The multi-dimensional Indrajeet Jadeja, known as Ind Ra, a true visionary and a veteran for 20 years, has won multiple Vh1 Myfav Awards, sowed the seeds of electronica uprising in Gujarat before moving out and playing all around the country and abroad.
Ind Ra saw the future of Electronic music and brought it to people in Gujarat, India, who did not have access to it almost along with the global growth of the genre and is one of the prime forces behind the promotion of Electronica there for almost two decades.
Ind Ra did various warehouse and underground parties pushing the envelope on the musical front, bringing about a change which included the first Sunburn Festival in Gujarat.
He also produced and is an ex-Founding Partner of CTRL ALT DANCE Goa, a 3 day homegrown Techno festival in Goa which was the first of it’s kind in India. He also is an Ex-GM at Chill Om Records, Curator of Soundtribes Festival, Holi Reloaded Festival and now runs his own House & Techno record label, Desert Disco Records, in London.
Hi Indrajeet, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! How are you?
Hey guys, really good to speak with you. I have been well, glad that things are getting better and looking forward to clubs and concerts being back on.
Where are you in the world right now?
I am in London currently. I moved here from India last year and am slowly getting used to the unpredictable weather, the vibrant music scene and the picturesque country side.
Can you give us a bit of a background story of what your journey has been to get to where you are currently?
That would be a very long journey as it would travel across 20 years. Started in Baroda, a city in the only state in India (Gujarat) where alcohol was prohibited. No clubs, no electronic scene so to speak, I started out playing for friends. We slowly built a small underground scene, privates parties and invitees only events. I was into Trance initially and was exposed to early Dutch and German trance but slowly got into House & Techno after a few visits to Goa, which had an insane electronic music scene. I molded myself towards house and start touring, playing numerous clubs and festivals all across India and beyond. It has been a long, interesting journey and I am glad it has brought me to the country behind the rise of the genres.
Can you tell us about the best gig or gigs you’ve ever played?
Over a period of time, certain gigs do stand out. I think one of my favorites was definitely playing for Universal Religion Festival in Nepal, on the foothills of Himalayas. It was the highest dance floor in the world, this was around 2012. The lineup had the biggest trance DJs on the planet. That journey, the gig itself, the set up and the venue, all in was a very surreal experience. It was at a resort on a tabletop surrounded by ravines and valleys; and you could see the villages and streams from the stage and behind you, back you had the Himalayas mountain range. I also enjoy playing the Sunburn festival in Goa, which is DJ Mag number 1 festival in Asia and 27th in the world. The best part apart from playing a set in front of thousands of people is the atmosphere backstage in the artist village. You can walk to up anyone, have a talk. It’s pretty amazing. I am hoping to add on to this experience here in UK and Europe in the near future. I also have to mention Sandscape festival, which is hosted in the sand dunes of royal city of Jaisalmer, and is supported by HRH the King of Jaisalmer. They even hosted a recent Cercle livestream from the palace. It is a joy to play on the dunes with a full moon.
As someone who has continually pushed the sound of electronic music in India, can you tell us a bit about the scene there? What is it like compared to when you were first starting out?
When I started out, the electronic music scene mostly consisted of amazing psytrance parties in the forests and beaches of Goa, Kasol, Gokarna, Rishikesh, Nepal etc. There was no concept of touring DJs and the clubs were only as good as the resident DJs playing there. The residents were the stars back then and it was considered an honour to have residencies in top clubs. I was from a state where alcohol is prohibited, so there were no clubs to festivals so to speak off back then. After throwing a few warehouse parties, and private gigs with friends and common minded people, we brought some big festivals to the state with some of the Top DJs on the planet. I am glad to say, we have numerous festivals in Gujarat now. The music scene now is amazing, India has some brilliant talented producers, and some absolute magicians on the console. I am hoping to release a few of them and help them get noticed.
You recently started your label Desert Disco Records. How has it been running your own imprint?
It’s been different to be honest. Apart from the mission behind starting the label, which is to push upcoming talents and help them release good music, I am also learning to balance the business part of it. It is important to see it as a business, otherwise I have known a lot of labels that have started off well but slowly died off due to no incoming revenue. It’s just been 5 months since the inception; we already have some top releases. My first single with the label is currently 57 on the Beatport Melodic Techno charts, so pretty satisfied with that.
What are your goals with the label?
The primary goal is to release good music, on the lines of what I would actually play in my sets. After 20 years of DJing, you do get an ear for the sound that work; and I think I can put out some good records which will do well. Apart from that, I want to collaborate with my friends who are some of the most brilliant producers in India and get some upcoming talents a platform to release music and get noticed by the cream of performing artists and producers.
You’ve got your release ‘New Orleans’ coming out on the imprint soon. How was it making the track after spending such a long time away from live shows?
The record has got some really good early support and has reached 48 on the Melodic Techno hype charts. I played my last gig in March 2020 alongside Rafael Cerato for High tide festival in Mumbai; it’s been a long time since. When you do the same thing for 20 years or more, it does leave an empty space in your life. Thankfully, I filled it up by working on my production skills, which I am still bettering. I worked with a lot of different artists and have a lot of music set to release in the coming months.
Was there any specific inspiration behind the record?
I started working on this record early last year; it has evolved a few times. I usually like to make tracks which fit my sets at that period. I think I was playing a couple of Boris Brejcha bangers in the middle of my sets, and had that in my mind while working on this record. The name comes from a city that has always enchanted me, the mix of voodoo, jazz, parades and the allure of the French quarter, I thought the name went with the dark vibe of the record.
What’s the thing your most excited about when we can return to live shows?
I now hope to start playing for clubs and festivals here in London and then playing across UK and Europe in the coming months. One of the best parts of my life has been getting to travel to new places and the hospitality you get as an artist; I can’t wait to experience that again. Currently, I am just working on releasing all the music I have made during the lockdown.
Have you discovered any records in lockdown that you’re dying to play out?
I have a couple of artists I have on my playlists. I am digging the stuff Brigado crew has been making. I love Nosh & SJ, Stoked and Reverse Osmosis and their recent releases; they are some of the top Indian electronic music producers currently. Classifying all Indian – limitation.
What else have you got coming up that you can tell us about?
My next release is a 3 track EP coming out around August. I have collaborated with some top upcoming Indian producers which should be out soon. I am also working on a rework of a classic trance tune, which should be my major release.