Having already established himself as one of the most famous DJs in the world, KSHMR is now all set to get Chennai grooving as the Indian-origin youngster is embarking on a tour of India, featuring performances in six cities. The 29-year-old Indo-American, who has given us super hit songs including Secrets, Bazaar, Megalodon, Jammu and more, has now collaborated with Sonu Nigam for a song called Underwater, which is all set to release today. In a chat with us, KSHMR, who was ranked 12th in the Top 100 DJs of 2016 by DJ Mag, talks about his upcoming music tour, his own music label and also his collaboration with some of the biggest names in the industry.
How excited are you to perform in Chennai and what can the fans expect from you?
I'm incredibly excited as this will be the first time I’ll be performing in the city. I plan to debut exclusive material at Sunburn Arena that hasn’t been heard anywhere else.
What were your favourite moments when you performed in India previously (at Sunburn — 2015 in Goa and 2016 in Pune)?
Performing in Goa showed me a side of India I had never seen before. I spent time with my family in Kolkata, in Delhi and in Bengaluru. I didn’t even know places like Goa existed in the country — with beautiful beaches and huge coastline, the place reminded me of resorts like Cancun in Mexico. It was just a sight I had never seen before, so that was something new for me. The biggest moment for me was bringing my Dadaji up on stage both the years. It just gave us a new bond and we were able to gel over something so exciting — it’s a connection that can be achieved only by music in my
Who are the musicians you avidly follow from India?
There are a few DJs, who are making a really big name for themselves — like Zaeden and Lost Stories. Aside from them, I think Sonu Nigam is just one of the most talented singers not only in India, but in the world. My song with him releases today. I’m almost tempted to say he’s the nicest person I’ve ever met and I’m a huge supporter of him!
Would you be open to work in Bollywood?
I would absolutely be open to work in Hindi albums. I’m incredibly inspired by the more serious side of the industry. Some of it is fun, and that’s okay, but there are also guys like A.R. Rahman, who I just find myself worshipping when I listen to their work. I would love to be in some way, be a part of the storytelling in films that should be taken seriously like Dangal — it was such a well-made movie that I cried while watching it, and it also showed how progressive India is becoming. If I could be a part of this — a hand or even a finger that I could be in the state of beautiful storytelling coming out of India — I will be there in a
You’ve had a great response for your tracks like Secrets, Bazaar, Megalodon and more... which among them is your personal favourite?
I think my personal favourite — because it represents a turning point for me and my sound — is Jammu. Not only did I feel the melodies in the song were everything that I wanted, but I also felt that the video was everything that I envisioned it to be. I worked with an incredible director named Tyler Yee. I told him my vision, the story I had in mind and he made it a reality. The video was so important to me and I even remained on set as much as I could for the shooting of it — and tried to be every bit as present as I could! If you haven’t seen Jammu, I really implore you to take a look.
Among your collaborations with several renowned musicians, which is your most memorable one?
You know, I worked with Enrique Iglesias for a long time and I was struck by how humble and how relatable he was, and how much he just cared about making good songs. He would be there for the nitty-gritty of it all and he wasn’t just one of these flashy guys that just showed up when it was time to sing his part. He wanted to be there from dusk until dawn, chasing great songs and it was a real pleasure working with him.
What instigated you to start your own label, Dharma Worldwide?
The truth is, I fall in love with so many different kind of songs and not all of them make sense to be KSHMR songs. That’s when the idea for Dharma Worldwide came to be. It’s also a more natural way to support the songs I like, instead of figuring out a way that I could fit into them. Some songs are just great on their own and Dharma Worldwide is to give those songs a platform.
Share with us about your immediate and future projects in the pipeline...
Well I’m just really excited by exploring a new territory. In terms of tempo and style, I’ve certainly done my best to leave a footprint in the 128 B.P.M. realm of dance music and I’m going to begin experimenting in tempos… whatever fits. Like many other artistes, I’m in a phase where I just want to jump around — and not like a rave jump around — but with what I’m working on and the styles that I’m working with.
Do you have any specific plans during your visit?
I wish to spend time with my family, spend time with the new friends that I have made in India and of course eat lots and lots of Indian food… extra spicy please (laughs).
(KSHMR will be performing in Chennai at VGP Beach Resort on October 22)