HYDERABAD: DJ Shadow Dubai, who has worked with Sean Paul and Badshah, was in the city recently. He speaks about music & more
When did you start DJing? Who inspired you to take up this unusual profession?
I believe music was always in my blood. I started out working in the events industry and as a teenager, when I was pondering about what to do with my life, my passion for music and exposure to DJ sets at events got me interested in exploring it more. That’s when I started experimenting as a DJ. From the time I started DJing, I knew it was more than just a hobby; it was something I was extremely passionate about and the next step was definitely to get into music production.
Who have been your major influences?
Growing up in Dubai, I was exposed to the music of the East and the West and always wanted to fuse the two. A fusion of Indian music and the sounds from the West would be the ideal approach to give it an international feel. This drew me towards music and prompted me to create collaborations with artists from across the globe. All the artistes I have worked with - from Sean Paul, Bohemia, Jay Sean, Badshah, Guru Randhawa to Pitbull - each of them has brought his own experiences to the table and that has resulted in unique songs with each collaboration.
You have also produced songs. Between DJing and producing songs, which one do you prefer?
My days are split between being a touring DJ and a music producer. While touring, I get the opportunity to share my music with an audience and get a first-hand experience of what people dance to during the season. It’s a very humbling experience. Once, the season dies down, I am mostly locked up in the studio, working on my music. I am usually meeting new people and working on creating new ideas and producing tracks. I enjoy both sides just as much; it’s always great to be able to shuffle between the two.
How was it working with Guru Randhawa and Pitbull?
Pitbull is an artist who was everyone’s favourite while growing up. We partied to his music all the time. Guru Randhawa is a friend of mine, who I have known for many years now. We have just been waiting for the perfect project to collaborate on. Working with the two of them on this track was not just a remarkable experience, but also a value-add to the project. Their energy and vibe seamlessly translated itself into the song.
How was the response in Hyderabad? Was this your first time here?
The response in Hyderabad is always amazing, I have a great fan base there. There are people from all around India based in Hyderabad. Every time I go there, I have found that the people of Hyderabad know their Bollywood music as well as they know their Biryani. It’s always great to see so many of them come to shows with so much love and support.
Any tips for budding DJs?
To all the aspiring DJs out there - if you don’t have the passion for music then it’s going to be a tough life because it’s a long journey with a lot of obstacles. You need hard work and persistence to keep trying even when you don’t succeed. It gets a bit repetitive and monotonous, creating and playing music over and over again, but if you love music, you just don’t feel it. So my advice is to first explore yourself and then get into the music industry for the right reasons with a real passion for music.
Are there any new singles in the pipeline?
This year, you can expect a lot more original music. I believe that like with ‘Slowly Slowly’, collaborations are the way forward to unite the world through music as well as taking Indian music to a global audience. Thus, that’s something you can definitely expect. I have some super exciting projects coming up this year but unfortunately I cannot name them yet.
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