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Updated: July 1, 2012 17:05 IST

Smooth success

ISHA PURKAYASTHA
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LEANING ON LEBANON Praveen thrived on the cultural diversity he inhabited
LEANING ON LEBANON Praveen thrived on the cultural diversity he inhabited

DJ and music producer Praveen Achary, is also co-producer of India’s first two-hour progressive podcast

“My cousin gave me a Prodigy CD when I was in the 7th grade. That changed everything — I began to listen to music that wasn’t played on the radio. The sound was different and quite unlike music I was used to listening to — the kind that was made with a guitar or a piano or any other instrument. Electronic music appealed to me.” Indian DJ and music producer, Praveen Achary has left audiences enthralled all over the world. “I studied engineering for a year in Canada. A year was enough to convince me that I hated coding and I chose instead to make a career of out my passion for deejaying and producing.”

Achary talks animatedly about The SF Show that he co-founded with Tanseer, who he met through a common friend. SF stands for Sound Faction and is India’s first two-hour progressive podcast. “Sound Faction was established by Tanseer even before I returned to India. He used to mix sets and I took over the production side. We feature guest mixes from international artists and make available to the Indian audience mixes that would otherwise be hard to find.”

Praveen spent most of his childhood in the Middle East, shuttling between Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. “Of all the places I lived in, Lebanon was perhaps the most liberal. It was a French colony, so there is already diversity in culture.” It was this culture diversity that he embraced; Lebanon allowed him to do exactly what he wanted. “The people are warm and club nights continue till ten in the morning — a good 11 hours after Bangalore has wrapped up for the night.” Praveen took to producing in India because “there were already enough DJs and very few producers”. He believes India is a country with endless possibilities, most of which haven’t been tapped into as yet. It is easier to DJ and produce in India, because competition is not stiff.

Praveen’s biography reads like an unbelievable success story. The SF Show has just completed 25 episodes, featuring international artists like Cid Inc, Darin Epsilon, Sonic Union and Deepfunk. He has played alongside the best in the industry and has shared the stage with the likes of Nic Fanciulli, Spartaque, Pete Tong and Axwell at Sunburn 2011, Asia’s much acclaimed dance music festival held in Goa. Praveen’s mixes for the giant label Mirabilis Records has made it to ‘Beatport’s TOP 10 Must Haves’. “I didn’t really benefit from studying Sound Engineering. I found that I learnt more from my friends than I learnt at college.”

Mentioning that he would rather play for an audience of ten that understands and enjoys what he is doing, he credits Bangalore with better receptivity than cities like Delhi, despite the curfew. “Other cities may have no curfew, but people are more zoned out; so much so that even people outside of Bangalore prefer to play here.” Praveen is all set to launch his label, Juicebox Music, which will “nurture artists I play regularly. It becomes a platform for me to put more music out and project it in India. The label’s first release will be a mix by my friend of mine and I. Eventually, the label will include Indian artists with a sound similar to ours. Until then, we shall bring international music to India. The label is not so much a money-spinner as it is a platform to promote a certain sound. I consciously chose not to release ‘popular’ music.”

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