Everything about Gino K. Jose is big. He dreams big, he wants to do several things at once and he IS big (“I came down from 126 kg to 101,” he boasts!). Watch him at any of those parties he takes charge of and you will see him juggling with his DJ gizmos, playing on his drums live as the remixes he organises waft all over the area. Percussion is in Gino’s blood. His grandpa used to play the harmonium for the Latin mass in those days, at Koothukad village in N. Parur, says Gino.
Right now, he is part of the orchestra for the Star Utsav that is broadcast on Asianet Plus at 9.30 pm on weekdays. In between playing on stages in Gulf countries, Singapore and Malaysia, Gino livens up parties with games that he creates and his brand of deejaying which includes live playing and compering too. “I am a butterfly DJ. I play music and I also play live along with it.”
Gino is now snowed under musical instruments. His star possessions are his many drums from different places and the seven cymbals of different ‘srutis’. “I will not use these as they have been autographed by Sivamani,” he remarks pointing to a set of drums. His prize drums are the octove band. There are the high toned Timpaleys, bongos, derboke from the Gulf, roto drums and the tambourines, as also chimes and the five-piece drum kits.
He carts these instruments in an Omni that his father, retired armyman K. J. Jose bought him. “My father is my biggest supporter and I make my mother Seena stand before me while I practise acrobatics with my drum sticks. At the end of it she usually has her eyes shut tight!’ Gino laughs.
The refrigeration mechanic’s certificate hides under the very many laurels he received at schools youth festivals. He is also a sounds technician, which helps while setting up his DJ equipment. Gino is proud of the fact that he stuck to music through ups and downs. Though he was playing the drums while at school, his father was not very happy with Gino taking up music as a career. He sent Gino to his uncle’s place in Bangalore to look for a job.
That was THE turning point, actually. “I did get a small job, but I had to live in the garage, sharing space with a boxer puppy and a Fiat car. I did not ask anyone for money and managed to eat with Rs. 15 for a day. That was when my cousin’s friends came to practise there. They were a music group and they were preparing for a competition. The drummer scooted and there was a showdown. When I saw a set of drums, I was itching to play it. I did, with permission an they asked me if I could stand in. I took out my music notation books and played my best. I got the Best drummer’ tag at this competition. After that it was music at the very many pubs in Bangalore and deejaying. I was exposed to the partying world too there.”
He started adding more percussion instruments to his kitty and playing for mega shows abroad. Deejaying for parties, looking after the entertainment quotient and jamming with friends are all part of a day’s work for Gino now. “I use only original music and I speak five languages, English, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi. That helps. I have created something called ‘suspense game’ which is usually a hit." What is that? "Suspense!"
Gino has so far worked independently but he is to be part of a group called Ragasagara, which he and his friends are forming soon. Gino is a believer in God, but he is different in that he goes to churches, mosques and temples. Meanwhile, he is on a diet. “Only black tea,” he says, declining a lovely cup of hot South Indian coffee, rich with the aroma of coffee beans.
It’s easy to see that determination took him places, from a small village to mega stages.