soulful melody and spiritual essence. His impeccable vocals and deep devotion created an emotional connection with the audience, making it a standout song of the year.
The highly anticipated music event commenced with registrations. Following that, Namita took the stage to introduce the awards, present sponsor AVs, and perform the traditional Lamp Lighting ceremony. The audience was then treated to a special address by Anil NM Wanvari. The energy of the event soared as Raahul Jatin took the stage and delivered a captivating performance. The evening continued with a thought-provoking panel discussion, featuring esteemed panellists Hina Shaikh, Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Gaurav Dagaonkar, Siddhartha Roy, Jay Mehta, Puneet Bekal, and Nishant Gupta. This was followed by an engaging fireside chat between Anil Wanvari and Tulsi Kumar.
After a short break, the event resumed with an electrifying band performance. The host then took the stage to introduce the awards, present sponsor AVs, and felicitate the esteemed jury members. The excitement reached its peak as Rahul Balyan, the India Head at Spotify, delivered a keynote address. Finally, the much-anticipated awards ceremony commenced.
The event featured an impressive lineup of panellists, each bringing their expertise and insights to the discussions. Hina Shaikh, Senior General Manager and Head of Content and Alliances at Horus Music provided valuable insights into the music industry’s content landscape. Chaitanya Chinchlikar, VP & Business Head, Chief Technology Officer, and Head of Emerging Media at Whistling Woods, shared his expertise on the intersection of technology and media. Gaurav Dagaonkar, Co-Founder, and CEO at Hoopr.ai, brought his entrepreneurial perspective to the panel. Siddhartha Roy, COO at Hungama Digital Media, offered his extensive knowledge of the digital media landscape. Jay Mehta, Managing Director at Warner Music Group, shared his insights into the music industry’s global perspective. Puneet Bekal, Head of Marketing at MasterCard, contributed his expertise in marketing strategies. Nishant Gupta, Co-Founder of GoBindaas, brought his valuable insights into the independent music scene.
With such an esteemed lineup of panellists and a diverse range of events, the evening promised to be a memorable celebration of music, talent, and industry expertise.
The Clef Music Awards, with over 70 categories, aim to provide a platform for independent musicians to showcase their talent and recognise their contributions to the music industry. This year, the awards received entries from various regional languages, including Marathi, Tamil, Bangla, Bhojpuri, Assamese, Marwari, Punjabi, and Tamil, as well as international entries from countries like Russia, Ukraine, the US, and the UK.
The Clef Music Awards 2023 showcased the rise of the independent music scene and explored topics such as artist services, emerging platforms, and the future of independent music.
Esteemed industry experts, including Vivek Raina, Sanjay Tandon, and Chaitanya Chinchlikar, participated in insightful discussions during the event.
The list of winners is as follows. In the Category of Hindustani Classical, Nihira Joshi-Deshpande emerged as the Best Artist with her song Trishna. Deepak Jeswal won the Best Lyricist award for Meri Awaaz Meri Nishani, while Harshit Chauhan received the Best Composer award for Rang Na. The Best Song in the Hindustani Classical category went to Meghdeep Bose and Mahadevi Varma for Aa Vasant Rajni. In the Ghazal category, Sanjeevani Bhelande won the Best Artist award for Buth Ko Apna Khuda, and Sumeet Tappoo received the same award for Ret Ka Ghar. Deepak Jeswal won the Best Lyricist award for Bewafaa, and Yogesh Rairikar won the Best Composer award for Haseen Khwab. The Best Song award in the Ghazal category went to Saregama India Ltd. for Ghalib Hona Hai and Sumeet Tappoo for Ret Ka Ghar. Saregama India Ltd also won the Best Album award for Sukoon in the Ghazal category.
In the Folk category, Mame Khan was recognised as the Best Artist for Halariya Janam Mubarak, Glenn Valles won the Best Lyricist award for Looking Up To Heaven, and Keshab Nayan won the Best Composer award for Koi Nidiya Kiyaw. The Best Song award in the Folk category went to Rahul Rajkhowa x ICONYK for Toradoi. The winners in various regional categories included James Vasanthan for VEEDU VANDHU SERALAYE in Tamil, Keshab Nayan for Koi Nidiya Kiyaw in Assamese, Sanjeevani Bhelande for Bajuband in Marwari, Saregama India Ltd. for Kajal Na Dil Ma Rehjo Re in Gujarati, and Debanjan Biswas for Aachi Aami in Bengali. In the Sufi category, Shahzad Ali won the Best Artist award for Narhar Sacho Peer, Anasmita Ghosh won the Best Lyricist and Best Composer awards for Sunle Maula, and Chintoo Singh Wasir won the Best Song and Best Album awards for Yaar Di Yaari. Chintoo Singh Wasir also won the Best Regional Song/Album award in Punjabi for Yaar Di Yaari.
In the Devotional category, Sanjeevani Bhelande was recognised as the Best Artist for Ganesh Panchratnam, Sonu Nigam won the same award for Shree Hanuman Chalisa, Mayank Gera won the Best Lyricist award for Ram Ji Aayenge, and Sonu Nigam won the Best Composer award for Shree Hanuman Chalisa. Sonu Nigam’s Shree Hanuman Chalisa also won the Best Song award, while L Nitesh Kumar’s Bhajan Parampara won the Best Album award. Shyla R K won the Best Regional Song/Album award in Malayalam for Nava Durga Ragamala Stuthi. In the Pop category, KING won the Best Artist and Best Song awards for Maan Meri Jaan, Subhi won the Best Lyricist award for Laapata, and Siddharth Parashar won the Best Composer award for Dil Ki Dua. KING’s Champagne Talk won the Best Album award. Various regional winners included Medha Vadi for Kichu Chai Na Ami in Bangla, Himangi Vishwaroop for Mi Ek Ninavi Mavala in Marathi, Rajman for Yeto Veeche Gaali in Telugu, and K S Vishnudev and Lakshmi V for Vizhi in Tamil. In the Rock category, Ahmad Shaad Safwi and Suvarna Tiwari were named the Best Artist for Sajna Unplugged, Adil Nadaf won the Best Composer award for the same song, and The Darshan Doshi Trio won the Best Song award for Pulse. Akshat Kumar and Viraj Tripathi also won the Best Song award for Main Chala. Adil Nadaf won the Best Regional Song/Album award in Assamese for Monot Pore.
In the Cinema category, Ajay-Atul and Ajay Gogavale were recognised as the Best Artist for Ved Tujha, and they also won the Best Album award for the same song. Ajay-Atul and Guru Thakur won the Best Lyricist award for Ved Tujha, and Parth Bharat Thakkar won the Best Composer award for Lakeerein. Amit Trivedi and Parth Bharat Thakkar won the Best Song award for Lakeerein.
The Marathi version of Ved Tujha by Ajay-Atul and Ajay Gogavale won the Best Regional Song/Album award. In the Electronic category, Rajiv Rana won the Best Lyricist award for Riza Jaan Meri, and The Darshan Doshi Trio won the Best Song award for Everybody. Khushi Thakur won the Best Regional Song/Album award in Punjabi for Ghamzada. In the Rap category, Def Jam India won the Best Artist award for You Know The Drill – Fotty Seven, Vikas Makasare won the Best Lyricist award for Pravah, and Def Jam India won the Best Song and Best Album awards for Woh and D – Dino James respectively. Def Jam India also won the Best Regional Song/Album award in Punjabi for Keep It Gangsta – Wazir Patar and Brodha V won the same award in Tamil for Basti Bounce. Saregama India Ltd. was recognised for the Best Marketing Done by an Organisation for Music with the song Tu Mile Dil Khile, and Elite FM was awarded the Best Streaming Platform. The Emerging Artist category awarded Shitalchandra Kulkarni as the Best Guitarist for Run For Cover and Mahati Subramaniam as the Best Violinist for Samayamide.
In the Kids Special category, Jewel Lasrado won the Best Artist and Best Song awards for SIX FEET UNDER, and Mahati Subramaniam won the Best Instrumental Song award for Samayamide. Navin Binu won the Best Album award for Mercury. Arjun Santosh Mahanor won the Best Regional Song/Album award in Marathi for Punyashlok Ahilya Rajmata. Sudhir Dutta was honoured as the Best Music Director, Xqbic Ventures as the Best Song Producer for Mann Kahe, Ratnesh Bhagat for the Best Background Score in The Tag, and Raag Sethi for the Best Music Mix Engineer. Raag Sethi and Dwit Hathi won the Best Instrumental Song award for Watermelon. Armaan Malik was named the Vocalist Of The Year (Male) for his performance in Ghalib Hona Hai, while Shreya Ghoshal won the Vocalist Of The Year (Female) award for Tujhe Bhi Chand. Neelesh Misra was recognised as the Lyricist Of The Year for Sath Chalne Ki Mere Yaar Ko Aadat Hi Kahan Thi and Shelley Chakraborty won the same award for Giridhari Gopinath. Ashwin P Kumar was honoured as the Music Composer Of The Year for Made in Bengaluru, and Sumeet Tappoo, Prithvi Gandharv, and Meenal Jain won the Song Of The Year award for Shivoham. Yogesh Rairikar won the Music Director award for Suno Na, and Lokesh Madan won the same award for Le Chal Mujhe. Sunny Subramanian was recognised as the Song Producer for Ghode Pe Sawaar. The Indie Band Of The Year award went to Anirudh Varma Collective for Naino Waaleya. The Title Track Of The Year award was won by Vanit Bakshi, RV Singh, and Bawa Gulzar, Album Of The Year, Nihira Joshi-Deshpande Trishna, Best Music Video, IndieA Records, Baaton Baaton Main, Best Music Video, Lalita Goenka. Most Stylish Musician Of The Year, Male, Armaan Malik, Public Choice, Most Stylish Musician Of The Year, Female, Neeti Mohan, India’s Favourite Rap Artist, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Most Loved Artist, Female, Akanksha Bhandari, Most Loved Artist, Male, Zaeden, Popular K-Pop Boy Band, BTS were for the best public choices. Editorial Choice for Outstanding Work In Music, Merlin D’Souza, Best Emerging Artist, Aarifah Rebello, Outstanding Work (Original Music), Lucky Ali, Lifetime Achievement Award (Original Music) Louis Banks.