Above and Beyond are ready for Bollywood
Paavo Siljam ki, one third of the popular Electronic Dance Music group, Above & Beyond, tells Dhara Vora of their desi leanings before their four-city India tour
When we pose the question to check about which of the three DJs from Above & Beyond (A&B) is on call, Paavo Siljamäki chuckles away his answer, “The nerdy one.” Along with Jono Grant and Tony McGuinness, this EDM group have been together since 2000.
Not many survive this long. So, we asked Siljamäki about their secret, “We fight and we make up! I haven’t thought of our careers, individually, and I feel that our real power lies in being part of a group.” The group shares a bond with India; their label, Anjunabeats, is named after Goa’s popular haunt, Anjuna beach.
“The beach is known to attract people from different parts of Europe, be it Berlin, London, and the US, globally. Our music too, is a melting pot of different sounds from around the world,” explains the Finnish DJ.
A&B have regularly toured India, and Siljamäki accepts the difference in the music scene since they first landed here. “India has made its mark on the world map of Dance music. It is one of the powerhouses. Initially, you could see the difference in the sounds preferred by people from across the globe. But now, thanks to the Internet, people have access to more music and are discovering Dance music from around the world, which has led to its popularity. The difference in music preferences has almost vanished,” maintains Siljamäki.
Currently, A&B, who are known for their hit tracks such as Sun and Moon, are experimenting with acoustic sounds for their performances: “We had Alex Vargas on vocals and 16 musicians on stage. It was great.” However, they won’t be trying this for their India gigs. Currently No 17 on DJ Mag’s list of top 100 DJs, we asked him about his take on rankings and their influence on the careers of DJs: “Ten years ago, DJ Mag was influential. Now, it’s just one of several things. It is great for new people on the scene as it is a way for them to be recognised.”
On his India connect, Siljamäki reveals that they’ve always been influenced by traditional Indian music arrangements. “In the UK, Bollywood is all around us. Our trips are all about making good friends. If someone approaches us to remake a Bollywood track, we are open to it.”
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