It’s gonna be electronic | music | Hindustan Times
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It’s gonna be electronic

With an ever increasing number of international DJs landing on our shores, India is becoming a fertile ground for electronic dance music. Here’s a look at the growing scene

music Updated: Dec 08, 2012 17:59 IST
Nirmika Singh

If the number of international DJs who have toured India in the past year is anything to go by, the country is on the brink of an electronic dance music (EDM) revolution. While the popular house spinner, DJ David Guetta returned to play a second show in less than nine months (he performs in Goa tonight), Armin Van Buuren, ranked number one by DJ Mag, will perform in Mumbai in March. DJ Hardwell will also play a show in the city, tomorrow. In the recent past, almost every top DJ — Swedish House Mafia (SHM), Tiësto and Avicii — has spun his tracks to packed venues across metros. India’s biggest EDM festival, Sunburn’s, line-up for this year also includes names like Paul van Dyk (who has played in India before), Sander van Doorn and Fedde le Grand.

Sounds of change
The rapid influx of international DJs has been possible due to an increase in venues and a discerning, or at least vaguely clued-in, audience that is ready to pay for an expensive concert ticket.

VJ and DJ Nikhil Chinapa, who is the founder of Submerge, an artist management and resource agency responsible for bringing down many of these acts, explains the trend, saying, “There are many contributing factors for the trend. Firstly, we have to understand that the Indian dance music scene has been around since the 1980s. And in the past six-seven years, thanks to YouTube, people now have access to music ranging from Alaskan folk to tribal-techno.” He continues, “Add to that a festival like Sunburn, which acted as a fire-starter. The surge in the economy also has a lot to do with these opening avenues. Now there are many festivals, held in places like Rajasthan and Coorg, which have been promoting EDM.”

Concerts become experiential
The aspirational value attached to attending a gig by a world-renowned artiste among concert-goers has also fuelled the growing scene. “We are earning more money than our parents did. And we are happy to spend it on a concert, which has become like an experience,” says Chinapa, who is planning on getting SHM back to India besides putting together another festival called Summer Sunburn in mid-2013.

Hardwell show tickets available on
David Guetta show (Goa) tickets available on

‘There’s a healthy market for tours and events’ – D J Hardwell
(To play his debut concert in the city tomorrow)

What do you have to say about the growing EDM scene in India?

It’s really exciting to see EDM exploding. There appears to be a really healthy market for tours and events in India right now, which is fantastic for dance music artistes and fans.

What are you looking forward to at the gig in India?
This is the first time that I’ll be performing for fans in Mumbai inside a hanger. I also have some special edits and mashups, which
I think the crowds are going to love.

What are the recording projects you are currently working on?
I’m working on the follow up to my single Apollo, which has just been released. Also, I have a lot of collaborations coming up for 2013.

How challenging is it to be at the top of your game when there are so many players in the genre? How important is it to maintain a spot in the top 10 DJs of the world?
It is very challenging but at the same time the competition keeps you on your toes. To be named number six by DJ Mag was unreal and something I could only have dreamed of but I am also aware that my position will only last so long. My work ethic will never change and I’ll continue pushing myself to aspire to bigger projects and releases with my music.

‘I thought India was all about Bollywood music’ – David Guetta
(To perform in Goa tonight)

You had a successful tour this March. What do you look forward to from your visit again?
I am very excited to be back. India is a new territory to me. When I first came, I was amazed to see the response at my shows. I told my manager that I want to spend more time here.

What do you have to say about the EDM scene here?
Honestly, I was shocked to see the growing scene. I thought India was all about Bollywood music.

What are the recording projects you are currently working on?
I am working on my next album. My new single, Just one last time that featured Taped Rai was released recently.

You have collaborated with numerous artistes in the past. Which have been the most exciting?
Teaming up with singer Sia on my single ‘Titanium’ was very interesting. Recently, I also worked with a few new DJs,
and it has been amazing.

As an artiste, what gives you more creative satisfaction — working in the studio or playing at a live gig?
Creatively, I’d say working in the studio. But the pleasure of performing your tracks in front of an audience is something unique. It’s inspirational.