DJ Roop’s Cultural Odyssey: From Classical Indian Roots to Tomorrowland’s Global Stage

Set amid the fervor and colorful throngs of enthusiastic music lovers, the Tomorrowland Music Fest in Belgium establishes again its repute as a melting pot of global musical talent this July, welcoming an exciting infusion of Indian artistry to its acclaimed RISE stage. Indian DJ Kaushik Das, who adorns the stage name DJ Roop, is poised to perform and mark his international debut at one of the world’s most prestigious electronic dance music festivals.

As the festival assembles an international cohort of attendees, Roop is meticulously tailoring his performance to resonate with a melange of musical preferences and cultural origins. “My intention is to celebrate my Indian heritage,” declares Kaushik. He aims to blend the reverberating sounds of traditional Indian instruments such as the sitar and tabla with contemporary electronic beats, adding a distinct and memorable flavor to the event—an unmistakable Indian essence that is anticipated to captivate the global audience.

Roop’s set is designed to be a cultural crossroads, not only highlighting Indian tunes but also weaving in catchy English vocals, facilitating a universal appeal. His eclectic compilation will include tracks spanning diverse languages and genres, a testament to his dedication to creating an all-inclusive atmosphere where every festival-goer can find their beat.

In a visual complement to his music, Kaushik chooses attire that echoes his cultural identity, opting for a fusion of traditional and modern styles. He envisions his clothing, such as a kurta blended with Western influences, to be more than mere fashion—it is a statement of heritage and artistic vision.

Beyond his own performance, Roop is an advocate for India’s up-and-coming artists. He aspires to cast a spotlight on the emerging talent from his homeland by featuring young Indian music producers’ tracks in his set. Mindful of the legalities surrounding music performance, he emphasizes, “I adhere to all the legal requirements regarding music licenses and permissions. It’s paramount that my performance is both entertaining and observant of integrity and respect for copyright laws.”

Roop’s musical odyssey is as intriguing as it is inspiring. At a tender age of three, his first stage performance caught the eye of his school teachers, who, recognizing his nascent talent, urged his parents to invest in structured music education. Growing up, Kaushik discovered a new world of sonic energy in electronic music through television music channels. “The energy and modernity of electronic music were enthralling,” he reminisces, explaining how the internet further expanded his horizons in the realm of Electronic Dance Music.

Even as he ventured into EDM, Kaushik remained true to his classical Indian musical foundations, ingeniously fusing these with modern electronic rhythms. However, juxtaposing traditional Indian sounds with contemporary EDM has not been without challenges. Initial skepticism from his family and the broader community members was a significant hurdle. To help bridge understanding, Roop became proactive, hosting events and workshops to showcase his unique blend of East meets West. His efforts did not falter there; he built an online presence, utilizing social media and platforms like SoundCloud and YouTube to reach a broader audience and gain acclaim.

Networking within the music industry, collaborating with peers, and actively seeking opportunities became the cornerstones of building his career. Organizing his events and engaging with cultural festivals bolstered his reputation for delivering high-quality performances. It is this tenacity that eventually saw him securing coveted gigs, paving the way for his Tomorrowland debut.

But Kaushik’s life extends beyond the turntable. As a Software Engineer with Tata Consultancy Services and an M.Tech student at Jadavpur University, he maintains a delicate balance, dedicating evenings to his education and also attending DJing classes at Tomorrowland Foundation Music & Arts School in Kolkata. His resolve is the very essence of the tenacity and passion that drives an artist to transcend boundaries.

Kaushik reflects on his journey with pride, “From classical Indian roots to Tomorrowland’s global stage, my journey has been driven by a relentless passion for music and a bold ambition to push creative boundaries.” Anticipation builds as Tomorrowland approaches, where Roop aspires not just to perform but to craft an experience—a celebration of cultural plurality in the universal language of music.

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