Last year, Olle Corneer and Stefan Engblom, of the electronic dance music (EDM) act Dada Life were stopped from travelling out of their home country, Sweden, because they petitioned the United Nations to recognise their make-believe country Dada Land as a sovereign nation. The duo thrives on absurdity. This is visible in their live shows where champagne and bananas are recurring motifs, or on the web where they use their wacky sense of humour while interacting with fans. Before Mumbai gets a dose of the Dada madness this Sunday, Engblom talks about his partnership with Corneer, the EDM scene and how they can’t make music without having fun.
How did you meet Corneer?
We met at a chilli cook-off in Sweden and started talking. We realised we both make dance music and decided to meet the following day. Together, we made a track, which became the first Dada Life release, Big Time.
Did Sebastian Bach of Skid Row approach you for your latest track Born to Rage or was it the other way around?
Olle and I wrote the whole track, the melody and the lyrics. And then we wanted a vocalist who could carry that track. We wanted a fresh sound, fresh voice, someone who hadn’t done any dance music collaborations before. Sebastian was one of the first names we thought of.
Tell us a little about the evolution of your sound.
Our sound is high-energy kiddie 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.
Do gigs without the absurdities bore you?
Our shows are like big children’s birthday parties. We love having fun. Leave your brain at home. We love what we do with the crowd. We feed off each other’s good energy and together become one dysfunctional family.
The comedy show Saturday Night Live spoofed the electronic music scene recently. Their argument was that EDM is more about the spectacle than the music. You believe strongly in the show experience. What are your thoughts on it?
We actually discussed it on our Facebook page — we just started something called ‘Discussions with Dada’, where we bring up topics that need to be spoken about. We used the footage of the show and had a long discussion with our fans about it. What did we think of the footage? I think people take themselves too seriously. They could’ve done a better job at making it more fun. The dance music/ EDM scene is about having a good time. For us, the music and having fun feeds off each other.
What have you heard of India, and what kind of madness can we expect at the tour here?
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. Olle and I have been talking so much about the food. Music-wise, we always have a few new songs that we will try out, so you should always be ready for new stuff.
Dada Life performs at Kitty Su’s PleasureDome, The Lalit on Sunday, 4 pm onwards.