He’s all set to perform at Budweiser Presents Electric Daisy Carnival India.
The man who needs no introduction, considering his contribution to the Indian music scene over the years. Arjun Vagale reached the epitome of electronic music greatness and by starting a branch of ‘I Love Music Academy’ in Delhi NCR, he has also built a pathway for aspiring musicians to follow in his footsteps. Arjun started performing for a crowd when he was just 15. A year later, he and three others formed a trip DJ group called DJ Fac3. But his first major claim to fame was Jalebee Cartel, a live house/techno act and DJ Collective and one of the most successful electronic music acts hailing from India. Now, he’s been running a successful solo career and has even collaborated with music greats like Fatboy Slim, Fergie, Nic Fanciulli, Cari Lekebusch, Apparat and Sasha.
The Sherp was lucky to catch the busy man and have an exclusive interview with him. Here it is:
The Sherp: Hi Arjun, you’ve been a frequent traveller and a big name in the global electronic music industry. How difficult is it to reach out to an audience when it comes to promoting your work/mixes?
Arjun Vagale: In this digital age, it’s getting tougher for sure. People resort to all sorts of nonsense just to make themselves heard – honestly I don’t get it. Probably coz I’ve always had the opinion that if your music is good, and you work hard to promote it with integrity, people will eventually hear it. I kinda feel bad for the new generation of DJs & producers coz instead on making quality music, they spend more time promoting themselves on social media.
The Sherp: Tell us more about the ILM Academy.What led you to decide that you wanted to start an institution of your own?
Arjun Vagale: When I started DJ’ing nearly 20 odd years ago, there was no one to show me the way. I, along with a couple of friends, literally learnt to mix on a belt drive turntables and a discman. When I started playing around with early production software’s like cool edit and frutyloops, I was completely lost! Keeping this in mind, I’ve always wanted to give back and build a platform where one can help others cultivate their craft in a more precise and focused manner. This is what eventually led to ILM! Today, I’m really proud to say that the academy is one of the finest in the country, and more importantly I see a lot of our graduating young students pushing the envelope musically.
The Sherp: Having performed at festivals worldwide and in India – how different (if any) is the crowd reception between the two places? Also, which time slot do you most prefer playing at?
Arjun Vagale: Electronic music has no language, so its tough to really see the difference. Yes there are cities that have a more musically exposed audience, but I actually like playing in places that don’t have a blown up scene – the crowds are always itching for more and they react to everything you play. Time slots – well … at a festival it’s always better to close or headline.
The Sherp: Let’s take a little throwback into “DJ FAC 3” – your fans would love to know what it was about.
Arjun Vagale: DJ Fac3 was basically a tiny collective I started along with 2 friends in Bangalore sometime in ’96 – the same friends I mentioned earlier. At the time, there weren’t too many DJ’s in the scene and we quickly began playing at a lot of private & college parties in and around Bangalore, gaining some attention. We did everything, from hiring sound, lifting speakers to people’s terraces, then playing for pretty much no money … just a bunch of kids having fun, playing the music that we loved. Naturally it didn’t last too long, but it was an important phase for all of us coz it gave us the foundation we needed, including our first residency at a shady disco.
The Sherp: Can you name 3 artists you’d sell your soul to collaborate with RIGHT NOW.
Arjun Vagale: That’s a tough one … I would have to say Underworld, Moby and Bjork