Music

Vh1 Supersonic 2020 goes a notch higher

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In a bid to be more inclusive of different genres, the festival boasts of headliners like Machine Gun Kelly and Sampa The Great

Ever since 2017 when a white rapper and hitmaker named Macklemore made his India debut, Vh1 Supersonic was viewed as the music festival that would go beyond its electronic music roots. Now three years on, there’s another white rapper – Machine Gun Kelly – occupying the headliner space for the three-day festival’s seventh edition, to be held next month in Pune.

The 29-year-old musician (and actor, if you saw him in Netflix’s Bird Box and the Motley Crue biopic The Dirt) has been active for about a decade now, but Machine Gun Kelly (real name Colson Baker) found global fame only in the last five years. Whether it’s filling the role of a typical bad boy on songs like ‘Bad Things’ with singer Camila Cabello or matching the energy that artists like Papa Roach, Blink 182’s Travis Barker or Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda bring, Machine Gun Kelly makes for a high-energy headliner for Supersonic. Perhaps most recently in 2018 was when more fans in India were familiar with him, when he started a beef with rapper Eminem on ‘Rap Devil’, which was a response to the veteran artist’s takedown on the song ‘Not Alike’.

With a little bit of new also comes the very familiar – super-producer and DJ Diplo has also been announced to perform at Vh1 Supersonic 2020. It was just about five years ago in December 2014 that Diplo’s over-the-top twerk-friendly dancehall and EDM group Major Lazer made their India debut at Vh1 Supersonic’s Arcade tour edition, but he’s clearly always ready to hop on a plane to India. We’re not just talking about how Diplo brought his global event property Mad Decent Block Party to India in 2016, but also how Major Lazer’s smash hit ‘Lean On’ was partly shot in Karjat and Vasai. Diplo said at the time of the video release in a press statement, “India is special and its beauty absolutely humbled me. […] India feels like some kind of special creature with one foot in history and one firmly in the future. The experience is something we’ll never forget.”

Making her India debut at Vh1 Supersonic is rising hip-hop star Sampa The Great, who has roots in Zambia and lived in Australia. Coming to India on the back of her critically acclaimed album The Return, expect buoyant vibes that’s likely to start a party. For the more devoted electronic music fans, the festival still keeps its promise by programming Dutch techno veteran Speedy J, American EDM DJ-producer Gryffin and Dutch house music duo Magnificence.

There might have been a huge delay in announcing their lineup this time around – for reasons that remain unknown – but Vh1 Supersonic is finally adding its worth to the February calendar of music festivals. Curator and co-founder Nikhil Chinapa says it’s about staying ahead of the curve and throwing surprises at fans each time with the lineup, while also “going a notch higher”. He adds that the festival is banking on superhit makers this time around. “Diplo’s recent releases include a string of global hits and collaborations with music’s A-listers and Machine Gun Kelly’s new single has smashed past the 100 million streams mark in the blink of an eye,” Chinapa says. With the full line-up yet to be revealed, Chinapa hints that they’ll introduce a K-Pop group for the first time at Vh1 Supersonic and become “more inclusive” with regards to genres.

Vh1 Supersonic 2020 will be held from February 7 to February 9 at Laxmi Lawns, Pune

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:11:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/vh1-supersonic-2020-goes-a-notch-higher/article30578179.ece

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