interview | Music

KSHMR comes to India for Road To Ultra and Sunburn Holi

Niles Hollowell-Dhar aka KSHMR in official apparel

Niles Hollowell-Dhar aka KSHMR in official apparel  

The popular musician dishes about his new track ‘Over And Out’ and how his label Dharma Worldwide empowers budding musicians

It is not easy to get a hold of KSHMR. The musician was just in New York, Brazil and then Mexico, before flying out to India for his Road To Ultra performances in Hyderabad and Delhi, an Sunburn Holi sets in Mumbai. Even though he will most likely be hundreds of metres from nearsight, one cannot mistake his broody appearance and addictive tunes.

The 31-year-old, whose real name is Niles Hollowell-Dhar, has been in the music industry for almost a decade, his early years being with The Cataracs. He was born in San Diego to a Kashmiri father and American mother; these cultural convergences often reflect in his music.

Ask him about the advice he would have for his younger self and he responds, “In the early 2000s, there was no KSHMR yet! It was only me, Niles, and my group The Cataracs (known for their 2011 chart-topper ‘Top Of The World’). I would tell myself to stop trying to be ‘cool’ and focus on songs that come from the heart.”

The karma of Dharma
  • In July 2017, KSHMR launched Dharma Worldwide, his own record label; but the label also empowers budding musicians to develop their creative and technical skills. “The education side of Dharma is Dharma Studio, something brand new. Our most important offerings are the tutorials and sounds. We provide you with tips that are rooted in experience from producers such as myself. And the sounds — samples and presets — provide inspiration to help you start creating.”

He adds that he is a “recovering workaholic” but does exercise, spend time with his dogs and his friends. “It takes a concerted effort to step away from music and do ‘normal’ things, but I’m starting to appreciate those more. Challenges keep my career interesting for me: working in new tempos and genres, reinventing the live show, and of course finding the next great melody. The pursuit of great melodies is a fire in me that will never die.”

His most recent release is the galactic ‘Over And Out’ with vocals from Charlott Boss. The lyric video was released just two days ago. “We were all excited to release a track in line with my earlier work, something hard-hitting and sure to connect with the crowd when I play it live. The vocal was sent to me by Ilan, our [artistes and repertoire division] at Dharma Worldwide. He is a magician, always finding ideas and vocals that blow me away — and Charlott’s demo struck me instantly.”

A look at his Instagram (which has over 2.4 million followers) shows he has an unrivalled love for festivals, Road To Ultra included. “I’m so happy to see such an international festival as Ultra recognise the importance of India — to play Ultra is always an honour, but to do it in the country closest to my heart is a dream come true.”

In tune Niles Hollowell-Dhar aka KSHMR , at one of his performances

In tune Niles Hollowell-Dhar aka KSHMR , at one of his performances  

KSMHR’s Spotify Wrapped 2019 revealed, ‘192.1 million streams, 9.1 million hours, 20.6 million listeners and 79 countries.’ It makes sense given 2019 saw him ranked 15th on DJ Mag’s Top 100. KSHMR’s career also brims with notable collaborations — with Tiësto, Headhunterz, R3HAB, Lost Stories and Marnik. He made his Bollywood début for 2019 Hindi film Good Newwz’s theme song with Tanishk Bagchi.

KSHMR will be performing for Road To Ultra India at GMR Arena, Hyderabad, on March 7, at Backyard Sports Club, Gurugram, on March 8. For Sunburn Holi, he will be at Mahalakshmi Race Course, Mumbai, on March 10.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 6:28:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/kshmr-niles-hollowell-dhar-interview-2020-for-over-and-out-single-and-sunburn-holi-and-road-to-ultra-india/article30989924.ece

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