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What happens when three dudes with similar taste in music meet at the party after the after party? The immaculate conception of Astral People, that’s what. Astral People is comprised of Vic, Lee and Tom, Sydney natives who boast an impressive management roster inclusive of artists such as Jonti, I’lls, Collarbones, Alba, Wintercoats and Wave Racer. They’re responsible for bringing people like XXYYXX and Action Bronson to Australian shores. They’re also the brains behind OutsideIn, a music festival that champions the same forward-thinking mentality of the Astral People brand. We spoke to Vic Edirisinghe: full-time asset, part-time liability and one third of the Astral People constellation.

So tell me about the fruition of Astral People. Why the name? Why this industry?

It started with three dudes bringing the artists that they managed together into one roster. We wanted to have a name that reflected the ‘future’ but then that term got overused, so now we’re fucked. Having come from various backgrounds, I have to say it’s probably one of the most stressful and frustrating industries to work in – but there’s something that keeps you coming back. What that is – well, that’s still open for discussion.

I hear you guys met at an after-after party. What are your top five essentials for turning down?

1. Hash
2. Bone Thugs ‘n’ Harmony
3. Shuggie Otis
4. Blanket
5. Pizza

What are your top five essentials for turning up?

1. XTC
2. Kerri Chandler
3. A sub
4. A strobe
5. More XTC

So it’s your second birthday and you know they call it the terrible twos for a reason. Be honest, have you thrown any terrible parties over the past two years? 

As cocky as it sounds, we’ve actually enjoyed most of our parties for different reasons. Because we push a range of genres, it keeps things interesting for us especially as we’ve got pretty varied music tastes amongst the three of us. For the sake of this interview, I’d have to say Balam Acab’s was pretty underwhelming for me personally, especially considering how much I loved his record.

Tour managing must get hectic. Who has been the most fun artist to look after?

Probably Marcel (XXYYXX). We just smoked Js and listened to dubstep for two weeks straight. It was sensational.

You also have quite an impressive management roster. What makes you want to work with an artist? Like if you had to put an ad on Craigslist seeking new talent, what qualities would you be listing?

Working with artists is what makes us tick – it’s the essence of Astral People and always will be. There’s no better feeling in the world than growing with an artist, from their first track to their first show, to seeing them on festival stages. In seeking new talent we look at longevity – will this artist be able to adapt with the times ? Also, if it’s compatible with our own personal taste. If we don’t listen to it then it’s of no interest to us obviously.

How would this list of qualities change if you were looking for love?

It doesn’t really: Longevity. Personal taste. Gives us boners.

So music is your first love then? What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

Physiotherapy, like every good Sri Lankan son should have done.

Let’s talk about OutsideIn. How do you choose your headliners and international talent? What does it take to be included on an OutsideIn lineup?

Months upon months of A&R. We look for acts that are not only on cycle, but generally represent the ethos of the festival. To be included on the line up, we just have to like your music enough. We’re not really into booking the most on-cycle or Triple J–friendly acts; it’s literally a culmination of whatever we’re feeling at the time and what works to achieve a balanced program. No one wants to listen to chillwave for 10 hours straight.

How important do you think it is to have a strong bill of local talent? Do you think there is a distinctive sound that resonates in Australian electronic music?

OutsideIn was only successful due to it’s strong local presence.

And how important do you think it is to keep the lineup diverse rather than committing specifically to a niche genre?

Like Astral People, OutsideIn is a reflection of all our tastes, so the line up will always aspire to include as many of these tastes in a cohesive manner. It seems to be working so far so we’re going to stick to it!

What made you decide to add an all-ages show to the OutsideIn weekend? Is this something you plan to keep on doing in future?

Because there are so few live opportunities for the younger fans of electronic music and because of how in-demand it was. We saw ourselves refunding a bundle of tickets for those underage kids who couldn’t enter into the venue. And, yes, this is definitely something we plan to do in the future.

Okay, here’s a hypothetical. It’s the end of the world (and this interview) and you can choose one MP3 to guide you to the end. What track are you bumping in the afterlife?

Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No… I’ve Got Life.

Astral People celebrate their second birthday with Jonti, Collarbones, Otologic and more, this Saturday at Goodgod Small Club in Sydney. Join the fun on the Facebook event page.

We’re presenting OutsideIn with Astral People on September 21 in Sydney, along with an all-ages show with the same lineup on September 22. Tickets are available from the festival website.