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Interviews |  17 Sep 2018 20:20 |  By RnMTeam

I want to introduce a different genre and wish that it turns out to be a trendsetter: DJ Paroma Chatterjee

MUMBAI: From flying high in the skies as an air-hostess to diving into the Djing field to become one of the successful female DJs in India, DJ Paroma Chatterjee has created a niche of herself in the man’s world. In an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic, Paroma, who was recently honoured with the WOW Award 2018 for the best DJ in the female category, talks about her DJing, her big switch, struggles, her debut single and more.

How is the feeling on winning best female DJ award at WOW awards 2018?

I have been awarded a couple of times, but they have not been as bigger WOW Awards Asia, who celebrated their tenth year in 2018. When I got to know that I was winning the award, I was absolutely elevated because I have heard that very few times a DJ has won a WOW award. Whatever seven years I have put in as a DJ, the hard work, dedication and focus, needed to get to this point, had paid off. Sadly, I wasn’t there to receive the award as I was travelling to the US, though I wished to personally receive the award.

When the trophy arrived, it was such a proud feeling to even hold it. Also, the fact that I have won it now, it encouraged me to keep going ahead in life as well as is motivating me to do something better for myself and the people around.

What led you to choose the career of DJing?

I use to be a flight attendant before. Being a flight attendant is a job, where you are being told to do things. There is a hierarchy and you have to work for someone else. But, I wanted to do something for myself and take my own decisions. So, when I made up my mind, I was sure of one thing that i would select something, which had to be some form of art, since I am a Bengali and art runs in my blood.

What were the challenges you faced initially?

After quitting flying and switching to DJing, I had a struggle period for like one and a half year, I got in period. There were people who tried to morally discourage me, which affected me in the initial years. But, but as I groomed, I realised that I need to have a deaf ear to all of these as it was affecting my career,  my process of functioning as an artist and was also affecting my capability to deliver my 100 percent. But, once I started ignoring them, the challenges seemed were very petty as they were handled in time. So, apart from these and some security issues, during events I didn’t have any bad experience.

Also, after being in the industry for seven years now, I just want to say that challenges are faced by everyone, but half the challenges you can disregard, if you are focussed towards where exactly you want to be and know what are your capability and worth. If you have these things clear in your head, then you are anyways killing these challenges.

What was the response of your family on choosing this career?

I lost my father, when I was flying and this is probably one of the reasons, I quit flying, because I didn’t want to stay away from home for such a long time, especially in the case of emergency.  When I took the decision of switching, I didn’t get a chance to discuss with my brother, but my mother was around. She was only concerned about my financial independence as I had a typical financial structure, while flying. Hence, she was just worried about how much money would DJing bring? Apart from this, she didn’t have any other issues of me coming late, or what people will think about a girl becoming a DJ. Hence, I told my mom that if I don’t make a career in DJing in the first two years, I will look out for some other profession. Nothing else mattered, when my mother supported me.

Which are the genres of song, you prefer DJing on?

I am popular for commercial and Bollywood music as India and Mumbai is more about Bollywood, though I love listening to different genres like beat house, English retro and hip-hop. But, I am not only proud to be a part of it but I am also glad for getting a chance to showcase Bollywood numbers through my DJing. Also, International people do not have Bollywood music players, hence they seek DJs in India and mine is the first name that comes to their mind and, therefore, I am invited abroad. Apart from this, I also play songs of other genres that include EDMs, hip-hop and international pop numbers. I also got opportunities with Indian labels like T-Series, Sony Music and Zee Music because of my Bollywood connect and being part of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa earlier.

How do you manage to create an atmosphere at different events you do DJing with the help of your track list?

I play for different events ranging from corporate events, club nights, college fest etc. Each one is a different occasion and you need to know what kind of audience is attending it. So, whenever I am doing an event, I don’t just enter the venue at the very last moment of my performance, but half an hour before. I always try and grace the crowd to know their mood, what kind of songs they would like, their energy etc. So, the track list may be same at all the above said events, but when to play which track and how you are going to mix the next song with the ongoing one, is dependent on the crowd present. It’s kind of playing around with the minds of the crowd. The kind of energy you show to them, the same you will receive.

Can you elaborate on your projects with T-Series, Sony Music and Zee Music?

So, I was very lucky to get associated with them for some of my remixes and popular numbers. I have an official remix of Kar Gayi Chul, which is a banger of Bollywood numbers. Apar from this, Arijit Singh medley was my first official remix of any song I have ever done not just on Sony Music, but for any music label. It was a gift to Arijit on his birthday. It got an amazing response and people were going crazy over it. Beisdes, my other songs are Sapna Jaha, Baar Baar Dekho etc. It’s an honour to work as well as be a part of catalogue of these big labels.

Are you also working on some Bollywood projects?

No, right now, I am not working on any Bollywood project because I am focussing on my single completely, which is going to take a long time. Once I am finished working on my single, I will focus on Bollywood projects.

Can you tell us about your debut single?

It’s going to be my first single. I want to release it on my own YouTube channel. With this independent project of mine, I want to introduce a different genre and I wish it turns out to be a trendsetter – a breakthrough in the industry, which is different from any track, created earlier. Also, since, music has become monotonous these days; I want people to be open to something new with my single. Also, I want to sing with this debut single of mine.

How are you involved in the process of making of your single?

From the ideation, audio recording to the video shoot and production, I am planning to do it all by myself. It’s going to be a completely different journey. I am looking forward to it.

Apart from Bollywood project, can you tell us about your upcoming events and tours?

I have a lot of events lined up, including some international tours. I have tour to Australia in September. Besides, I am also doing another USA tour in November.

Apart from Djing, what keeps you busy in your free time?

I am learning how to play a piano. I believe that when you learn a musical instrument, your mind gets open to the various elements of music.