SANGEETA YADAV talks to DJ SKIP about how he became an International star and what it means to him
He is known for making new tracks and breaking DJ mixers. He calls himself a performance-oriented and open format DJ. Meet 31-year-old DJ waaley babu Rupesh Pant aka DJ Skip who has been DJing since 2003 and is now the world champion.
“I do a lot of finger drumming and beat juggling on scratch and play on cue instrument and mixers. My USP is using innovative scratching techniques with diverse genres like Trap, Hip-Hop and Dubstep. I like to take listeners on a journey for three to five hours of my performance,” DJ Skip says.
He is now all set to launch his EDM album titled Bass and Tings. “It has five tracks, each with a different element to it. Bass is the common factor. I’ve used reactor instruments extensively. In some tracks, I have used Digiridoo and Oud (string) instruments. The album will be available for free download from next month,” DJ Skip says.
For Pant, DJing was meant to happen. “It started when I was studying in Class IX at DAV Public School, Vasant Kunj, and a friend gave me a sound mixing software called Tractor. It was so easy and user-friendly that I got hooked. I first performed in Ibiza Club in GK II just after passing out from Class XII in 2003,” he says
Pant is a battle DJ who competes. “There was a National competition called The War of the DJs that happened in Noida which gave the winner an opportunity to record their album. I lost in the first round and was heartbroken. After that, I worked harder and won many National and International championships. My first win was at SRCC, Delhi University,” DJ Skip tells you.
After schooling, he joined the Delhi Institute of Hotel Management at Lajpat Nagar and simultaneously worked as a club DJ. “I would wake up at 6 am and take the Mudrika bus from Rohini, then change the bus at Pitampura to reach Lajpat Nagar. After finishing classes by 6 pm, I would take a bus to Rohini to work at a club from 8 pm to 12 pm. Since it got quite late, I stayed at my friend’s place. I only got Tuesdays off which were set aside for my family. I did that for six months,” he tells you.
Finances were a problem but he started earning through DJing. “I would have only Rs20 in my pocket for the bus fare. I made friends with some rickshaw wallahs who gave me free rides. I started earning Rs1500 per month from DJing and within six months I was drawing Rs15,000 doing jam sessions at clubs in South Delhi. I also played at Ministry of Sound in Vasant Kunj and various other clubs. I am a performance-oriented DJ and I believe in making money out of my performance, not my production,” DJ Skip says.
Although establishing a career in this field is hard, parental support made it easier for him. “I was lucky as convincing my parents was easy. They often got concerned about my career progression as a DJ but the good thing was that they trusted me. I didn’t have expenses of my own as I don’t smoke or drink. Whatever money I made was given to my dad,” DJ Skip tells you.
After five years of DJing in Delhi, he went to Chennai to study from the School of Audio Engineering and even taught as a guest lecturer there. “Since I knew about audio mixing, I knew which knob does what but not how that happened. I learnt the hows during this programme and it helped me tackle goof-ups while performing,” he says.
He started participating in competitions and this opened doors for International championships. “After winning many college fests, I went National in 2008 and won the Chennai War of DJs. In 2009, I won South Indian War of DJs. In 2010, I won Ultimate DJ Championship with a band called BLaNK that was formed just two days before the event. I went international in 2011 after winning Thre3Style contest and went to represent India at Chicago where I was the finalist. In 2013, I represented India at the International DJ Association (IDA) World Championship and secured third position worldwide in the show category. In 2014, I was the only DJ to win Disco Mixing Championship (DMC) and IDA titles,” he says, adding that he has also performed at various music festivals.
He is glad that although his parents don’t understand this kind of music, they are still proud of him and his work. “My dad said once ‘Mujhe kuch samajh nahi aa raha hai yeh log kya baja rahe hai!’ He felt so sleepy that he left before my performance even started,” DJ Skip tells you
He reveals that he would like to expand by opening his own studio. “I helped set up and launch The Exodus DJ Academy in Chennai and The Urbanatic School of DJs in Delhi,” DJ Skip says.
He feels blessed to have the right people around him who have influenced him greatly. “Himanshu Narang, who taught me DJing during my initial days and let me stay at his place, played a great role in the initial days of my career. DJ Ankush from Lap taught me the thought process of a DJ and how to be a person who is in command of how things are. Then there’s Tuhin Mehta, one of the best DJs we have in India. Once I moved on to National level, I met Nikhil Chinappa who is the most humble person I have met,” DJ Skip says.
Technology has played a great role in the development of the profession but DJ Skip feels that it has not been utilized best by the today’s DJs. “With technology things have become very easy and I can take my performance to a next level but that has made the new generation DJs lazy to experiment and invent their new style and tracks. There is a few performance oriented DJs left. DJ is not just about mixing two tracks. It’s the mix that matters a lot that can give you goosebumps and take them to a journey. They are not looking at the floor to make connect with the people,” DJ Skip says.
(The article got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/dj-waaley-babu.html).