Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook,one of the biggest names in electronic dance music,will play in India tomorrow.
Before the world affiliated its faith to the synchronised segues of David Guetta and the house and techno beats of electronic dance artiste DJ Ambivalent,there was Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook. A British producer and DJ,who turned up the volume in clubs and illegitimate warehouse raves with an automated sound,and who did not even own a computer,created a community experience for many strangers who heard him together.
And suddenly,there was a huge boost in the popularity of dance music,especially in the US so much so that it seemed that it will overcome hip hop and rock. Looking at the last decade,it seems it actually has. Now,years after a world tour,Fatboy Slim is on his maiden official tour to India to make the crowds wobble in groups,at his gig in Gurgaon that has been organised by 6th Dimension Entertainment .
It has taken him a long time to reach this part of the universe. I wasnt convinced there was a scene for our kind of music. I didnt want to come over just to play to expats. I am informed that things are really kicking off in India now,so I thought Id come to check you out, says Cook,who grew up in Surrey while listening to glam rock,punk rock and some disco and hip hop beats.
Starting off as a drummer,Cook won over his fans with some big-beat music and a slew of quirky music videos (remember Weapon of Choice?) in the beginning. He changed names too often (for comfort) and gave us tracks such as Praise You. However,recognition came when he became Fatboy Slim,and he was instantly on top of the EDM scene. Fatboy Slim is an oxymoron. I was always hiding behind different names so that I could have more than one record out with more than one style of music. The anonymity worked fine until Fatboy Slim came along and engulfed all the other personae,in turn,taking up all my time and creativity. Also for the first time,it was my face selling the music, says Cook,who did visit India unofficially a couple of years ago,for a holiday in Goa.
Known for his alcohol problem and his rehab that was enormously talked about,Cook was also in the news for the Big Beach Boutique (a series of free concerts) incident,when a woman in the audience lost her life. But he wants to let bygones be bygones.
Cook says he has a limited knowledge of Indian music and has not heard anything beyond some Bollywood tunes here and there,apart from some collaborative sitar music. As for his favourite music and the tracks that will be a part of his India gig,Cook says that the obvious one would be track The Rockafeller Skank as its one track that has got all the lunacy and the devil-may-care feel to it. He adds that the Indian audience should expect a thumping bass,visual thrills and loads of party antics. The gig,that will take place at Huda Grounds in Gurgaon,will have Arjun Vagale of Jalebee Cartel and Dualist Enquiry open for him.
As for the music that he is listening to,Cook says that for the longest time,he did not even own an iPod. I didnt have an iPod. I havent got a computer. My wife actually bought me an iPod a couple of years ago,so it was a great idea until we realised you need a computer to put anything into it. So Ive got an iPod but Ive got no music on it, says the man,who has also collaborated with bands such as The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy,apart from sgiving numerous dance music tracks to the world.
Fatboy Slim will perform at Huda Grounds on May 5; entry 5 pm onwards. Tickets are available at http://www.bookmyshow.com