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Ramona, Sood take on the world with new EP
NIDHI GUPTA  3rd Aug 2013

Anish Sood with Nikhil Chinappa at Submerge festival, 2013

ndia's EDM scene may be small at the moment, compared with that in Western countries, but it is definitely on the rise, both in terms of composition and audience. Anish Sood, by now a famous DJ and producer in his own right, perfectly epitomises this moment on the Indian music timeline. His latest EP Hello World, produced in collaboration with Ramona Arena, was released last month on the Dutch record label 925 Music. It peaked on the iTunes India chart at number 4, and made it to their top 100 tracks list worldwide within a couple of weeks of its release.

Hello World is Sood and Arena's second collaboration, after Wanna Be Your Only Love, which was released last year. "Last time, I'd built the music around Ramona's lyrics, but this time it was the other way round," says Sood. "She understands that unlike other forms of music, EDM stresses on the beats, keeping vocals in the background. It's a little tricky to write music like that," he adds.

Arena, most popularly remembered as a VJ on MTV in its pre-Splitsvilla and Roadies days, says she has been singing all her life and likes to keep it versatile. "I enjoy all genres of music with very limited exceptions, and I've literally grown up listening to electronic music," she says, adding that her familiarity with the form started professionally when she sang for Mexican composer Rickber Serrano's Feel.

Hello World is a song written from a happy place in life, she muses. Sood's signature expansive beats only enhance the track's 'bounce' factor, already making it quite a favourite on dance floors across the world. The 'summer dub remix', also done by Sood, gives it a lighter, day-on-the-beach feel. Next month, they will release the second part of the EP, which will feature remixes by DJs like Aneesh Gera and Jimmy Kennedy, and Shane Mendonsa.

When asked why they opted to have a foreign label release their songs, Sood says it was to maximise exposure. "The Indian dance music industry is rather small-scale. EDM is yet to find big banner patrons and the existing ones can't give us the kind of exposure we want," he explains.

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