MELA Agency draws its roots from Rhythm Riders Music Productions – the production house and management company for creations by rhythm meastro Pandit Divyang Vakil and his son and world music composer Rushi Vakil. Affiliated with Pandit Vakil’s music institute – Rhythm Riders Music Institute in Ahmedabad, the company promoted Indian classical arts through performance and education. While the Vakils created high-quality accessible performances of Indian arts, contemporary and classical, the business head Heena Patel worked to build sustainable performing careers for the artists, honing her expertise as a manager, booking agent, and marketer.
Rhythm Riders’ first artist was contemporary classical tabla ensemble Talavya. In the process of growing the band’s presence and career in the United States and Canada, the founders became acutely aware of the hurdles that prevents South Asian performing arts from being as widely represented as they could be in the international marketplace – setting the stage for phase 2 of the company.