top of page

Stoked presents Sirens EP

In the dynamic world of techno, where music transcends borders, Stoked emerges as a trailblazer blending his Indian roots with pulsating beats. Headlining festivals alongside techno legends like Adam Beyer and Pan-Pot, he's not only the first Indian artist to command stages at Sonne Monde Sterne and Grune Sonne in Germany but also a driving force behind Bitonal, a record label that's reshaping India's electronic music landscape. With chart-topping tracks like "Climax" and upcoming releases on Kenja Records, Stoked continues to push boundaries and amplify India's techno influence on a global scale.

Congratulations on your new EP ‘SIRENS’! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the title track and how your heritage and culture influenced its creation?

Thank you! I'm really excited about 'SIRENS' and the entire EP. The inspiration for the title track came from a desire to blend my Indian heritage with my passion for techno music. I wanted to create something that felt both familiar and fresh, a track that could resonate deeply with my roots while pushing the boundaries of my production.

'SIRENS' features haunting ethnic vocals by Chitralekha Sen, which add a unique and evocative layer to the track. The idea was to merge these traditional sounds with driving peak time techno, creating a fusion that feels both timeless and contemporary. This track is a reflection of my journey as an artist, constantly evolving and drawing from the rich cultural tapestry of India to create something new and powerful.

The process involved a lot of experimentation with different sounds and rhythms, finding the perfect balance between the melodic elements and the raw energy of techno. The result is a track that I'm incredibly proud of.

You've collaborated with Chitralekha Sen on ‘SIRENS’. What was it like working with her, and how did you decide she was the perfect fit for this track?

Working with Chitralekha Sen on ‘SIRENS’ was long time coming and  an incredible experience. Her vocal talent and deep understanding of traditional Indian music brought a unique dimension to the track that was exactly what I was looking for.

When I was conceptualizing 'SIRENS,' I knew I wanted to incorporate haunting, ethnic vocals that could convey both mystery and allure. Chitralekha's voice has a mesmerizing quality that perfectly matched the vision I had for the track. Her ability to infuse emotion into her singing made her an ideal fit.

Our collaboration was very organic. I shared the concept and the rough draft of the track with her, and she immediately understood the vibe I was aiming for. We worked together to blend her vocal parts seamlessly with the techno elements, creating a harmonious balance between the traditional and the modern.

Chitralekha's contributions elevated the track, adding a layer of authenticity and depth. It was a wonderful experience to combine our creative energies and produce something that felt true to both our artistic expressions. I’m thrilled with how 'SIRENS' turned out and grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented artist.

You're the first Indian act to headline festivals like Sonne Monde Sterne, Sea You, Grune Sonne, and the iconic Rave the Planet (ex Love Parade) in Germany. How does it feel to represent India on such prestigious stages, and what has the reception been like from the international audience?

It’s an incredible honour to represent India on such prestigious stages. Being the first Indian act to headline festivals like Sonne Monde Sterne, Sea you, Grune Sonne, and the iconic Rave the Planet (formerly Love Parade) in Germany is a milestone in my career and for the Indian electronic music scene.

Performing on these stages is a dream come true. It feels surreal to share my music and my cultural influences with such diverse and enthusiastic audiences. The international reception has been overwhelmingly positive. People have been very open and appreciative of the unique blend of Indian elements with techno that I bring to my sets. It’s gratifying to see the crowd’s energy and excitement, knowing that my music resonates with them on a deep level.

These experiences have been humbling and inspiring. They reinforce the idea that music is a universal language that transcends boundaries. Representing India on these stages not only showcases the richness of our culture but also paves the way for other Indian artists to strive and make their mark internationally.

The support from the international community has been heart-warming. It’s amazing to see how music can bridge gaps and create connections. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my sound with the world and look forward to continuing this journey for a long time to come. 

As the founder of the record label and touring agency BITONAL, you've brought many international acts to India like Pan-Pot, GHEIST, Teenage Mutants, Will Clarke, Matt Sassari, and Rafael Cerato. How has this influenced the local electronic music scene, and what changes have you seen over the years?

Bringing international acts like as mentioned above to India through BITONAL has had a significant impact on the local electronic music scene.

When we started BITONAL, one of our main goals was to expose Indian audiences to world-class talent and to provide a platform for these artists to perform in a new and vibrant market. Over the years, this initiative has fostered a greater appreciation for techno and electronic music in India. The presence of these renowned artists has not only elevated the quality of events but also inspired local DJs and producers to push their creative boundaries.

Some key changes I've observed over the years include:

  1. Increased Interest and Enthusiasm: There's been a noticeable rise in the number of people attending electronic music events. The enthusiasm and energy at these shows are palpable, with fans eager to experience the sounds of their favourite international artists live.

  2. Growth of the Local Scene: The exposure to top-tier international talent has motivated local artists to hone their skills and innovate. There's a growing community of talented Indian DJs and producers who are now gaining recognition both locally and internationally.

  3. Enhanced Production Standards: With the bar set high by international acts, local event organizers have stepped up their game in terms of production quality. This includes better sound systems, lighting, and overall event management, creating a more immersive experience for attendees.

  4. Collaborations and Networking: Hosting international artists has led to numerous collaborations between them and local talent. This exchange of ideas and styles has enriched the Indian electronic music landscape, leading to unique and diverse musical outputs.

  5. Cultural Exchange: These events have also facilitated a cultural exchange, with international artists getting a taste of India's rich musical heritage and local audiences embracing global sounds. This blend of influences has created a distinctive and evolving electronic music scene in India.

Overall, the impact of bringing these international acts to India has been profoundly positive. It has not only enhanced the local scene but also positioned India as a key player in the global electronic music community.

Your collaboration with Teenage Mutants on ‘Climax’ has been a huge success. How did this partnership come about, and what was it like seeing your track dominate the Beatport Techno Top 10 chart for three weeks straight?

The collaboration with Teenage Mutants on ‘Climax’ was a thrilling and rewarding experience. The partnership came about quite organically while we were in Amsterdam for ADE 2023. That’s when we started discussed about the possibility of working together, and the idea for ‘Climax’ was born.

We wanted to create a track that would combine our distinctive styles and push the boundaries of our sound. The process was very collaborative, with ideas flowing back and forth seamlessly. We experimented a lot aiming to craft something powerful and captivating. Teenage Mutants brought their signature deep, driving techno elements, while I infused my influences to create a dynamic and energetic track.

Seeing ‘Climax’ dominate the Beatport Techno Top 10 chart for three weeks straight was an incredible feeling. It’s always rewarding to see your hard work and creativity resonate with such a broad audience. The success of the track reaffirmed my belief in the power of collaboration and the unique sound we were able to create together.

The support from fans and the positive feedback from the techno community were overwhelming. It was amazing to see how ‘Climax’ was received on dance floors and in DJ sets worldwide. This experience has definitely inspired me to continue exploring new collaborations and pushing the boundaries of my music.

Headlining Sea You Festival alongside Adam Beyer & Pan-Pot is a significant achievement. How do you prepare for such major performances, and what do you hope the audience takes away from your set?

Headlining Sea You Festival 2024 alongside legends like Adam Beyer and Pan-Pot is indeed a significant milestone for me. Preparing for such major performances involves a mix of meticulous planning, creativity, and a lot of energy. Here’s how I typically prepare:

  1. Curating the Setlist: I spend a lot of time selecting tracks that will resonate with the audience while reflecting my unique sound. This involves balancing my original productions with carefully chosen tracks that complement the vibe I aim to create.

  2. Rehearsals: I practice my set multiple times to ensure smooth transitions and a cohesive flow. This helps me get a feel for how the set will unfold and allows me to make adjustments as needed.

  3. Understanding the Audience: Researching the festival and its audience is essential. Understanding the type of music the crowd enjoys allows me to tailor my set for an unforgettable experience. This will be my second time performing at Sea You Festival, so I already have a sense of which peak time techno and hypnotic tracks to drop to maintain high energy.

  4. Mental and Physical Preparation: Major performances can be intense, so I make sure to stay physically fit and mentally focused. This includes regular workouts and ensuring I get enough rest leading up to the event.

  5. Visual and Audio Coordination: For a festival like Sea You, which is known for its immersive experience, I coordinate with the visual team to ensure that the lighting and visuals complement my music, enhancing the overall impact of the performance.

When it comes to what I hope the audience takes away from my set, my main goal is to create an unforgettable experience that resonates with them on a deeper level. I want the audience to feel a connection to the music, to lose themselves in the rhythms and melodies, and to walk away feeling Stoked. 

What advice do you have for aspiring DJs and producers from India who want to break into the international scene, and how important is it for you to showcase the diversity of talent from India?

For aspiring DJs and producers from India looking to break into the international scene, here are some key pieces of advice:

  1. Develop Your Unique Sound: Focus on creating a unique sound that represents your roots and stands out in the global market. Incorporate elements of Indian music and culture to distinguish yourself.

  2. Network Actively: Build relationships within the music industry. Connect with other artists, producers, and industry professionals through social media, music conferences, and events. Networking can open doors to collaborations and opportunities.

  3. Invest in Quality Production: High-quality production is crucial. Invest time in learning production techniques and use professional equipment / Vst’s to ensure your music meets international standards.

  4. Promote Your Music: Utilize digital platforms like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, and Spotify to share your music. Consistent promotion through social media, blogs, and music forums can help you reach a wider audience.

  5. Perform Regularly: Gain experience by performing at local events and clubs. Build a strong portfolio of live performances to showcase your skills and stage presence.

  6. Stay Persistent: Breaking into the international scene takes time and persistence. Stay focused on your goals, keep honing your craft, and remain resilient in the face of challenges.

As for showcasing the diversity of talent from India, it’s incredibly important to me. Highlighting the rich cultural heritage and diverse musical styles from India not only enriches the global music scene but also provides opportunities for Indian artists to gain recognition and success. By promoting and supporting Indian talent, we can bring new sounds and perspectives to the world, fostering greater appreciation and understanding of our culture.

Finally, what have you got lined up for the coming months? Any chance to see you perform in Australia soon?

In the coming months, I've got a few exciting projects and performances lined up. I'll be headlining Stage 2 at Sea You Festival alongside Pan-Pot, Lily Palmer, and Adam Beyer, and also performing at Rave the Planet. This summer, I'm heading to Germany and the UK for a series of shows.

As for Australia, while I don't have any confirmed dates yet, it's definitely on my management's radar. I'd love to bring my sound and energy to the Australian crowd soon. Keep an eye on my tour announcements for updates!

bottom of page