DJ Mazzr is a name to reckon with in party circuits. Hard work and passion for music spells success, he tells SHILPA NAIR ANAND
Mazzr opens the door, and surprise! He is the proverbial pleasant boy-next-door. Not quite the DJ I was expecting, with the “yo!” and the “dude!” in place. The only thing DJ-like about him is that it takes him what seems like forever to answer the door because it is noon and he was fast asleep.
“I was practising the whole night and then I had to catch the early morning flight to Kochi,” says a groggy and very apologetic Mazzr. He was in town for a party, Club Converge, June edition, organised by the event management company, Prime Time Unlimited. So this is the glamorous life of a DJ? “Being a DJ involves a lot of work…hard work. I insist on playing unique music and I make sure that before an event I have around 20 tracks ready, I may play about 15. And these have to be the latest so I buy them online. Some of these tracks would just be a couple of hours old,” says Mazzr. It is clear that he is passionate about his ‘work’.
Each sound has to be unique, the kind that those on the dance floor should notice. Mazzr has been a DJ for the last six years. “My deejaying career began on April 29, 2002 at 4. 30 p.m. to be precise.” And he is not the neighbourhood tape recorder/loudspeaker guy who has become a DJ. He has learned the tricks of the trade the hard way, the hardest way…by himself. A short trip down memory lane, he rewinds, “For six months I laboured and laboured, mixed, remixed, programmed and then at the end of the period I could say I could do the DJing thing!” A passion for music led him to music and then love at first sight with the equipment that a DJ uses.
“It cost Rs. 80, 000, then, I was scared to even say it out aloud. That was quite a lot of money then.” It still is a lot of money and he quickly clarifies. “Today you will get the equipment for much less.” He used to experiment with mixing on Windows media player. The operative is “used to” because now the net savvy DJ swears by the wonders of the Internet. In fact, 2007 is an important year for him as the year that he learned to make use of the Net. Mazzr is kicked about the fact that he is probably the only Indian artist whose work features in the international dance music website beatport.com. Mazzr has been among the winners of the ‘War of the DJs’ contests organised by various companies. The first feather on his cap was winning the Café Coffee Day ‘War of the DJs’ in 2002, he was also Nokia Best DJ, 2007… there have been several others in between. Mazzr has been selected the ‘DJ with the Most Attitude’. Being a DJ is all about attitude, but what is the best attitude for a DJ? “For that a DJ has to be active while playing, move around…be confident and happy!” DJing for some reason has comes to be all about Bollywood music and remixes of Bollywood hits. However he has given mixing Hindi songs a chance. ‘Tho phir aao’ and ‘Maula mere Maula’, combining both songs to form a cohesive whole, “has become quite a hit in India, Dubai and Hong Kong. In fact if there is a club in the world that plays Hindi music, this one will be on the playlist.”
There is lots more to Mazzr. “I have collaborated with Manikanth Kadri (Kadri Gopalnath’s son) to do a remix (Tillana) in the fusion album Dream Journey IV. And what an experience that was,” says Mazzr. He is now looking forward to the results of a contest organised by A. R. Rahman to promote his film ‘Ada’. “There are 10 prizes, and I just want to be one among the ten.” He is remixing for a Kannada movie “of which the only thing I know is that the hero praises the heroine’s eyes,” and a Telugu movie. He’s come far. “I was the zero once and everyone else the hero, but today, I am the hero!” he gushes.
And this DJ’s day job? The composure slips. With a naughty twinkle he says, “The thing is….I am completing my graduation…I enrolled for the course at 25…I am not a dropout, I fooled around the first time around and stopped college in the second year. This time I am determined to complete my education…”