India a hotbed for music talent in the west: Aneesh Gera

Candolim (Goa), Dec 30 (IANS) From the beaches of Goa to the clubs of Britain, Aneesh Gera has travelled a long way with his sound box. The DJ and dance music producer, who became the first Indian to find a spot in the US Billboard Dance Chart, says music in the country is going in the right direction, earning a reputation of being a “hotbed of talent” on foreign shores.

“They (people from across the globe) know India is a really good hotbed for talent. They know that so much talent is developing and going really well at the moment. When people are asked about India, they say that there is a really good scene staring there,” Gera told IANS on the sidelines of Vh1 Supersonic 2015 here.

Bollywood music and Indian classical tunes have earned global recognition, and Gera points out that other Indian genres are also not in a state of oblivion.

“I have lived in Britain for the last five years. Initially I believed that when I will introduce myself as, ‘Hi, my name is Aneesh Gera. I am from Goa, India’, people in Britain will say, ‘We don’t want bhangra and Bollywood’.

“But I never had to face that thing. At all the venues that I play abroad, people know who I am, they know my sounds and music. So, it’s a misconception that only Bollywood and Indian classical is famous abroad,” he said.

Gera ventured into the world of sounds and beats when he was 17. There’s been no looking back since then.

He has an impressive body of work. He has worked alongside Grammy award-winner Ashanti and other big names like Sultan, D Ramirez, Sonny Wharton, Steve Lawler, John “00” Fleming, Dale Anderson, Jimmy Kennedy, D-Nox, Hanna Hansen, Lee Burridge and Futuristic Polar Bears.

Another milestone of Gera’s career was reworking on Grammy nominee Eddie Amador’s soundtrack “Awake”.

Gera is opening for Swedish DJ Axwell at the third edition of ongoing four-day musical extravaganza here on Sunday.

He is happy with the increase in number of international acts in India as he feels that it will “put us on the world map as a serious music country”.

“So, the more the merrier,” he said, adding: “People here are opening to more genres, they are catching up. Indian fans are getting glued up so when festivals announce line up and they see a name they don’t recognize they Google it. It’s a good sign.”

But electronic dance music (EDM) fests are often considered to be a place for hippies and a haven for drug abuse. The death of a youngster at an EDM concert in Gurgaon earlier this year added to the whole debate.

Gera feels this has been a belief for long as “music has always been associated with drugs” and the way out is being “clever, smart and responsible”.

For the coming year, he plans to go on an India tour with his record label UltraViolet Music, which he co-owns with DJ Paul Thomas.

“We have signed a few artistes, which do have Indian names as well. We are pushing Indian talent. We will make an announcement in February next year,” he said.

(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at sugandha.r@ians.in)

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