Bombay Showcase

An EDM carnival

Major Lazer are well known for their extravagant, over-the-top live performances.  

The year 2015 was a big year for the globe-trotting dancehall-meets-electronica-meets-everything else act Major Lazer and the group’s ringleader Diplo. They provided us with the song of the summer ‘Lean On’, which became Spotify’s most-streamed track of 2015 on the back of a fantastic music video shot on the outskirts of Mumbai. Jack Ü, Diplo’s side project with Skrillex, reached No 8 on the US charts with ‘Where R U Now’, an unexpected collaboration with pop star Justin Beiber. Diplo ended 2015 as the most Shazam-ed artist of the year.

For 2016, Diplo and Major Lazer are going even more global, taking their wild, schizophrenic musical offerings to new shores. In March 2016, Major Lazer will become the first major US act to play in Cuba since the resumption of ties between the two countries. But before that, they’re returning to India and bringing the Mad Decent Block Party with them for its India debut.Started by Diplo’s label Mad Decent in 2008, the Mad Decent Block Party is a carnival that brings together the best in electronic music, arts and food for one big street party.

“They trusted us to do the Major Lazer tour last year and that went very well,” says Mikhail Mehra, founder of events company Oji, which is co-producing the tour. Mehra also handles Mad Decent’s operations in India and co-produced the ‘Lean On’ music video. “That was quite an intense and amazing tour and the next step was to bring Mad Decent Block Party to India,” he adds.

“India and the people are amazing,” says Diplo about the decision. “It just feels like we want to build here! It’s happening... India is riding the wave!”

Sunburn, Percept Live’s dance music brand, is co-producing the tour alongside Oji as part of their plans for their 10th anniversary celebrations. “Sunburn has always been part of bringing the big names in electronic music to India,” says CEO Karan Singh. “Right now it feels like the market is oversaturated with EDM acts but with Mad Decent Block Party we’re bringing down something very unique and different.”

Major Lazer and Mad Decent Block Party are well known for their extravagant, over-the-top live performances: expect confetti guns, inflatable animals bouncing around, vuvuzelas, and dancers twerking and shimmying their way across the stage to the sounds of Moombahton, reggae, trap hip hop and even pop. Between them and the other international acts, the audience will be treated to some of the most interesting, cutting-edge sounds electronica.

The organisers have gone in a slightly different direction when it comes to the Indian artists on the lineup. Su Real is a DJ and producer who specialises in trap and hip-hop, while Naezy and Divine are two of the city’s most exciting young rappers. “Hip hop has always been an important part of Mad Decent,” explains Mehra. “India has a lot of rappers but most of them aren’t very exciting. Naezy and Divine, though, blew me away when I came across their video (‘Meri Gully Mein’).”

Mehra wouldn’t give away any of the surprises they have planned for the audience in Mumbai, but he did have one tip. “Try to make it to the after-parties,” he says. “We’ve got some special things lined up for those.”

Tickets start at Rs 1,950, and are available at at

The author is a freelance writer

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 4:26:49 PM |

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