Which artist would you kill to see headline the next festival?
All these international acts coming down to India quite recently– from Skrillex to Slash to Mogwai— got us thinking of the artists The Sherp and his army would like to see grace the country next. India is a gradually developing pot-boiler of untapped and eager pop culture infused individuals with potential to host a lot more international live acts than it does now. Here’s a genre-eclectic lists of artists (some based on your suggestions) that we’d love to see in India as festival headliners.
1. Calvin Harris
The Scottish DJ has been on the wishlist of many for a while now. Being one of the biggest DJs of the decade, alongside Skrillex and David Guetta, Calvin Harris undoubtedly has a massive following in India and would be received with an abundance of anticipation.
Flume, a.k.a. Harley Edward Streten, has established himself as the genre fluid pioneer of future bass, trap, dubstep downtempo and even some hints of soul in his outstanding collaborative EP Lockjaw with Chet Faker. Both artists are said to collaborate on another EP and we would love to see Flume bring some of that electronic magic to India as they do.
Disclose is the duo– consisting of Howard and Guy Lawrence– that took the genre of deep house by the storm with their first LP Settle. The undeniably brilliant electronic act is widely popular in India and just dropped their sophomore album Caracal. The timing couldn’t be better.
The Norwegian DJ, known for his incredible remixes, has been on The Sherp’s own wishlist for a while now. We’d really like to see Kygo headline a major festival in India sometime soon. Especially since Kygo just dropped his new single ‘Here For You’ earlier this month.
5. Tame Impala
The much-loved Australian psych-rock band has been on our radar almost as long as Kygo (ahem). Kevin Parker and company have grown to become one of the most coveted festival sets in the recent years. It would be beyond wonderful and also logistically feasible to bring them down for a festival in India.
6. The Shins
An amicable indie band from Albuquerque, The Shins is the band that saved Zac Braff’s movie Garden State from a ton of otherwise inevitable blandness. The band’s discography is short but brilliant, from Oh, Inverted World‘s summery musings to Port of Morrow‘s detail-oriented eclecticism. This is a band we must see in India. It’s not probable, but we have our fingers crossed.
7. The Weeknd
Abel Tesfaye, stagename The Weeknd, with his falsetto, grunge beats, twisted lyrics, charismatic showmanship and sensual synth is what sets him apart from his peers in the music industry. His darker, edgier rendition of R&B is something everyone needs to witness live, including India. The Weeknd’s been quite prevalent on festival lineups this season so we can only hope he’s on an Indian roster soon.
8. Milky Chance
The German folktronica/reggae duo, consisting of Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch is what everyone needs in life, really. Amazingly groovy, these two would make outstanding headliners. Again, it’s improbable that the duo will grace India anytime soon, but one can always hope.
9. Florence + The Machine
Florence Welch with her entourage of collaborative artists make for incredible headliners. The indie rock band has played many festivals this year, including Coachella 2015. Florence and the Machine live would definitely be a memorable experience.
10. Kanye West
This one is sort of (okay, a lot) far-fetched, we know. But putting aside everything we hear about Kanye in the news, his music is great, especially live. Besides, who wouldn’t want to watch the greatest living rockstar live? (Do sense the sarcasm, folks.)
It should hardly be surprising that Radiohead made the cut in this list. Being one of the very few relevant rock bands from the nineties that basically made legends with their albums OK Computer and Kid A, Radiohead has successfully established themselves as the sole pioneers of experimental/alternative rock in the past two decades.
12. Damien Rice
The Irish folk singer/songwriter with his heartbreakingly soulful voice is said to be phenomenal live. Though his latest album came out last year, it’s not impossible for the artist to tour India. Listen to the beautiful and much beloved track ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ by Damien Rice below.
13. Paul McCartney
The former Beatle as well as an exceptional solo performer, Paul McCartney has touched a lot of lives with his music. Beatles fangirls/boys in India would rejoice and proverbially lose their shit if Paul McCartney were to come down here. (Ahem, festival organizers, are you listening?)
14. Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is universally popular and well-liked by most hip-hop enthusiasts. Moreover, the Californian rapper is a great live performer and would make for an incredible headlining set.
15. Fleetwood Mac
The legendary folk/rock band invokes nostalgia in every person born amidst or more likely before the nineties. While not very popular amongst masses, Fleetwood Mac is a class in itself, being one of the most acclaimed British rock bands. If the band were to come to India, the festival they would headline could expect a great turnout.
The Titanium and Chandelier singer is a great favourite amongst masses lately. With the animalistic and ambiguous videos of Elastic Heart and then Big Girls Cry, Sia has garnered much intrigue and attention, most of which is positive. We know for a fact that Sia headlining an Indian festival would be a massive hit.
17. Alabama Shakes
Alabama Shakes, the quirky rock band with a southern twang surfaced a couple of years ago with their groundbreaking debut album Boys & Girls. Since then, the band has become exceedingly popular and have played many festivals, including Boston Calling.
18. Acid Mothers Temple
Acid Mothers Temple is the Japanese psych-rock band that emerged in the mid-nineties and basically created history with their idiosyncratic sound. True lovers of Japanese psychedelia will legit soar with joy if this band were to come down to India.
Odesza are technically noobs to the world of electronic music. The duo consisting of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight was formed in 2012, and since then, these brilliant noobs have successfully won over the underground electronic music community. Listen to their latest single ‘Light’, an almost ethereal track.
20. Glass Animals
Glass Animals’ phenomenal debut album Zaba dropped last year and has ever since gained notoriety for having the most sensual and sexy soul pop-grooves of the season. NME once described the album and band as, “One of the most exciting bands in Britain in 2014. ZABA is blessed with musical facets that will blind you with their splendour.” And we couldn’t agree more.
21. Sigur Rós
The Icelandic idiosyncratic post-rock band is the brief escape everyone needs from reality every now and then. The band is famous for their authentic and otherworldly sound and enigmatic persona (I mean, they released an entire untitled album with untitled songs). Despite their eccentricities, or because of them– it hardly matters– Sigur Rós is strangely enchanting.
22. God Is An Astronaut
God Is An Astronaut is an Irish post-rock band that was essentially all anyone could talk about in the early/mid-2000s. The band made their way into the musical world in 2002, wooing the masses with their sometimes melancholy and sometimes gut-wrenchingly intense sound. It would be a great and nostalgic trip to watch GIAA live.
23. Massive Attack
Massive Attack has been creating exquisite music well over 25 years and we think it’s high time that the band came to India. For a band that surfaced in the late 80’s, Massive Attack had a long run, dropping truly massive hits like ‘Teardrop’ and ‘Unfinished Sympathy’.
24. Rage Against The Machine
RATM, a Californian rap/funk metal band is basically what gave birth to a whole generation of head-banging agsty teenagers in the 90’s. The band is cult. Rage Against The Machine, apart from dropping some gigantic chart-topping hits, have headlined many festivals beautifully. And after Puddle of Mudd’s tour in India, we know that getting 90’s rock bands isn’t impossible, even if they are as massive as RATM.
Another 90’s progressive/alternative/metal band that induces nostalgia and a reminder of your dorky teenage years. The band is said to be on hiatus since 2008, but we hear a fifth studio album is underway. How serendipitous it would be if they toured India after the release of the aforementioned album. Just saying.