There are two kinds of music that people of Udaipur are living on. One is the unavoidable Bollywood circus and the other is pseudo-commercial Western music. In between the crevices of the two are the growing underground music makers who are gradually coming to the surface to make waves.
Ape Dep Toe comprising of XKXO (Kunal), Mid Jay (Mohit) and Boys Knu3s (Harshil) is an Indian DJ/Music producer trio who is a Dancehall/Trap/Dubstep act from Udaipur and Ahmedabad. The artists recently performed at the Dunes Music Festival 2016 at Jaipur, Sunburn Skit Jaipur, and Jaipur Color Festival alongside their X’S Tour 2015/16 in the City of Lakes performing remixed popular music and original sounds amid a massive pool of music fans.
A chance acquaintance over Facebook and a gig at common friend’s party, Mohit met Harshil who turned out to be classmates at the same college of Udaipur. Their analogous tastes in music brought another member Kunal into the team and hence, Ape Dep Toe was formed in March 2014.
‘Ape Dep Toe meaning three human apes together was a name that we settled on and from there began our journey where we completely refused to bring onto the table tired-ass acts for people who gravitate towards good music. Our inspiration being Daft Punk, Skrillex, and Diplo; we began our first few steps in the crowd to create a niche for ourselves,’ says Harshil or Boys Knu3s.
Assorted under record label Vala Pap and Green Blue Records, the trio’s debut performance took place at X’S Tour Pre-Party in Udaipur on August 16, 2014, with artists XKXO, Mid Jay and Boys Knu3s playing at multiple stops on the tour. The trio released their first official single ‘Omadhaun’ on 4th February 2015 and announced that they will be working on their debut albums Beyond, Dogs, Robot Rock and Future Comes.
After their launch of the debut single, their collaborations ‘To The Sun’ and ‘ET Machine’ went on air on Beatport, iTunes, and Spotify. Today, their music is available on more than 250 online stores with them being the only Indian EDM artists available on Apple Music.
‘I still remember I was 16 years old when the music world knocked on my door. I grew up in the 90s which were the era of pop, rap and alternative music artists who made a huge impact on me. Since the 2000s, the styles of music have exploded and we are in the period of extravagant EDM music and its sub-levels. The more I explored, the more I realized the potential of each variety of music that lay untouched for the city crowd. That’s when I met Harshil and Kunal and we collaborated on a song that combined Trap and Dubstep elements with featured vocals from Indian pop artists Vasudha and Yissa titled ‘we, Apes,’ says Mohit who is a self-taught artist who grew his passion in his early years mixing songs on Virtual DJ software.
The trio met often from thereafter sharing material, making music and supporting each other to build a solid scene. One of the biggest turns of events happened on September 21, 2014 where the artists Ape Dep Toe headlined a concert at Bhairav Garh Resort, Udaipur which was managed by X’s Global Events. Ape Dep Toe made its mark at Duplay, one of the most renowned clubs in Jaipur on 13th June 2015 with X’S Tour.
The music industry is developing on a rapid scale though one may find people drooling over foreign ‘big named’ artists in metro cities, on the other hand, upcoming local artists lack a really good support.
Kunal asserts, ‘People who have an inclination towards good music need to understand and form a support system. The growing revolution in music with ardent support will help create quality. With this notion, we created the label of Vala Pap which has India’s and International youngest talented artists such as Lai Wiel, Boum Boi, Ice Cream & Cake, Slapjack, Daggler, Sayl3sh, Vasudha, Yissa, Scot Lutz, ArmstronG and Kid Lizzie who have been given a single platform to showcase their talent to the crowd of music lovers.’
‘We established networking and exchange with these artists online which helped spread music to a large audience. As the audience will grow, the artists will be encouraged to play music,’ he adds.
Over a year now, Ape Dep Toe has been on a thrilling pace with the production teasers ‘Skrillex & Diplo’s Jack U,’ ‘Holla Out Remix,’ ancient Chinese trap music collaboration ‘Fu Sii,’ and ‘Moonlight’ featuring Kid Lizzie grabbing attention from the world over. Ape Dep Tow has recently tied up DMF under which they will be performing over 50+ shows in 2017 for charity, and to raise awareness.
We are in the thick of music season in India and things are looking brighter for these growing artists after their music was being acknowledged by celebrated artist Jay Punjabi. This is just the beginning for Ape Dep Toe as they hope to play at Tomorrowland few years down the line.
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