From trance music making a comeback in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) to established DJs reinventing style by experimenting with new genres and sounds, to upcoming artistes — the DJ world is buzzing and expanding like never before. Some DJs call themselves open-format DJs, some are performance-based and some want to experiment with all styles.
“There was a time when EDM, electro-house and progressive house music was popular. If anybody played Hip Hop, the DJ would be booed. Today, fans are more open-minded. Artists like The Chainsmokers have made it to the top through their out-of-the-box experimentations. We can play a more open format, Dubstep and much more,” says DJ Dannic who recently rocked the stage at Sunburn 10 held at Kisnand Hills in Pune.
A common phenomenon that one is getting to see these days is a lot of upcoming DJs are playing different versions of the same song rather than inventing their own style.
“Young DJs should not do something which has already been done by others. They need to bring something new to the disc which the audiences wouldn’t get to listen anywhere. This will slowly become their identity. You become an artist when you start putting little bit of yourself into the music rather than put in what everyone else is putting,” Delhi-based DJ Karanvir Singh aka Kerano, opines.
For DJs, it becomes very difficult to be a trendsetter by being innovative.
“Steve Aoki is well known for his cake-throwing at festival goers. Some people like it, some hate it. At the end of the day, you have to give it to Steve because he invented something and the DJs have become people who not just play great music but are entertainers in their own right. You have to go to the crowd and make them feel that they are the part of the gig,” Tom Swoon, a Polish DJ, remixer and record producer, tells you.
Even for the established DJs, the biggest challenge is to reinvent themselves and the music but not too fast. This is because people are becoming a lot more aware and want to hear good music. One has to bring something original and new to impress them.
“The challenge is to keep reinventing yourself but not too fast or people will not understand you. You have to keep a balance between bringing new things while keeping a bit of the old,” Kerano, who is moving away from house music to more calmer trance music, says.
With technology, things have become easier. But creativity is something you can’t learn no matter how advanced the technology is. Technology has made things easier for DJs who are starting out. In the end, DJing is all about interacting with the crowd and that is something you can’t learn.
The headliner DJ of Sunburn, Armin Van Buuren, says that with plenty of track mixing software available, anyone can make their own dance music.
“There is nothing that stops you from using analogue mixers and gears. Others play what the crowd likes to listen, I don’t believe in pleasing the crowd. Instead, I follow my heart and play what I feel like,” Armin says.
The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper (http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/the-new-wow-in-dj-experiments.html).