Following the excitement of Lollapalooza India’s debut edition, we reached out to a few of the incredible artists and performers who took the stage to get their comments on the two-day event! In this feature, we had a word with hip-hop artist Hanumankind, electronic artist, composer, and pianist Sandunes, rapper SIRI, pop sensation sister duo Simetri (Riya and Simran Duggal), singer-songwriter Tejas, rapper and songwriter Tracy De Sa, and trumpeter James Miranda of the horn ensemble Bombay Brass.
Most artists on the roster are also used to playing extensive sets, but keeping up with the festival slots had artists accommodating select songs as part of their 30-45 minute sets on all stages. Performing artists were also pleased to see the mix of Indian independent, signed, and international artists on the roster, living up to the festival’s expectations of a ‘well-balanced’ line-up. While Indian attendees caused some backlash related to the line-up, the thousands of people who swarmed Mahalakshmi Race Course made it feel quite the opposite. All stages had an audience, except those avoiding the sweltering heat for a couple of hours on day 1, but definitely still showing up to support their favorite acts.
Image via Lollapalooza India Facebook
Riya and Simran Duggal, known better by their stage name Simetri, were a part of the NEXA Showcase performances as they had championed the first season of NEXA Music. For them, the festival was a portal for people to discover many new Indian artists they probably hadn’t heard of before, reaffirming how our country is full of unique talent. They also added, ”We get to check off ‘Performing at an internationally renowned music festival’ on our bucket lists!” Since the duo’s performances include singing and dancing, they incorporated choreography with two backing dancers.
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It was surely an exhilarating experience for many artists performing. When talking about how the audience was receptive to performances, hip-hop artist Tracy De Sa said, ”It was an incredible feeling. The public was surprised. My music talks about Pussy Power, and people did not expect me to bring up these topics, but they were super interested and hyped about it.”
Hanumankind, who was seen stage-hopping on both days of the festival, was primarily performing with his band Till.Apes. He also made appearances in Parimal Shais’ set at the Perry’s Stage, and House of Hashbass’ festival closing set at the Nexa Stage. When talking about the festival’s debut edition and celebrating Indian talent, he said, “The Lollapalooza name as a festival is one that all artists know and respect around the world, and I think they did a great job with their first year in India.”
Bengaluru phenom SIRI put up one of her best performances, one that was truly fit for a headlining slot. Expressing her happiness over being able to play at such an iconic festival, she told us her goal was to have a well-executed, tight set, with dancers and visuals tailored to keep the audiences engaged. She said, “Everyone was quite immersed into the set, I had their attention and couldn’t stop grooving.” James Miranda of Bombay Brass added how he had never been a part of anything like it before, as the band brought their collaborative project to the BudX main stage.
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Many artists chose to use the festival stage as a platform to put on an even bigger experience than they usually would. Singer-songwriter and composer Tejas put together a fantastic ensemble of performers. “We expanded our band lineup to include a bigger vocal section and horn section. The set was also designed with our timeslot in mind, to keep the music as upbeat and energetic as possible,” he said. Sandunes’ set was one of the most talked-about performances. She told us, “Sandunes live has more recently evolved into a shape-shifting collective. Considering it was a big festival stage in my home city, I pulled together a special lineup with a three-piece horn section and some of my favorite vocal collaborators.” Both Sandunes and Tejas played similar slot timings during sunset on different days of the festival.
Headlining performances were the highlight of everyone’s time at Lollapalooza India. The Strokes remain the top act for Hanumankind and Tejas, while Tracy said, as a visitor from Paris, how Divine set the bar high for Indian hip-hop music worldwide. Sandunes expressed how amazing it was to have MC Altaf perform live with her for the first time on their collaborative track ‘Don’t Ask.’ “He’s an absolute legend and we’ve never performed together before – something I’ll remember really fondly,” she said.
In the hope of a bigger edition of the festival, all artists were also excited to mention how they’d like to see more indie bands, pop and hip-hop artists in the future. The debut edition also looked like it saw over 60,000 attendees over two days, according to Billboard. Lollapalooza India already announced they’d be back for a second edition in 2024, so keep an eye out for more announcements from them soon!
Find the artists online: Sandunes | Tejas | Hanumankind | Simetri | SIRI | James Miranda | Tracy De Sa
Cover image credits – photos by Alric Fernandes (Tejas), Saas (SIRI) and Fleck Media (Bombay Brass)