BANGALORE: Known the world over for their manic, big-room electro-house productions like Rolling Stones T-shirt, Kick Out The Epic Motherf***er, Feed the Dada, Born To Rage and remixes like Big Bad Wolf, Dada Life have over the past couple of years become one of dance music’s most exhilarating and fun acts to watch and follow. Their dramatic blend of chest-thumping, roof-smashing beats and theatrics - think giant, inflatable bananas and bottles of bubbly - make them an not-to-be-missed treat to watch.
Dada Life released their debut album, Just Do the Dada in 2009 and were voted the 89th most popular act according to DJ Magazine’s annual poll of the 100 hottest dance music acts. With appearances at all major music festivals, their rise to eminence was noted by all when they were joined by Dutch dance music legend Tiësto on their nation-wide tour of the United States, who was on his own Tiësto’s College Invasion Tour 2012. Their second album, The Rules of Dada was another huge success - it quickly reached #1 on the iTunes Dance charts - and cemented their place in dance music pantheon.
Firm believers in the philosophy of Dada Life - “Destroy dance music and have fun. Don’t look back in the past. Always go forward. Don’t think too much. Always follow the money. Do the Dada” - the duo in 2013 started a petition asking the United Nations recognize Dada Life’s fictitious nation of Dada Land as a sovereign country. Though their request never officially made it to the UN, their passports were seized by the Swedish government, leading to them missing their show at Ultra Music Festival.
Undeterred, they celebrated March 6, 2014 as Dada Land Independence Day. On October 26, 2013, Dada Life broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest pillow fight at a Dada Land Compound event at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago that saw 3,813 people taking part.
The Swedish duo, Olle Corneer and Stefan Engblom, were in Bangalore on June 6, specially brought down by Nikhil Chinappa under the Submerge banner, performing at The Royal Orchid. City Express caught up with Stefan for a quick chat before the gig. Excerpts follow.
We met at a chili cook-off here in Sweden and we started talking music and suddenly we were like, “Oh you make dance music? I make dance music!” So we decided to meet up the next day, and we made a track, which was actually the first Dada Life release. It was called Big Time.
We came from two different sides or spectrums of dance music. I was making music on my own but I preferred the harder sound, Olle, who was also making music, came from a more softer sound. And when we came together is when the Dada Life sound was born.
Our sound is high-energy kiddy pop but most people call it EDM. I think people make a mistake when they try and classify our sound because we don’t care about genres and labels. We only make music that makes us happy.
The biggest musical inspiration for us is to try and capture a moment. When we are in the DJ booth and we play a track and we look at someone and if we see pure happiness, joy in someone’s eyes, we try and capture that little moment and bring that back to the studio and make a whole track out of it. When it comes to other artists, we love listening to Little Richard. We love his voice, his high-energy tracks and we’ve actually reached out to him for a collaboration. But we haven’t heard from him.
Dada land rules
Some are ways of life, like cheating is winning. Some are practical, like no BBQ - or Indian food for that matter - before a gig. But the most important of them all is probably: don’t trust us.
Trip to India
We don’t know anything about the EDM scene in India, but we can see on Twitter and Facebook that the buzz is crazy so we’re really looking forward to coming over.
We have heard from other DJs that Indian fans are the craziest, and that suits us. We have been looking forward to this tour for so long now! We have a couple of aces up our sleeve. It will be insane! We haven’t really planned anything.
Right now we’re finishing our next single: One Smile. We will also release an album - at least some sort of an album - this summer or early fall. Next up, we have something called the Dada Land: Voyage Tour.