Homegrown Heroes at Sunburn 2015
Five local EDM DJs you cannot miss out on at this year’s Sunburn
India’s local producer-DJ talent will soon rival anything the world has to offer. It’s only a matter of time that the country’s bonafide EDM stars will debut the DJ Mag Top 100 list. But even without that stamp of approval, these artists have carved a niche for themselves and gained a loyal fan following across the country. Check out five artists you shouldn’t miss out on at Sunburn this year.
Nucleya has played at world’s leading festivals like Glastonbury, Lille 3000 and the renowned Electron festival in Switzerland, playing alongside artists like Diplo and Modeselektor. He’s frequently made it on the playlists of BBC Radio 1, remixed tracks for the likes of Zoya Akhtar for her film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and released over 14 singles. The producer-DJ first appeared on the electronic dance music radar towards the end of '90s when he co-founded Bandish Projekt with partner Mayur Narvekar, only to go his own way six years later. Over the past few years, he’s produced original sound tracks and background scores for feature films like ‘Dubai Return’, short animations and ad films. Udyan’s always been a DJ with a producer’s soul, and his desire to create tunes has taken him down varied paths last year like producing radio jingles and working on a Bollywood project ‘Bombay’s Most Wanted’, where he experimented with western orchestration-style, string arrangements for the first time. This year, he released his album ‘Bass Rani’ as a free download on Bandcamp, also kicking off a massive Ganpati-visarjan gig with thousands of people in tow. It’s a D-I-Y punk attitude with a totally Indian sensibility, one that is unique to EDM stars anywhere the world.
Sarthack Sardana aka Sartek was at a local bar in Delhi getting a drink during the first year of his Bachelor’s of Commerce exams in 2007. He saw a poster for Dutch DJ Ferry Corsten’s gig in the capital while sipping on his tipple. He attended the gig, got hooked to EDM and the rest is history. Eight years later, he can lay claim to being one of India’s biggest EDM producer-DJs. He has over 100,000 (unpaid) fans on Facebook, he’s just had a track released on the world’s no 1 DJ Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings label, previewed by the Dutch numero uno himself earlier this month. It’s the culmination of an incredible two years when you consider that his first gig was in 2013. He was given an opening slot for Trance legend First State at the Park Hotel in Hyderabad. Feeding off the energy of the crowd, Sartek was hooked. And he hasn’t looked back since. What EDM has put on hold are the 27-year-old’s ambitions of raking in the bucks and counting it too. He needs to clear six more exams for his Chartered Accountancy, something he hasn’t had time for since 2013. That tells you how busy his weekends have been.
Twenty-five-year old Anish Sood is the rarest of phenomenons - a Goan EDM superstar from the mecca of EDM. A select member of the 100,000-fan club, Sood has not only broken through barriers but he’s also one of the few EDM DJs, along with Nucleya, to be signed on to the live-oriented agency Only Much Louder’s artist rosters. Sood was exposed to music early. He grew up with jazz guitarists in his Goa home (his dad and uncle are both musicians). He turned to electronic music after he was introduced to Dutch DJ Armin va Buuren’s A State of Trance radio show. But his first break, after DJing college parties and small events, was in 2008. An opening slot for Pearl, co-founder of Submerge, who pioneered electronic music events in India, opened the door for further bookings. Since then, he’s gone on to open for international stars like Gareth Emery, Sultan, Funkagenda, Felix Da Housecat, Miss Nine, Norman Doray, Albin Myers and John ‘00’ Fleming.His debut single “Catapult” was picked up by Trance legend Marcel Woods’ label ‘Musical Madness’ and has subsequently been released on the legendary High Contrast imprint. And to top it all, he’s played alongside David Guetta in India!
Do you recall the T-1000? That shapeshifting android assassin from the Terminator series who’s impossible to shake off? That’s DJ Clement. A true veteran of the scene, he’s been around since it’s early days in the ‘90s, to its foundations in the 2000s and it’s glory days today. What’s incredible about Clement is his consistency. Glance through the line-ups at Sunburn, or the Indian Premier League cricket parties (he’s the official DJ for the Royal Challengers of Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians) - you’ll find Clement. Whether it’s Kingfisher head honcho Vijay Mallya’s penthouse gig or Venky’s Chicken magnate Balaji Rao’s birthday bash, they’re all ringing Clement to show them a good time. And he’s pulled this off purely on the strength of his DJing alone - that’s a rare feat in an age where fans and audiences are constantly looking to consume music. It speaks not just of his skills as a DJ but of a loyal following that includes regular partygoers to owners of IPL franchises to British Premier League teams!
Don’t confuse this 22-year-old EDM superstar-in-the-making with his namesake from Lost Stories.
Rishabh Joshi is part of a new wave of producer-DJs who are taking the Indian scene by storm. The Goan recently made waves when Dutch superstar DJ Armin van Buuren gave him a record deal with his label Armada Music. If that doesn’t impress you, he’s also one of the few Indian artists to be featured on the globally renowned Group Therapy radio show, run by British trance superstars Above & Beyond, who toured India last month. Joshi’s had some international exposure, having lived in the UK and America for half a decade. And since his return he’s had a rapid rise to the top. Without counting his appearances at major festivals like Sunburn, the DJ has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in EDM: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, Sander Van Doorn, Hard Rock Sofa, Michael Woods, DenizKoyu and Dany Avila. It points to a healthy future not only for Joshi, but for young Indian producer-DJs as well.
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Image credits: Artist Facebook Page/ Artist Management