In mid-January, Yung Singh took to Instagram to announce Ekta, his forthcoming event series and label. In the process, the artist who took Asia by storm last year set his comments section ablaze and curiosities industry-wide have been piqued, to say the least.
The event series will arrive first, kicking off next month with four nights across flagship venues in London, Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham. The first leg of the launch is scheduled for March 1 (at fabric, no less) and will feature a three-room takeover.
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On socials, the breakout multi-genre DJ has emphasised that Ekta will cover “the entire spectrum of electronic music & beyond”, and it’s clear he’s already walking the walk based on the curation of the launch events. With over twenty artists locked in (including heavyweights like DJ Q and Jarreau Vandal), the line-ups span UKG, dubstep, d’n’b, techno, Indian classical, Punjabi folk, and more.
Mixmag Asia caught up with Yung Singh via email to uncover Ekta’s origin story before the whirlwind begins.
How long has Ekta been in the works?
For a while now. I think I’ve been brewing these ideas since lockdown at least, with some of the ideas put in play at the first Boiler Room I curated in London. The reaction to that and subsequent curations helped foment a further evolution of those thoughts centring around diverse programming but also ideas on the audio/visual experience from the moment you step through that door.
You mentioned in your IG announcement that ‘Ekta’ means ‘unity’ and ‘oneness’, and the launch events certainly seem curated that way. What does it mean to you to include diverse genres?
It feels entirely normal to me – I play the stuff I like to listen to, which is why my sets are so wide ranging and genre fluid. Why would my line-ups be any different?
A significant portion of my following are Punjabi and we’ve all grown up listening to many different types of music. Equally, Punjabi music has had a big impact on so many other genres and I want to continue that and get more people from outside of our community listening to our music and enjoying our artistry.
Ultimately, good music is good music, regardless of where it comes from or what language it’s in. If someone drops a banger, the entire dancefloor erupts as one. That is ultimately what Ekta is about.
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What are you busy with leading up to the launch that you can share?
Lots! People don’t see or realise the work that goes on behind the scenes. Right now I’m figuring out how to bring more of the visual elements into the four events. There’s 3D stuff in the works as well as exploring lighting design.
I’m also working to get my website completely up and running, which will include a reading and resources hub to hopefully increase the accessibility for future generations and promote the process of documentation and reflection. For the culture!
Mengzy is Mixmag Asia’s Music Culture Columnist, follow her on Instagram.