Interview Music

DJ Shaan’s beats talk

DJ Shaan

DJ Shaan  

The DJ on his spin to ‘Jai Ho’ and getting collaborations right

Shaan at 21, among the youngest DJs to perform at Tomorrowland, is now a regular in Hyderabad. He was in town along with DJ Snake sending a millennial crowd to a dizzy as part of a weekend Sunburn event in the city. Despite several international collaborations (including Tom Swoon, Vida, Sandro Silva, Robert Falcon) to his credit, he still prefers to be in isolation to produce good music. “I look within myself to create music, I think that gives me a direction,” he says. When performing, he reflects, “Nothing else matters but you and the crowd.”

The Jai Ho spin

The musician was also in news recently for his spin on AR Rahman’s English version of Jai Ho, that released on the Republic Day. “I guess the number sounds new. It’s a more country-centric song than many I’ve heard. The English version of the song catered to a global audience, but my edit of the classic track was to promote our culture,” he points out. Call him young, but Shaan feels numbers don’t matter much. In fact he finds his youth to be an advantage, as it gives him more time to grow. “The mind is fresher, more in-tune with changing crowd tastes too.”

On collaborations

Collaborations among DJs are yet to become a norm in the country, but what has worked in his favour is connecting to the musician on a personal level. “All the musicians with whom I’ve collaborated are good friends of mine, someone whom I’ve spent enough time with. There’s a common base with which we work together. It was never like ‘let’s make a track and do this rightaway,” Shaan mentions. While international musicians are open to combining genres, in India it’s more structured. “The only person who’d tried it out here is Nucleya.”

He feels blessed to be among a generation that is open to varied music tastes. “There was a time when we were stuck with only film music, but this generation is open to varied tastes and new attempts, from a rap element to something techno.” When not performing, he’d be rather be studying for his marketing course, where he pursues his zest to keep learning. Frequent travel, performances and studytake a toll on him, but choosing the right travel companion solves the issue. “My photographer friend accompanies me to most places, so that’s a relief. It is tough but it’s also about how you balance it. It helps that my parents are supportive and yet very disciplined,” he signs off. A couple of his remixes and collaborations are due later this year.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 11:22:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/DJ-Shaan%E2%80%99s-beats-talk/article17341191.ece

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