DJ Abhi has been involved in the art of DJing for the past 15 years. His fans claim that he’s one of the best Indian DJs who smears music and dance in the air. Indus Age brings you a glimpse of DJ Abhi in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
What influenced you to undertake DJing as a fully fledged career?
I personally believe that every individual is born with a set of talent/ art or skill. Some people realize late, some ignore and some never realize. My calling from childhood was music, remix and radio. As they say, “If you make your passion your profession, then there is no single working day in your life.” I always loved creating music, experiment with sample, rhythms, loops and sounds. Moreover I can’t explain you how it feels to make people dance with the tip of your fingers. In one line it’s my passion, it’s my skill and God blessed me with it. I know how to make people dance.
You started your career as a DJ when it was hardly heard about in India. Were there any challenges when you ventured into DJing?
I belong to a middle class family of a town near Kolkata. Nobody in my family would tolerate a guy from family of engineers get into DJing, night clubs, music and radio business in the nineties. This very word Djing was a mystery and it was tough and uncertain for me. Gradually I came into lime light when I started producing remixes and I never had to look back.I still remember the days when I used to play for free for weddings and introduce myself as ‘DJ’to people and mostly as reply I faced was, ‘what is a DJ?’ Although I had breaks in my academic career but I kept on studying till I became a sound engineer.
Technological advancement has transformed the style of music and also the art of DJing. What’s your take on that?
Record players, vinyl, turn tables to digital DJ controller, softwares like serato traktor, CD players it’s a long way, the art and techniques of DJing has evolved a lot. Now it’s very easy to create music in your bedroom and release it globally. Nowadays as a teenager you don’t have to rely on your parents to buy you expensive DJ gear. Today it’s cheap, easy, simple and available everywhere.
How has technology altered your approach towards DJing?
I remember carrying big luggage and bags full of records and CDs for my gigs worldwide. It was physically and mentally troublesome, now you have thousands of CDs or records in your USB. Not only that, in old school for DJing we used to beat match manually but now computer does everything for you. From production point of view, you just have some softwares like Logic, Abelton and some VST. With a midi keyboard you can play any instrument and drums in the world.
What all preparation you make before playing?
I try to know about the people and their cultural, social and economical background. And also about their age, gender, and other stuff. Sometimes their body language, style, fashion and smile make me plan what I should plan, choose and play.
In this age, where the attention span of individuals is difficult to grasp and last for long, how do you treat your audiences so as to keep them grooving?
I play the best of the best popular music and catchy tunes which they relate most and feel comfortable most to. My body language, eye contact, hand movement, smile, and energy level of performance keep their attention glued. “Sabko ungli mein nachana itna easy kaam nahi hai” (It’s not that easy to make everyone dance), but DJ Abhi can do that.
How would you motivate a shy, reserved and an introvert crowd, to dance to your tunes?
Make some influencing announcement, get some ladies and girls on the floor and play the best songs, moreover use the microphone as a weapon that’s my trick.
What sets DJ Abhi apart from the rest of the DJs, in this competitive world?
My music, my remixes and my style performance are my USP .I have been called by people mostly by reference ,if you see or hear my one performance you will actually know why DJ Abhi is different.
Out of the many tunes which one is your all timefavorite?
My track “Karz 2000” became huge hit worldwide, people did not know me by my name or face but my track was a global hit, world radio stations, DJs, Clubs all over they started playing my song .So Karz 2000 is the pick from DJ Abhi
An all time favorite tune of your audience that has them hopping?
I think one track everybody likes especially Indians is ‘Brazil’ by Vengaboys.
What advice would you like to give to budding DJs?
If you have passion and if you’re ready to do a lot of hard work; fun comes in to this uncertain artistic profession but with hard work and perseverance. Don’t just play music as a DJ, create music be a producer to get recognized worldwide.
What are your upcoming plans?
I used to run pirated radio in India when I was a child later I worked for radio almost 15 years in all the positions, now my long term plan is to start Indian Radio station in Australia.
Right now, I am busy hosting and producing my 2 new shows for Koori Radio 93.7 FM . Bollywood Beats and Bollywood Border Crossings where I perform as a DJ and presenter, which can be heard all over Australia via FM, Digital Radio on Saturday night 10 PM onwards and Wednesday 6 PM onwards Live and exclusive on Koori Radio, one can also catch me via Tunein App, we also stream worldwide Live .
I have just come recently so just started performing for Indian Bollywood Gigs, soon I have plans to make it bigger and perform for big clubs and events representing Indian Classical instruments in Electronic Dance Music form.
(To know about DJ abhi, his music and a lot more, visit: www.djabhi.com)