Dance music superstars R3hab and DJ Snake talk to us about their careers and shed light on the future of EDM in India
Although the seeds of EDM were in India were sown in party hubs like Goa and Bengaluru, smaller cities are currently reaping it. “The future of EDM in India is bright, especially in cities like Hyderabad where 70 per cent of its 9.5 million (native and ex-pat) population are young. We’ve also started off-shoot events like Sunburn Arena and Reload to cater to demands from other Indian cities like Raipur, Kochi, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, etc,” explains Harinder Singh, MD Percept Limited,the company behind Sunburn City Festival which features DJ Snake and R3hab as headlining acts. We speak to superstar DJs, prior to their tour.
Fadil El Ghoul’s career graph went from zero to 100, in the blink of an eye. Ghoul aka R3hab (spelled rehab) who started out as a music producer/DJ playing hip-hop/house for his high school friends in a small town called Breda in Netherlands – shot to fame by remixing pop-artistes like Lady Gaga and Rihanna in 2011. With a string of chart-topping originals on his discography including Karate, Prutataaa and Burnin’ and a tour diary chock full of gigs, he’s currently ranked among the top 25 DJs in the world (as seen on DJMag). “EDM has blown up here and I feel the scene is poised to expand and become bigger and better in the next five years,” explains the Dutchman, who’s parents hail from Morocco.
Though we’re aware that this ‘IDMA-Breakthrough artiste’ award-winner has already played his signature ‘high-octane Dutch House/Electro’ sounds at every major EDM festival this year including Belgium’s Tomorrowland and sold-out parties in over 25 nations counting headlining nights at Ibiza’s superclubs, we ask him what’s next. “I’ve just released an official remix for Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest dreams’. As for original productions, my brand-new single with Headhunterz called ‘Won’t stop rocking’ is currently ranked as one of top five EDM tunes in the world on Beatport,” shares the 29-year-old DJ, adding that he’s headed to Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan in the next couple of months.
Most artistes make it to the top of the Billboard music charts, at the pinnacle of their career. But thanks to the 2013 viral-hit ‘Turn down for what’, Paris-based EDM producer DJ Snake’s international music career started there. Now hot-off the success of his India-inspired, downtempo single ‘Lean on’ (which has amassed over 700 million views on YouTube) he’s touring the globe armed with just 11 original tracks—three of which have been sitting on Billboard’s ‘Top 10’ chart for a record-breaking nine weeks—and will bring his signature hip-hop/rap infused ‘organic beats’ to Indian shores for the very first time next week.
Born William Grigahcine, he earned the moniker ‘Snake’ when he was a teenager due to his ability to evade the authorities while dabbling in graffiti art. “I was 14 when I saw DJ Cut Killer ‘spin’, in the movie La Haine. That was what inspired me to start off as rap/hip-hop DJ,” shares the Grammy-nominated Frenchman.Besides multi-city tours of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the ‘viral hit-maker’ intends to continue working on a ‘yet to be titled’ solo-album before heading to India. “I want to ensure all my Indian fans have a great time,” shares the 29-year-old.