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Get Cook-ed in Gurgaon today

He is known to fall asleep on the carpet, and often at his desk. He can’t go onstage to perform unless he is barefoot.  The Capital will today get a taste of eccentric and ‘workaholic’ DJ and record producer Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, who will be performing at the Huda Grounds in Gurgaon.

In recent times, India has witnessed a huge rise in the number of international artists visiting the country. Cook says Indians are known to be warm and hospitable and ‘that’s exactly what we are looking for’.

‘The funding has amplified over the years and tastes have improved with an obvious increase in demand for foreign acts,’ says the self-proclaimed’ ‘travelling minstrel.

So what can we expect from the artiste today? ‘Big tunes, big production, big performance... tough but accessible, not too commercial, hard but fair,’ says Cook.

The concert is being touted as one of the most extensive with imported forklifts and stealth LED screens. Reportedly, a chartered plane is being used just to transfer the equipment which weighs 20,000 kgs. The artiste is getting 30 crew members.

He is reportedly taking Hindi lessons but Cook says he doesn’t have any plans to sing for Bollywood. ‘I can speak a namaste real well,’ he says but brushes away any comparisons with Akon. ‘Akon and I are a completely different genre. While Akon can get people to sing, I can get people to dance,’ says Cook.

However, sources reveal that the artiste knows a few Sanskrit words and is looking forward to compiling an album for an Indian composer in the near future. Cook says he is ‘diverse and open to collaborations’.

‘One holiday in Goa is my only experience of India and secondhand Bollywood tunes or Sitar funk. I have much to learn,’ he admits.

Cook is also quite frank about his lack of know-how on the DJ-ing scene in India. ‘I’ve heard that India is huge on remixes, especially Bollywood. It’s great to see young talent making a headway into the industry,’ he quips.

Cook is known for using loops in his music. His signature style, he says, is the ‘rock-meets-rave feel’. ‘It’s more like pub rock — the laddish, unsophisticated but necessary prequel to an imminent punk-style reformulation,’ explains the musician.  

His music appeals to those seeking fun, upbeat dance tunes with a hint of trip-hop and electronica thrown into the mix. He makes funky dance/techno music and combines influences of trip-hop, funk and electronica. Lyrics aren’t really the focus and his songs often have a repetitive catch-phrase. ‘I don’t really pay much attention to lyrics’, he admits. ‘I keep mumbling things to myself. It’s about an internal emotion that I am expressing through my music,’ he adds.

The artiste says his needs time alone to sit down and ideate musical angles when he is attempting to compose. ‘But yes, sometimes something just goes pop in my head and the next minute I’m in the studio raking up some beats. I actually dream only music,’ confesses the Briton.  
 
Cook says he would love to be an ‘Indophile’. Sources say he is planning to visit iconic places on specially arranged bullock carts and shop for local artefacts. The organisers have also requested for special handicraft souvenirs and a desi welcome ceremony by the hotel staff in both Delhi and Bengaluru where he will be performing.

The DJ is hoping he will soon become fond of Indian food.  ‘I’m more the English guy but I’ve heard the organisers are arranging for a special meal for me,’ he says. Organisers, in the meanwhile, say that they are arranging to give him a taste of Punjabi main courses, Gujarati sweet dishes and south Indian starters.

Cook is also expected to pick up chiffon saris, bindis, glass bangles and Kolhapuri chappals for his wife and colourful dhotis and zardosi sling bags for himself, the measurements for which have already come in. Since he is colour blind, the DJ and record producer usually lets his wife Zoe Ball do all the shopping. The artist’s dressing room will have imported furniture, colourful upholstery and graffiti. The lounge will have Italian, Mexican and Indian dishes prepared by an international chef. His personal chef is also being flown down.

So what are his future projects? ‘At this moment in my career I’m concentrating on DJing and not really in the studio. Apart from the odd tune with the rizzle kicks I am a travelling minstrel,’ he quips.

We only hope the concert goes well this time round.
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