The rise of dance music in the Indian subcontinent has been unprecedented over the past decade. We’ve come a long way from experiencing the rave culture only in the small state of Goa to a major festival in one of the northeastern states. Well, the scene is not as perfect as the one overseas but we’re moving in the right direction. It’s slowly infusing with our native music culture and creating a market of its own.

In a similar fashion, Bollywood which is probably India’s largest employer after the Department of Railways, has been affected by the influx of dance music. Artists like DJ NYK, DJ Shadow Dubai and Akhil Talreja can be held responsible for the increasing supply of home-brewed tracks re-imagined with a tadka of dance music elements.

 

 

There is definitely space for all kinds of music in our country. We hail from a country with varied musical genres and influences and there is a crowd for every genre. The original EDM track would definitely work in probably a non-Bollywood night but also if there are Indian instruments used in the track or ethnic influences I am sure it would also work in a Bollywood night too.

– DJ Shadow Dubai, DJ, Remixer and Producer

 

Mashups are a great way of promoting movie soundtracks and revising them to gain airplays as well as molding them into club-friendly material. DJ Chetas who is currently world’s 33rd best DJ according to the controversial DJ Mag Top 100 DJs list, has been crafting second to none mashups even before they became a trend in the B-Town. His talent can be judged by the official mashups he has prepared for movies like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Student of the Year. If you’re familiar with his work, you’d notice the meticulous use of electrifying beats which even make downtempo songs like Ishq Wala Love foot-tapping are nothing but elements of dance music.

 

 

YouTubers belonging to the league of Vidya Vox are bridging the gap between Bollywood and the dance music industry abroad by producing world-class covers/mashups of EDM hits and domestic tracks which have helped the local talent to get recognition all over the internet. Her Lean On x Jind Mahi has reaped upwards of 25 million views till date; these numbers are enough to prove the fact that our domestic music blended with EDM has a huge market!

 

 

Assuming Bollywood never incorporated dance music in their movies would be cent percent wrong. Produced by Amaal Mallik, Sooraj Dooba Hain from the movie Roy, revolves around an electro-progressive theme with an extensive use of uplifting riffs and hard hitting electronic percussions. Another shining example would be of The Shaukeens’ track, Manali Trance; the basic sound structure falls in line with a typical dubstep track – bass driven beats, tightly coiled drums, snappy synthetic tune and a massive drop!

 

 

Zaeden has teamed up with Ankit Tiwari to break the stereotypes surrounding the two completely different genres. Their collaboration described as “dance music meets Bollywood” is yet to be released but one thing is for sure, it’ll be one genre-defying project which would open opportunities for more up and coming domestic dance music artists to contribute to Bollywood.

 

It’s my first Hindi release so lyrically it would obviously be different from the songs I’ve released in the past. Production wise, it’s my first melodic future bass song. I was honestly skeptical about it in the start but Ankit Tiwari’s vocals really complimented the instrumental I had. I can’t wait to see how people respond and accept it.

– Zaeden, DJ and Producer

 

Lost Stories, Aerreo, 32Stitches, Kerano and Sartek are some of the homegrown artists who’ve put India on the map by releasing tracks on big-ass international labels. Unfortunately, none of them were promoted by Bollywood or any of the representatives. Therefore, their work never received the appreciation they deserved.

 

 

The sound sets and samples used by Bollywood producers have a lot of influence of dance music in the last 2 years. We have to agree to the fact that Bollywood is one of the biggest music industries in the world and no kind of genre can come close to it in India.

– Sartek, DJ and Producer

 

Udyan Sagar, better known as Nucleya made his Bollywood debut by producing ‘Let’s Nacho’ for the movie Kapoor & Sons. In the truest sense, it was a cross-genre track appealing to everyone’s palate. It had the perfect ingredients for a Bollywood hit; peppy beats, a sick rap verse, catchy hook and typical Nucelya-r bass! Hence, saying, there’s no market for dance music in this industry would be incorrect. Agreed, it’s difficult to please the crowd, however, it’s not impossible.

 

 

Indian film industry is no stranger to international pop collaborations; who can forget Snoop Dogg’s cameo in the video of the title song in Singh is Kinng, Ludacris’ rap in Shera Di Kaum for Speedy Singhs, Bohemia in Chandni Chowk to China  and 8 x 10 Tasveer,  followed by the legendary Kylie Minogue making a guest appearance in the song Chiggy Wiggy. Akshay Kumar successfully flew these A-Listers here and even if these movies didn’t do amazingly well on the box office, their soundtracks got etched in the minds of each and everyone.

 

 

When Diplo was on an India tour a few months back, he met with Shah Rukh Khan. Rumours started flowing in of a collab between the two kings in their respective fields and they were put to rest when PHURRR was announced. Akon previously featured in Ra.One, making it SRK’s second worldwide venture. It is probably the first time when a big shot EDM producer had invested time and efforts in a Bollywood project. The Moomba-Trap beat also helped Sony Music India revolutionize the revenue generation model for our music industry.

 

 

“The concept of ‘everything-free’ will change or rather needs to change to an ecosystem where some things will be free and other things will be paid. The reason Phurrr was chosen is because it is the biggest project of the year with an international collaboration so we felt that if we are taking this step then we must do it with a very big song. We needed a big project with a must-listen song that had so much anticipation. We’re inserting a paid window in the music business, which didn’t exist prior to this. At the end of the day, it is the health of the music industry and the health of the platforms that are at stake and this decision directly benefits the health of the creators. They will definitely be in for this. While also for us Red Chillies, SRK and Pritam embraced this idea whole heartedly.”

– Shridhar Subramaniam, President, Sony Music Entertainment (India and Middle East)

 

Meanwhile, we’re not sure, how successful they were in doing so, we mustn’t forget, Major Lazer’s and DJ Snake’s biggest track till date; Lean On, is heavily influenced by Indian instruments and its video was shot in a palace situated in Mumbai. It became the first EDM music video to reach 1 billion views and has over 2.1 billion+ views on YouTube as of now, making it the twelfth most viewed video on the site!

 

 

If one of the biggest trio’s in the dance music world are not afraid of introducing desi tunes to the world, why can’t the reverse take place where Bollywood producers, get genuinely inspired by the artists mentioned previously and not press Ctrl C, Ctrl V on their melodies.
It’s pretty shameful to say that some of the most popular Bollywood tracks flooding our radio stations are cheap rip-offs. There’s a pretty long list but the one that particularly sticks out is Khallas from Ram Gopal Varma‘s Veerappan. The lyrics are borrowed from an old Hindi song and the beats are also “borrowed.” They’ve simply copy pasted DJ Snake and Dillon Francis’ Get Low without making a single frigging change.

 

 

This isn’t the first time an EDM chart-topper was picked up by India’s musical elites; previously Kunal Ganjawala “covered” Bob Sinclar’s World Hold On in Hindi for a Zayed Khan movie called Mission Istanbul, Himesh Reshmmiya “composed” the Theme of Xposé keeping in mind the ‘Munchi’s Fuck That It’s Bangbros Remix’ of Dillon Francis’ Brazzer’s Theme and who doesn’t know Guru Randhawa’s blockbuster track “Suit,” even though it isn’t a totally identical Major Lazer’s Lean On but it’s eerily similar to it.

 

 

On a mission to erase genre boundaries, Major Lazer combined efforts with Indian rap star Baadshah and released I Wanna Be Free as a part of Tuborg’s initiative to encourage artists to push their boundaries in order to discover new global sounds. Even though the final product isn’t at par with our expectations, still, it is a huge step for a Bollywood artist to be represented on the cosmopolitan music circuit.

 

 

Niles Hollowell-Dhar aka KSHMR who is of the Indian origin hasn’t left any stone unturned when it comes to showering international dance music catalogues with his love for our beloved country. His live sets and new label, Dharma are an undeniable proof of the same. Paying homage to his “home” and bridging the gap between the local music scene and the west, he has released Underwater, featuring one of the best selling Bollywood singers, Sonu Nigam. It is a flawless combination of KSHMR’s meticulous production and ever green celestial voice of The Elvis Presley of India! Give it a listen and be the judge; if it’s a perfect marriage or not?

To sum it up, I don’t believe EDM is the future of Bollywood, it is already here and it’ll stay till the end of time. Instead of focusing on big names from elsewhere, we should pay heed to our local talent for best results.

In case your opinion falls in line with ours, like this article! Else, make sure you put forth your point in the comments section.

Don’t forget to share this post and tag your friends! Plis? ^.^

Sidhantha Jain

I love EDM, it loves me back. It pays for my food bills.

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