Vh1 Supersonic, India’s multi-genre music and lifestyle festival, is gearing up to make a grand return after three years away. A hive of stars will descend on Mahalaxmi Lawns in Pune between February 24-26, serving EDM, rock, techno, dub, hip-hop, and reggae. The 2023 edition will see Anne-Marie, CKay, veteran DJ Bill Brewster, Divine, Sandunes, Bob Moses, duo CamelPhat, Innellea, Luke Slater, Prateek Kuhad, Anyasa, and a bevy of others take to the stage. We take a peek at some of the international and local artists from across genres performing at the three-day festival of music, love, food, and art.
Supersonic festivalgoers can hop on the hook to Anne Marie’s 2018 hit single ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ (with Marshmellow) as the English pop, grime, and R&B singer embarks on her debut tour of India. Her latest single ‘Sad Bitch’ (2023) was also well-received in India, ranking tenth among the most streamed songs by country as shared by Marie on Twitter. Anne Marie also featured on Indian bhangra and hip-hop artist Diljit Dosanjh’s single ‘Peaches,’ from his album ‘Drive Thru’ (2022).
In a bit of foreshadowing, she mentioned wanting to take a trip to India in 2020. The ‘Rockabye’ and ‘Ciao Adios’ singer also takes to the stage in Bengaluru on February 24, 2023, supported by rapper Hanumankind, electronic artist Rumit ‘Kampai’ Virmani, and indie pop duo Ranj x Clifr (Ranjani Ramadoss and Chlipher Christopher).
Anne-Marie sets the stage alive on day three at Supersonic.
Global superstar CKay’s hit single ‘Love Nwantiti’ (2019) has been making waves in India since its release, breaking multiple records, generating a host of viral content, and also becoming the most Shazamed song worldwide. Fanatics of the Nigerian afrobeat, singer-songwriter, and record producer music will finally get a chance to see him perform this track live. At the time of writing, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru are among the top five cities in terms of CKay’s streaming numbers on Spotify.
Ckay (Chukwuka Ekweani) did a breakdown of ‘Love Nwantiti’ with Brut India, explaining the meaning of “Ule” – saying the term is not from any language and is an expression similar to “OMG” or “Damn.”
Ckay performs at Supersonic on day three.
Legendary British disc jockey, historian, and writer Bill Brewster returns to India to lead the Cirque Du Social stage at Supersonic. The record collector also co-wrote ‘Last Night a DJ Saved My Life,’ (1999) a book that traces the disc jockey’s pivotal role in the evolution of popular music.
Speaking about his set in a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone India, Brewster said, “I’m going to bring all the stuff that I normally bring, but I work from a USB stick now, so I’m bringing about 500 songs with me. And then, I’ve brought a few Eastern/Indian-influenced stuff as well, which I’ll try and work into what I’m going to play. So we’ll see.” We’re curious to see what Bill has in store this time!
Catch the legendary dance music wizard on day three.
Armed with hits ‘Love,’ ‘All Exhale,’ ‘Twisted Kind Of Girl,’ and ‘I Can Complete You,’ techno pioneer Luke Slater marks his debut in India behind the deck at Supersonic 2023. Slater has produced music under several aliases throughout his career, including Planetary Assault Systems, The 7th Plain, L.B. Dub Corp, and Clementine. The announcement of English electronic musician and techno great Luke Slater to the Supersonic 2023 line-up received a wave of positive reactions in the comments section on social media. Slater himself tweeted out to his fans, saying, “Looking forward to India later this month! Certainly has been a wish to play there for many years!”
Luke Slater performs at Supersonic on day three.
Supersonic welcomes back Ida Engberg for yet another edition! The Swedish record producer and techno maestro is set to tour India in February 2023, with stops in Goa, Bengaluru, and Pune. The Supersonic festival, where she has become a household name, is the final stop of her tour. Ida Engberg also recently released a house and melodic techno beat ‘Tribute to Orange Clouds’ (January 2023) – her first on British DJ/producer Nicole Moudaber’s MOOD label. Ida Engberg takes to the stage on day three.
Did You Know?: Co-founder and electronic DJ Nikhil Chinapa revealed in a Q&A that the first Supersonic festival (held in Candolim, Goa, back in 2013, and spanning five days) was organized in only 21 days, describing it as “the wildest rollercoaster ride you can imagine!”
Since the age of 14, multitalented singer-songwriter, musician, and actress KAVYA (Kavya Tehran) has been making surges in the Indian music scene. In addition to her vocal talents, KAVYA also has made a name for herself in the genres of R&B, electronic, soul, and indie-pop music. Her most recent release in 2023 was ‘Little Lie,’ with ‘Underscore,’ ‘Affection‘ and ‘Lay Your Head Down‘ being her most popular singles.
Speaking about developing an interest in music, KAVYA told Lifestyle Asia in 2018, “My interest in music developed because of my school, Mirambika, in Delhi. The key ideology that ran amongst our educators was to empower children by creating opportunities in everything that we showed interest in. And the cherry on top was that my mother and sister played very prominent roles in making sure that I had someone to sing with.”
Sunflower Tape Machine
Chennai-based musician Aryaman Singh brings his experimental solo indie rock project Sunflower Tape Machine to the Supersonic 2023 stage. This show also concludes Singh’s ‘Panic Attack‘ mini India tour of 2023. STM’s ‘Sophomore Sweetheart,’ ‘Internet Friends,’ and ‘the end. // the beginning,’ and ‘death, colorized‘ are some of their must-listen projects!
Sunflower Tape Machine spoke to us about their upcoming performance at Supersonic 2023, saying: “So so stoked to be playing Supersonic considering it’s our first commercial festival apart from magnetic fields and our last experience in Pune at High Spirits was mental. We’ve got a bunch of upcoming, unreleased (primarily indie pop and dance) music coming your way at the set and we can’t wait for you guys to witness it live! Really looking forward to Peter Cats’ set too. They’re easily one of my favorite acts and I just have not been able to catch them live yet.”
Picking up from one of the acts Sunflower Tape Machine is excited to see, next on our list is Peter Cat Recording Co.’s singer and guitarist Suryakant Sawhney’s electronic project Lifafa. A former filmmaking student, Sawhney released his self-titled album in 2013. He has produced a number of widely appreciated tracks such as ‘Jaggo,’ ‘Nikamma,’ ‘In Hi Ko‘ and ‘Din Raat.’
Sawhney spoke to Platform Magazine on making music as Lifafa, he said: “Throughout the time I was writing music for Peter Cat Recording Co., I was playing a certain type of music… Jazz, European music, and then at some point, I chanced upon electronic music. With Lifafa, I wanted to venture into that realm. At the time it was amazing because I could make the music that I liked, which was liberating. So as I started that, in the beginning, it was like making electronic music but without any meaning.”
Hear Lifafa perform on day two at the festival.
One of the biggest names in the Indian film industry and a mainstay in the music scene, Farhan Akhtar leaps onstage on day three at Supersonic. The ‘Pain or Pleasure’ singer/songwriter has been a regular feature at several music festivals in India, including IIM Ahmedabad’s Chaos 2023, Udaipur World Music Festival and a guest spot at Mahindra Independence Rock 2022. At Supersonic 2023, the rock musician is set to perform tracks from his ‘Echos’ album as well as other material. Farhan recently announced that he will be taking his Farhanlive tour to Melbourne and Sydney in March 2023.
Vh1 Supersonic takes place between February 24 – 26, 2023. Along with the names mentioned here, spread out over five stages, are a colossal number of artists, musicians, and performers! If you are attending the festival, show them some love and share their music too!