CHENNAI: A young disc jockey from Kolkata and one among the few in India known for spinning sets of different genres in Electronic Dance Music (EDM), Sneha Agarwal, better known as DJ Snea, was in the city to perform at Radisson Blu’s new outlet Salt Lick by Gallop. Mainly into EDM, Sneha is also into progressive and electronic house music.
How did she venture into the industry? “I have always been passionate about music and when I saw a DJ perform for the first time, I decided to try DJing,” she shares. Having come a long way since her first gig in 2007, Sneha says, “I knew I wanted to become a DJ. But I would never have imagined I'd actually be serious and successful,” she says.
After attending classes, Sneha learnt the art's technicalities and nuances. “I joined a six-month course in DJing while I was doing my chartered accountancy. I learnt all the technicalities and did a lot of research,” she says.
Though she hails from an orthodox family, her family is supportive and happy with her pursuing her passion. After her course, she started doing gigs in the national and international arena.
“My first gig was in Lanjigarh at a New Year event in 2009. I didn’t know how to manage the crowd. My co-DJs helped me out and I managed the crowd while playing at the console. After the event ended, I knew this was going to be my identity for the rest of my life and well, I started working towards it,” she shares.
Reminiscing an incident at an international gig, she says, “I remember a gig I did in East Africa where a group of Indians were excited that I was a fellow Indian and they didn’t leave the console till the end. They went crazy and it was such a riot!” Every DJ experiences ups and downs, but Sneha says she hasn’t faced many challenges till date. “I work hard and I am passionate about music. I haven’t faced challenges because of my gender. It's been a smooth journey so far,” she says. About the notion of having rivals in the industry, she says, “It is very common and it happens all the time. Until you are a competition, people support you; and when you become one, they do everything to bring you down. It’s just a part of life which we have to ignore and get over.” Having done more than 70 gigs nationally and internationally, Sneha expects to perform at major music festivals and also get in to production. “For people who are unaware, DJing and producing are two different things. I have worked hard and I have learnt production. I will be releasing my work soon at the international level. It is also my dream to play at festivals including Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival,” she confides.
What does EDM mean to her? “It’s a journey and has different elements to it. That's why it is getting popular in India. People travel through EDM,” she says. The scene in India is changing and more people respect and opt to become DJs, while some want to do it for the ‘cool quotient’.
“I have interacted with many youngsters who want to get into it for quick money and popularity. DJing is not about that and it is about the passion for music. If they get into it for the wrong reasons, they won’t survive long."
She loves travelling and said that interacting with people through music is the best part of her profession. “If not a DJ, I would have been an actor. I have received offers for films too, but nothing has happened yet,” she adds.