Pooja Salvi speaks to everyone’s favourite electronic music DJ, who recently performed a thrilling set at Sunburn Goa, David Guetta. He tells us more about his work
How has EDM evolved in India since your last visit?
By leaps and bounds. Dance music is here to stay. It’s a satisfying feeling to see dance music dominating the charts. I think there’s a whole new world here and the possibilities are endless. It’s more about finding the right balance and synergies. There’s fresh talent making headlines every six months and that is proof of how flexible the industry is. Dance music will be one of the most popular genres in the next ten years. EDM is no longer underground; it’s as mainstream as pop.
How do you think your own music has evolved over the years?
I think my music is melodic and refined — it’s not just three notes, a baseline and drums. Emotion is the most important aspect for me; conveying it in a way that makes it easy to listen to at home and be moved or be in a mass moment at a festival is crucial.
How much have people’s attitudes changed towards DJs since you started out?
It’s a whole new commercial business undertaking! The industry is organised, with professional managements and arena festivals. Five years ago, the big risk I took was when I did the bridge between urban and dance. I was initially playing funk, disco and new wave. The concept of a famous DJ didn’t exist. None of us were making any money. I always felt like our music was not respected like it should have been, and I’ve always done everything I could to change this. I started to play house music in ’88. I became a DJ when I was 14-years-old, so I’ve been making music for around 30 years now. For years I played in gay clubs, because house music only had an audience there. When I started to invite urban singers to perform with me, some of them would tell me, “Yeah, it’s cool, but I’m afraid this music is so gay.” I was surprised because in Europe it was never like this. Now we’re selling ourselves as artists and not DJs.
Do you think EDM is becoming a popular favourite in India?
I think EDM has a worldwide audience. It has become a global phenomenon in the recent years. The order of the day is collaborations and giving birth to newer genres. India has been very receptive to EDM and has been very successful at hosting some of the world’s biggest headliners and organising music festivals with a large audience. That’s proof enough of the EDM craze that has gripped the world. Big love to Sunburn for making this happen!