We Came, We Raved, We Loved – And Still Do!


I didn’t think that the war would continue – I didn’t think people were still so blind sighted. But sadly, till date, the Submerge Vs. Sunburn war continues – and this time, Nikhil speaks up. Take a look at this article below which highlights what Nikhil has to say about the ‘scene’ as it stands today:

We all know that Nikhil, Pearl, Hermit have been battling a war with Percept – to the extent that there have been indictments, court cases, and what not to stop them from doing what they love – promoting the music that has been an exponential part of their lives. There’s a reason Nikhil is so loved by everyone – it’s because everything he does, he does it with heart – it isn’t about the money, it isn’t about going bigger and badder – it’s about getting people involved, making them feel special, and making them see that it is about a beautiful, musical journey and nothing else – and that’s exactly what Nikhil, Pearl and Hermit have done for each and every one of the people who have loved and appreciated dance music.

I’m not going to go into a vociferous attack on how I feel that Percept has completely shifted the ideology and  the concept of dance music in this country to a certain extent – but to let you judge for yourself – Take an idea that has been curated well before Sunburn and Submerge were born by this man’s better half – Pearl – who, through her constant travels to places like Dance Valley ignited that ‘spark’ as Nikhil puts it in all of them – she was the one who signed the first artist contract in 2001, and then it started. They created Submerge which then went into partnership and created Sunburn. Come to 2012-2013 – that entire concept is ripped apart from Nikhil, Pearl and Hermit – they are then dragged to court for reasons beyond my comprehension. Basically, Nikhil and Pearl were shafted by Sunburn/Percept. They weren’t given their due credit. Just tossed aside and then had indictments, court cases, stop orders and what not.. the truth is, as long as you have tons of money – you can use and abuse the power and do whatever you want. You turn something beautiful into a money making festival, and the essence of what it stands for, is lost and that is bringing people together for their love of a genre of music that is supposed to make you happy.

Nikhil was the one who had the vision. He was the one who wanted to bring dance music to the people, expose them to different styles and also show people that it isn’t just about big drops and big room and electro new age commercial cheese, there’s styles that are so powerfully moving and take you on this beautiful journey. Trust Sunburn (post 2010) to change that for everyone.

Did you remember when Group Therapy India happened? (Of course you would, everyone did nothing but talk about it!) And out of nowhere, a Nicky Romero one city gig was announced, by Sunburn. And on the same day as the Mumbai leg of Group Therapy India. Strange coincidence? Or a strategical move? It is a little upsetting to see what lengths people can go to just to prove some point – who is better, who is bigger. But how does that tie in with the culture of dance music – it doesn’t.

And with this article, I must say – Nikhil is only speaking the truth. Just because he, Pearl and Hermit have been keeping quiet, and dealing with all the troubles with still a smile on their faces, doesn’t mean they don’t suffer. And I’ve seen the hell that they have been through, with my very own eyes. So for those of you who think that they’re bringing ‘personal’ problems to the surface, they’re ONLY doing what’s right. They have a right to speak out. And I am SO glad that they decided NOT to keep quiet anymore.

Submerge is about the people. They are about making the experience personal, happy and leaving with a smile on your face. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. Every time I go to a submerge event, I feel like I’m part of a happy family – everyone is all smiles, everyone is full of good spirits and moreover, Nikhil, Pearl, Hermit and every single submerge crew member is on the floor, always making you feel loved. And making you feel like this event, gig was for you and you only. Every single friend of mine who went to the maiden VH1 Supersonic (which was curated by Nikhil) said that they all felt like they were part of something special – and something wonderful. They felt a personal connection to the artists – THAT’S the cornerstone of what they do.

But to sum up – no matter what happens, I know that for me, it’s always been about the music, the love between the people and the connection between the DJs and fans.. and Submerge encapsulates just that. Besides, it’s the camaraderie, the joy on Pearl and Nikhil and Hermit’s faces that make you realize, it really IS the music that makes them this happy. The funny thing is – the more you try and push someone into the ground, constrain them – the more support they gather. And guess what? In the end, it’s the guys who’ve been through the most who emerge on top. Wait and watch. Just you wait and watch.


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