His name might be Atom, but on stage, he’s a whole lot bigger than that. All of 10, this Bengaluru-based tot is giving adults a run for their money (and mixes, of course.) As the youngest DJ in the country today, DJ Atom as he is known as, recently competed with 19 other DJs from across the country to be crowned the champion at the Palm Expo DJ Championship in Mumbai – the youngest in the championship’s history. Here, he tells us how he got started and why he’s far from the nervous bundle everyone expects him to be.
Atom was only seven when he first took to the turntable. “I chanced upon Ma Faiza’s video on YouTube and asked my father to explain what she was playing,” he says about his introduction to DJing. “He let me play on his laptop, but I was hooked. It’s then that I enrolled into classes,” he adds, remembering the first time he touched the machine and how excited he was. His love for the movie Reel Steel, robots and his favourite character from the film, Atom, is where his name comes from. Atom describes his music as fun and energetic and he takes inspiration from everything – the sound of a bowl and spoon against each other or the rain hitting the roof, for instance. “I love everything that makes me jump,” he says. And that’s what he gives the many who turn up to his performances.
“Someone walked up to me once and said that they never missed any of my shows,” he grins. The 10-year-old confesses that his father is his biggest inspiration. “Ma Faiza too. I’ve met her many times and have watched her play up close,” he says. Bengaluru’s Vachan Chinappa features on his list too. “I like to talk to him about music and he always encourages me to learn more,” says Atom.
Ask him the typical ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’ question and the shy tot answers with all honesty. “I want to be a pilot. I hope to someday perform for bigger audiences at music festivals. I want to play with Pitbull and be in one one of his videos. Skrillex is another favourite, and sharing the stage with him will be a dream come true,” he says. But since he’s only just a kid, being taken seriously is a huge challenge. “My parents have always told me that the most important thing is for me to enjoy and have fun while playing it. I wish others see it the same way too,” says the fifth grader. “I feel like I’m not taken seriously by many club owners and event organisers for live performances, because I’m just a kid. But I’m not giving up,” he smiles. More than a ‘bass’ic future? We think so!...