Bollywood made it the sound of India in the 2000s.
The Hindi film industry has never been slow to react to trends. So when the DJ became a superstar in the late ‘90s, they were soon commissioned to work on remixes of popular Bollywood tunes. The DJs simply took the vocal elements and laid them on top of dance music beats. In essence, if you ever danced to ¨Bollywood¨ club music, you were basically moving to EDM beats. It shows how far India’s club scene has made it that today we have Bolly-EDM festivals. And the next generation of young singers like Armaan Malik, Nakash Aziz and Siddharth Mahadevan (son of the renowned Shankar Mahadevan) are not only singing to EDM beats but also actually listening to the work of international producers. This was unheard of a decade ago. One anecdote: this year’s DJ Mag top 100 list saw India’s first-ever entry with BollyEDM DJ Chetas!
Sunburn made EDM an annual musical pilgrimage.
Since 2007, Sunburn has taken the sound of EDM across India. It’s hard to believe that the first Sunburn had 2,000 people with two stages. Within two years, however, that number increased to 22,000. And by 2011, those who couldn’t make the journey to Goa were encourage to attend Sunburn Arena or Sunburn Campus gigs. The festival is inspirational and aspirational. College kids save up the entire year to be able to attend it. Nuclear couples plan end-of-year holidays around it. Sunburn took a niche sound of EDM and made sure everybody paid attention, and listened.
David Guetta made EDM into modern pop music.
When the Frenchmen teamed up with the Black Eyed Peas in 2009, he revolutionised what we today call pop music. Their smash hit ‘I Gotta Feeling’ mad the world sit up and take notice that there was a new sound for the dance floor. After the Black Eyed Peas, most American hip-hop and R&B stars, began reaching out to DJs to make beats for them. Everyone from Madonna to Sia wanted a DJ to back them up, making the sound popular the world over.
The Internet took that sound to your smartphone and computers.
The Internet also enabled us to listen to EDM faster than ever. This year, Indians totalled 300 million Internet users, 976 million mobile subscribers and 70 million smartphone owners. It also helps that we are always plugged in to social media where most of these music trends are unveiled. Facebook in India added 28 million new users this year alone (total number? 130 million), so now you know how EDM appeared on your timeline.
EDM has drama, is colourful and has happy endings.
When Sartke, one of Indian EDM’s homegrown stars described EDM to Rolling Stone India earlier this month, he called it ‘International Bollywood’. He went to say that the breakdowns, melodies, chord progressions make for a genre that even adults can get into. He’s right on the money. Unlike the cold, industrial sounds of techno or the vocal-driven repetitive loops of house music, EDM has a lot going for it. And one look at EDM festivals will tell you that it’s not that far removed from Indian festivals like Holi and Diwali combined. Everyone’s dressed up, it’s a carnival atmosphere and there’s fireworks when it’s all over. How can you stay away?!
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