Photo courtsey: Yushy
When the pandemic hit us and confined us to limited spaces, we all found ways to stay in touch with the people we loved and the people we worked with. The live entertainment industry was one of the biggest victims of the lockdown which disrupted an entire ecosystem of the people who were involved in it from bottom to top of the live events food chain.
While a large portion of the industry was still struggling, many artists found ways to interact with their audiences and eventually monetize their interactions. Artists began using Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Twitch, Zoom, and all other platforms that offered them the opportunity to sing, DJ, joke, or showcase the skills that they are good at.
12 months later, the virtual approach is said to be the future of live entertainment but the brainchild behind live setups started in 2010 when Blaise Belville, the founder of Boiler Room took an old dusty CDJ [CD Turntable] and started broadcasting his DJ sets through a webcam.
11 years on, Boiler Room is 8 million strong across all its media channels and with its ‘Keep it real’ way of hosting gigs that feature the most unique underground setups, they have given us some of the finest DJ sets we have seen over the years.
Boiler Room is also responsible for advancing the careers of some of the most talented selectors in the world today. The concept has inspired many entities, giving birth to Mixmag’s In The Lab and Cercle, who have taken the virtual game to a whole new level by infusing cultural heritage and landmarks into their live sets.
With over 8000 performances, by more than 7,000 artists, spanning across 250 cities, including Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi, where they have hosted some thrilling lineups since its first edition in 2016, Boiler Room is the biggest and most ambitious virtual party there is. Coming back to its birthplace, the UK, which has a prominent British Asian or South Asian music community, had seen less than a handful of artists booked for Boiler Room shows in the last 10 years; a hiatus which was broken this summer with Daytimers’ Boiler Room takeover.
The Daytimers are a UK based South Asian collective who are at the forefront of showcasing and celebrating South Asian artistry. The term Daytimers comes from a time when British Asians partied during the day as a result of laws, regulations, and home times, situations an Indian kid often encounters during childhood and teenage years.
Before performing at Boiler Room, Daytimers had previously joined forces to support India’s COVID-19 relief efforts after the country was ravaged by the second wave in April 2021.
This was followed by a Bandcamp compilation where the Daytimers crew collaborated with Stamp The Wax, a London based electronic music magazine for a 15-track compilation with all the proceeds going directly to foundations like Hemkunt, Goonj and Citta India.
The Daytimers Takeover was Boiler Room’s first outdoor event in over 16 months, and Yung Singh’s entourage featuring SUCHI, Chandé, DJ Gracie T, Saachi and Rohan Rakhit didn’t disappoint.
First in the middle were Saachi and Rohan Rakhit for a b2b and they dropped some dark and melodic cuts by Soichi Terada, Marcellus Wallace, Traumer, before seamlessly blending in South Asian elements from Ahadadream, Suburb Beat, and Panjabi MC.
SUCHI who was up next carried the same beat pulse and started with the Disco Reboot of Runa Laila’s Disco Premee followed by a host of tunes from Rafiki, Monophonik, R.O.S.H, Yourboykiran before closing the set with her breakbeat heater ‘Gula I Deg’.
When Gracie T and Chandé took control of the decks, they looked like they were on a mission and they tore the place apart through a power-packed set full of Breakbeat and Punjabi UKG cuts and some solid unreleased music from the Daytimers crew. For the full tracklist of Gracie T and Chandé’s electric b2b, head to DJ Gracie T’s Instagram page.
Yung Singh – the man entrusted to close the takeover – set off a full-frontal assault just with his first tune, by dropping a mash-up of Panjabi MC’s Kori and Benga’s seminal tune “Night”. He continued his expeditions by bringing his homeland to Boiler Room and played some unapologetic renditions of the best Punjabi tracks with breakthrough remixes that were fused with modern-day Breakbeat, UKG, and Dubstep.
The cherry on the cake was when Yung Singh ended his set with the evergreen Punjabi song “Kangna Tera Ni” and brought the dance floor to its knees.
After a month since The Daytimers raised the Boiler Room’s roof, their sets have continued to be talked about and replayed in India by artists and fans alike, and it doesn’t look like the conversations will stop for the foreseeable future. After this historic breakthrough, we can’t wait to see what the Daytimers bring next.
We wish the New Asian Underground a very Zindabad