The week of April 20th marked two significant historical events.
- Posted on Dec 3rd 2010 1:00PM by Jesse Ship
"The club scene is quite small in India," Jalebee Cartel member Arjun Vagale -- a veteran club DJ of 14 years himself -- tells Spinner. "It's only developed over the past five or six years, and now India is finally on the world map as a DJ destination. Prior to this change, we had a world-class DJ come once every six months, but now they come practically every week."
But this achievement was still an uphill battle, perhaps of epic proportions, even.
"97 percent of all music sales in India are Bollywood, and the rest are made up of all other genres; dance music is a very tiny fraction of what's left," explains Vagale. "We partnered with Smirnoff many years ago, and they have been a great help in developing the scene into something substantial."
Aside from the psy-trance bastion of Goa, developing India into a destination music scene has been a challenge. Strict limitations on the country's heavily-policed party scene (some clubs close as early as 11PM) has put a damper on the efforts. "India has some very strange rules -- there are laws in some cities that say you can't have music playing outdoors after 10PM, even," he says. "To compensate, people in Bangalore have been going out to party early; outside of Goa, we don't have many all-nighter festivals."
As an electronic-based band made primarily of seasoned club DJs, it did not take long for Jalebee Cartel to break into the international scene. But they were still quite lucky.
"We put out our first set of songs on MySpace in 2006, and were quickly discovered by a label in Switzerland. What caught their attention was a melodic breakbeat track called 'Beautiful Rising,'" says Vagale. "We hadn't even been shopping for a label at this point."
Part of Jalebee's strategy is to keep their dance-friendly styles ever-changing so that they are able to release on multiple labels in a shotgun style approach, thus increasing their arsenal of singles. In doing so, the group has been receiving accolades for their production since their earliest releases, and have had their tracks played in clubs around the globe by the likes of Richie Hawtin, Josh Wink, Pete Tong and Tiesto.
"Our music is pure and simple dance music. We try to stay away from the fact that, just because we're Indian, we have to have Indian influences -- we didn't hear a lot of traditional Hindi music growing up."