The Disc Jockey (DJ) culture hit the Indian market in the 1990’s. It has grown into a prominent source of entertainment in the music nightlife industry. Starting off in the metros, the DJs have now taken over the music nightlife in tier 2, 3 cities and even the smaller towns.
One of the richest state in the country, Gujarat, has never had a dearth of DJs ready to showcase their talent. They have catered to all genres of music, from Bollywood to electronic. However the going is not as smooth as DJs in other cities. With a non-existent nightclub circuit they have been restricted to performing, at a stop gap pace, in private events.
This has not been a deterrent to the DJs or the party people. The parties witness quite an attendance than what one would expect.
“Gujarat is not a very preferable nightlife destination. But when it comes to live music there is a much wider group of listeners as compared to what we DJs witnessed 10 years back. The electronic dance music scene is now no more restricted to only graveyard hours. People prefer attending live music gigs at any point of the day. Still, nightclub performances are something that we Djs miss in the state,” quipped DJ Kash Trivedi.
Kicking things off
Kash started his career a decade back picking electronic music as his preferred genre. He has established himself by experimenting, mixing new sounds, fusing the classical Indian stuff with other world sounds. Kash introduced a brand new atmosphere of electronic harmonies to the club goers.
“I was always passionate about music. When audio cassettes were in trend, I used to curate the most loved tracks and make personalised cassettes on demand. And even when I took to DJ-ing as a profession I never stopped listening to them for inspiration,” recalled Kash.
Music nightlife in Gujarat
His popularity aided him in landing gigs at showcase events across the country where he pushed his experimental and eclectic sounds. Closer home, his performances were limited to the exclusive farmhouse parties due to lack of a music nightlife culture. The audience in Gujarat is now not only more open but even more knowledgeable about electronic dance music than a decade ago.
“I think Gujarat still needs to taste the actual underground music scene. House parties and private events are not really helpful as real underground music movements. For any musician, underground music is about jamming and experimenting with notes and tones with other like minded music buffs. People need to realise this and come together to make an underground music scene active in Gujarat,” asserted Kash.
The internet influence
Kash was introduced to the DJ culture through the internet. It has played a major role in building his taste of music and overall aura as an artist. His signature style is a mix eclectic sounds, rising beats, spiking emotions and progressive moods. His sets are mostly interactive with the crowd as he imbibes their vibes to take the music further. Armed with vinyls and a phat sound system Kash used the medium, where he discovered DJ-ing, to promote himself – the internet. With limited scope in his home state, he utilised the internet to get his music heard in far flung corners.
“Promoting myself and my music was pretty tough for me. But thank god I was always surrounded with people who believed in my talent,” said Kash.
“Issues are and will remain a constant. Overcoming them was pretty easy as my ears were already ringing with some lovely tunes.”
From a DJ to a producer
Kash made a smooth transition from DJing to music production. He has to his credit many singles and white labels. His original tracks ‘Fiction’ and ‘Absynth’ are bangers in the electronic music circuit. He has made remixes for Jerome-isma-ae, Paul Thomas, Daniel Portman, Lissat and Voltaxx. Kash has also had releases with Black Hole recordings and Iboga records and also a big various artists compilation for Riseup records.
He later established his own record label Lohit Records. Not many DJs have the luxury of a private recording studio leave alone a record label. They usually approach locally available music studios for their recording needs in Gujarat.
“When I started, I could feel the lack of latest technology which was easily available in major cities. With the advent of efficient pro sound engineers and studios with state of the art equipment facilities, the quality of the recording studios here has improved vastly in this last one decade,” opined Kash.
Even with rising awareness among the youth about electronic music and the genre attracting a wider audience, the Bollywood music influence in the DJ circuit in the state is huge. The electronic music scene remains pretty slim. A throbbing nightclub circuit could well get the ball rolling for this genre. But there seems to be a thorn in the flesh. What could that be, I asked my friend Kash,
“Lol Liquor! To be very frank,” he laughed.