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Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Singer launches career on eBay
Shayan began taking music seriously after he moved to the UK
A young Indian singer has managed to raise enough money to release his debut album by selling shares in his future royalties on the internet site eBay.

Shayan, who writes his own songs and plays piano, took five years to get his debut album Deliverance recorded and released, financing the whole project by selling shares in himself on the auction website.

He told BBC World Service's The Music Biz programme that he is from a tech-savvy but not very wealthy family, and started writing songs in 1999, after losing both parents in quick succession.

"I needed money to record good demos. I had great songs, or at least I believed I had great songs, and it stemmed from there," he said.

"I kind of understood how the industry worked in terms of the royalties scheme, so I put up an auction as an individual saying that if you invest 3,000 in me, I'll give you a quarter percent of my life's earnings in music.

"Who would have thought that in a week's time, I would have got three people to invest 9,000."


The advert appealed for people to invest in Shayan's future, offering shares in his career "for every single piece of music I ever write".

This includes CD and DVD sales, concert earnings, and any money paid from appearing on radio, TV, press, or other media work.

He pointed out that, while the investors were taking a big risk, they were getting investment in the copyright, which exists 70 years after his death in the UK, and 60 years in the US.

"If you put 3,000 in me, and I sell 100,000 albums, you double your money," he added.

But he admitted, however, that in the end only the public can decide whether he will be a success and determine whether the shares in him will be worth anything at all.

"That's what's going to be really hard for me," he said.

"I won't have the pull of the major [record labels], to say 'put him on television, put him on radio, he's going to be a big star.'

"But then, if I do succeed and climb up the ladder, I'll stay there."

Hear a sample from Shayan's album Deliverance

If the world was run like eBay
10 Mar 05 |  Magazine

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