As far as first impressions go, Shailendra Singh comes across as your typical business corporate honcho. But once he starts talking about his love for music, you know that he is more than just the Joint MD of Percept Ltd. Entertainment is his passion and entertainment is what Shailendra lives, eats and breathes.
From envisioning Sunburn to launching DJMag — one of the world’s most popular DJ magazines — in the country to kicking off the Fly Music Fest next month, it is a given that this man is totally into music and he doesn’t think twice before confessing this fact. “In every moment of my life, music has played a major role. From Bollywood to Sufi, from Jon Bon Jovi to John Lennon and Celine Dion, music has been my antibiotic. I get my best ideas when I’m listening to good music; my best parties are when the music is right; best drives with the best CDs playing. I feel music has the power to connect souls without any barriers. And Gangnam Style is the best example to second my thought,” says Shailendra.
Talking about his music festival fundas, he says, “We are the youngest nation where over 60% of
Bangalore, the music capital?
Observes Shailendra, “With some amazing sense of music and awesome fans, I think Bangalore should be made the national music capital or at least South India’s capital for music. Some of the biggest gigs happen here and almost every artiste wants to perform in this city. I think the government should consider promoting music tourism here and Bangalore should open its arms to embrace music lovers from Hyderabad and Chennai.”
the population is below 25 years. Entertainment is the order of the day. And music has the power to unite. So be it rock, EDM, metal or Sufi, my idea was to advocate a festival culture where people can meet and have fun in a natural environment by sharing their common interest — love for music.”
If Sunburn is all about EDM, Fly is going to bring various genres like reggae, rock, metal, blues and hip hop together on the same stage. “For a long time now the fans of live music have been getting a raw deal with all festivals bringing in just one international act in these genres. We wanted to break that tradition and have, therefore, developed Fly on the fan-driven philosophy— ‘of, for and by the fans’. Live music is very different from EDM and Fly will witness the likes of Limp Bizkit, Anthrax, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors, The Wailers, KT Tunstall and many more popular names. So, it’s up to you to make a choice,” explains Shailendra, who confesses that his love for music doesn’t make him the expert. “No matter how much I love and understand it, it doesn’t give me the leeway to bring down whomever I want. When it comes to content and artiste line-up, I hire consultants and bounce off ideas with experts,” he admits.
Ask him about his favourite genre and he says, “I’m a big fan of reggae and a bigger fan of Bob Marley. And over the years, I have developed a liking for EDM because it’s pure music with no lyrics. I’m waiting for the day when we will have that great mix with reggae, hip hop and EDM — just imagine the sound that will have the soul of reggae, energy of EDM and the groove of hip hop.” Going by the popularity of all those huge international music fests, we wonder if any of the Indian properties are inspired by them?
“It’s true that we are influenced by western products, but fortunately we have been successful in creating our own brand of music fests. In fact, for the first four years of Sunburn, I had never been to any of those international fests. But later, I went to Mysteryland and Snowbombing and I was really impressed. That’s when it struck me that in India, we have already created something that huge without being inspired. That’s an achievement,” signs off Shailendra with a palpable sense of pride.