Jalebee Cartel: The Fun-Tastic Four

Image + Interview Livescape Asia

India is definitely not new to the dance music scene. While most of us are more familiar with the party scene there, we often overlook that their music industry isn’t all Bollywood. Jalebee Cartel has challenged the notion that dance music is dominated by the Western world by singlehandedly putting India on the international EDM map. Jalebee Cartel is made out of 4 members, which includes Arjun Vagale (laptop, mixing, electronics), Ash Roy (vocals, percussions), Ashvin Mani Sharma (laptop, synths), and Arjun (bass guitar). Having rocked individual gigs as well as live gigs, they’re not your average dance act (just look at the instruments they bring along to the stage). Singles ‘Apartment 88’ had peaked at the #1 spot on Pete Tong’s Bedroom Bedlam Chart and ‘Destiny’ won Best Sunset Soundtrack on BBC Radio. Not a newbie to the festival world, these boys wil be showing Malaysia what’s up at Future Music Festival Asia, but before that, we interrogate them a bit…

Could you guys describe Jalebee Cartel and what your music is all about?
Arjun Vagale Jalebee is a house/techno live act and a DJ Collective from India. Our music is about getting up and dancing!

If you could choose a track of yours that best describes your sound, which one would it be?
Ashvin Sharma I don’t think any one track can define our sound. The band is very versatile and we like to experiment.

What do you think is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
AV There have been so many, and every year brings new and exciting destinations and gigs. Fusion Festival in Germany last year or Tresor this year would be right up there with the best.
Ash Roy The whole journey has been spectacular but playing for Fusion Festival, Germany for over 20,000 people has been the moment for me.
AS I think the biggest highlight would have to be playing at the Fusion Festival. That was a real buzz!
G-Force Arjun Personally for me playing at Fusion Festival on the main stage, Trumbuhne has been the biggest. It was an incredible experience. Also, performing at Paradiso in Amsterdam gave this amazing feeling because we were sitting in the same green room as David Gilmore and Roger Waters.

What can people expect from your show at Future Music Festival Asia?
AV Unadulterated dance music.
AR And a lot of energy!

You guys are obviously very used to playing festivals around the world, what is the most unique one you’ve played at before?
AS Again it would have to be the Fusion Festival in Germany. It is a true underground festival with no sponsors of any kind and one can see and feel the beauty and diversity of music in all its forms.  It’s a real mind expanding festival.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen happen at a festival before?
AV 10,000 people dancing around to a 5 second big band loop for 12 hours… nuts!

Could you give us some tips on surviving a day-long festival?
AV Stay hydrated and keep an open mind.
AS Have an open mind and remember, the decision to have a good time is entirely your own.
AR Stock up!

What are the pros and cons of working as a group?
AV Pros are that four people handle all parts of the music making process and the responsibilities that go with it, cons are when they do not.
AS The pros are quite obvious, four minds are better than one, each of us bring something different to the table. The cons are few and they are not really cons if there is good communication between the group members.

If you guys had to plan your last meal this year (seeing its 2012 and according to the movie, it’s the end of the world) what would it be?
AV My wife’s cooked Chorizo pasta and a Feta Salad with the best Shiraz I can find.
AS A yummy steak dinner!
AR Indian Mutton Curry and rice.
GFA I love food. So it’s tough for me to plan a meal. But if I had to, I guess, my meal would last a few days.

Again, it’s 2012 and according to the movie, we’re supposed to get in special submarine for survival. If that really happened and you weren’t the chosen one, what would be your survival tactic?
AV I’d make sure I get one; they need music on those submarines too.
AS Watch every episode of Man vs. Wild. Bear Grylls is the only one who can help us then.
AR Prepare myself to eat anything and everything.
GFA Hmmm, I’ll use my private super sub. Psst, it’s a secret.

Could you give a shout out to the people who will be coming for FMFA?
Get ready for some banging dance music straight out of India! Big up FMFA!

Find these cartel hitmen at facebook.com/jalebeecartel.