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Opinion Roundup: Skrillex In India

Not many people in the international music industry tend to polarize opinion as much as ‘EDM’ megastar and key figure in the international brostep revolution - Skrillex.

People either tend to love him and his music (look at all the hype his India tour has created and you’ll know) or hate him, particularly his role in adulterating dubstep. Indifference, however, is next to impossible considering how ubiquitous his presence is – Skrillex’s social media followers run into the millions and he’s inspired countless people who have paid tribute to him in their blogs, artwork and videos from fans and non-fans (our personal favourite is the ‘Girls who look like Skrillex’ tumblog).

Skrillex is currently on tour in India - as you may have gathered from time spent on the Internet, TV, on the radio, billboards across your city, stickers on your neighbours car and the guy tapping your shoulder and whispering ‘Skrillex is coming’ in your ear when you’re out on a stroll. We got in touch with various people who work in music in India – musicians, journalists, promoters and more to get opinions on what they think of Skrillex and the hype surrounding him.

Ritnika (Music Gets Me High)

I’m pretty stoked Skrillex is coming to India. I missed him in the UK last month, so would be great to catch him in my home town! I think the fact that such established artists are coming to India shows how much our music industry has grown over these past few years.

Anu George (Mixtape)

Sorry but I can't even pretend. I have absolutely no thoughts on Skrillex. None whatsoever. I think it's amazing that he's here since there is a large audience that would be excited to catch his set.

Ruhi Batra (City Press)

More than the concert I'm more excited to see if this actually works:

In all honesty, what Skrillex makes today or more essentially what he plays is not something I like to subject my ears to. But you can't ignore the fact that he's a phenomenon. He has introduced an entire generation to electronic music, good or bad, and that has to be respected. Just to see how kids in India respond and react to him is reason enough to go on Sunday.

Suhrid Manchanda (Su Real)

I guess when Skrillex was starting to become a known quantity I was in the U.S. and he seemed like just another one of those massive brostep people like Bassnectar, Datsik et al. When he won a Grammy, I was a little confused. But then I was forced to read up on Sonny - the challenges he faced with his almost-next-big-thing rock band and losing his voice, which is what led him to electronic music production. His story really inspired me. Also, I read this article where it mentioned that even after playing sold-out big money gigs he would then afterparty with fans and throw impromptu free gigs for them. I thought that's what it's all about - this kid's got class. He's become a leading voice for dance music that breaks thru the shell of EDM and that's why he's got my respect and it's gonna be an honor to open for him on Sunday.

Sanaya Ardeshir (Sandunes)

Skrillex's music has been an all-pervading force - kind of like an energy-field that's reached parts of the globe way before he has. I'm stoked he's in India- it means big things for Skrillex fans all over the country, and I'm really gutted I'm missing his gigs.

Tej Brar (OML)

I genuinely like the newer stuff he is doing with Jack U way more than the previous two solo releases he had. Definitely got respect for the fact that he recognises himself as a pop writer now and has achieved crossover appeal into the mainstream.

Kerry Harwin (music journalist and DJ)

Dubstep was a pretty cool thing that happened in the UK more than a decade ago when drum and bass and garage started to stagnate. Then we Americans got a hold of it and Skrillex decided that it needed to lose most of its reggae roots - replacing its powerful sub-bass with midrange. To the extent that Skrillex can draw more people into different kinds of electronic music, I suppose he's a force for good. But I'd definitely have to be paid to attend his show.

Rahul Giri (Sulk Station/_RHL)

I am really not into the whole screetchstep scene. Dont listen, cant dance to, dont care.

Samrat Bee (Audio Pervert)

This is what I wrote 3 years ago when some people suggested that Skrillex is the new name in the electronic music world.

It’s a bit stupid if not unreasonable to build so much hype and hoopla around industrialised and predictable pop music. The trend reflects how decrepit the Indian scene is to suck up to a totally no-brain sound.

Akshay Bhalla (Euphoric Mag)

Skillex as a producer is one those unpredictable artists who is capable of releasing something entirely ground breaking or a track which serves as fan-service for his commercial audience. Having said that, I like that version of Skrillex who is capable of performing an unpredictable set in an intimate atmosphere.

Gaurav Raina (GRAIN/Midival Punditz)

I'm really excited to open for him and hear his set. Bass in your face - hopefully!

Bhanuj Kappal (BAJAAO)

He's a pretty big name when it comes to the commercial EDM industry, so it's a coup for the organisers. It's a great bit of business. That said, Skrillex's music is not something that gets me excited; I find it pretty boring and formulaic. There's so much more interesting and original electronic music out there, and I hope to see more innovative acts coming down. Flying Lotus at Weekender and the Giorgo Moroder & Tycho gigs are much more up my street.

Ambika Muttoo (writer)

Last year I was at EMC in Sydney with Nikhil Chinappa. We found out that Skrillex was playing at this secret party later and decided to go.

He was performing in this grimy little basement club to an intimate crowd of not more than 200 people and it was one of the most mental, fun parties. For someone that big to go back to basics and engage with a small crowd in the way he did was really something special. I actually managed to meet Skrillex the next day and he’s one of the nicest people ever. His India tour is obviously going to be a very different experience since its on such a large scale, but I’m definitely attending.

Skrillex is currently on tour in India. Details for each city here.

Words: Diya Gupta

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09 October 2015

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