CHENNAI: The city that shuts by night. It’s time to rebuff such myths about Chennai — the only city in India where the party can go on from dawn to dusk. While Bengaluru recently got the license to extend its parties till 1 am, Mumbai and Delhi enjoy the limited liberty of 3 am. That said, it is still not appropriate to call the city the party capital of India. Why? The reason is there are not enough party-goers in the city, says Ripin Kohli, co-head of the EDM Chennai group. While you digest this irony, he adds, “But the city is indeed the techno capital!”
Unlike in other cities where people generally head out to a gig to drink or socialise, in Chennai, music is the first reason, he says. However, the number of such people is less — a total of just 500, he approximates. “They are genuinely interested in underground music. So even if it is a small crowd, it has 100 per cent energy,” he says, reminding us about the recent Sunburn Reload party at the VGP Golden Beach Resort. “But yes, there is still a crowd that asks for commercial numbers whenever an underground DJ plays,” he says with a laugh.
Clearly, things have taken a huge turn over the past couple of years. While earlier, the city had just one international DJ coming a year, now there is someone coming down every month. “Also, I think since in Chennai, the gig can go on till 6.30 am or 7 am, they have more freedom to experiment with their music,” he says. He quotes examples of some big names such as Marco Bailey, Surana and Jewel Kid, who have visited the city in the recent past.
Ripin and his team at EDM Chennai prepare a chart of all the gigs happening over the weekend and post it on the Facebook group, which has more than 2,500 members. The group, which started in October last year to promote Electronic Dance Music, now works on promoting gigs, conducting contests and also selecting an artiste of the month. The group hosted the Marco Bailey gig at Westin recently and have promoted 15 gigs in just the last one year.
While the number of DJs in the city is fast increasing, with schools like Cuespin and Skratchlab providing training, and DJs like Ali G and Zuby Khan taking the upcoming artistes under their wing, the number of producers is still a low.