Hyderabad has been in the news off late for its cool party scene. Whatever type of celebration, parties are incomplete without music. Be it a birthday party, or a wedding gathering – to ensure a night of dancing, we need people who spin out some great tracks to get it started. Nowadays even our weekend plans are made depending on our mood – which then decides the place, ambience and genre of the music we want to listen to. Be it House when you want to relax, or hip-hop or Bollywood when you want to shake a leg – we have ample of options to pick from.
It is safe to say that the party scene in the city has been growing and getting better, and the credit goes to the people who make it happen. This month, in order to celebrate the men who make us party, we caught up with some of the best DJs in the city, who excel in their respective genres.
Text: Anahita Ahuja
Master Of All
“A medley of different musical encounters” is how Zamir Rawjee popularly known as DJ Zamaika describes his journey. Earlier known as DJ Zam, he has had people dancing to his tunes since the early 90s. Thanks to his gigantic experience, the man’s forte is his ability to gauge an audience before he starts his sets. Zamir excels in almost every genre, but when it comes to Retro, there is no one in the city who does it better than him. Read on to know his life story.
Which year did you start playing in?
It was the year 1990 when I moved to Hyderabad and met a DJ called Rajiv Bubber who was about to start a new placecalled the Passage at Taj Banjara. He asked me to work with him and I did, for a month but then I realised I had to do my own thing.
What was your first gig? How did it go?
One of the guests who came to the Passage was a friend of mine and he was throwing a party and needed a DJ for the Event. He got in Touch with me and I landed up with two double decks, a little mixer, 2 monster speakers, a mic and some 500 odd audio cassettes. The Gig was in the basement of the Oberoi Hotel right next to The Cellar. I think I earned some 500 bucks for that. The gig went off so well that I started getting calls regularly from clients after that. Though I was doing regular gigs after that I knew something was amiss. During that time, The Pyramid was launched at the Country Club and they needed a DJ from Hyderabad as the DJ from Bombay (DJ Reme) had to go back. I met Reme and he sent me to Bombay to go and get trained professionally and I was sent to The Cellar at the Oberoi Towers by Reme’s company (Esoteric Acoustics) to train under DJ Mehmood. That was the first time I saw a Turntable and I heard a DJ mixing so perfectly, it was this moment here that I realised I wanted to be a Professional DJ.
One secret to being a good DJ?
Know your music and do not take your audience for granted.
Most common mistakes newcomers make?
Nowadays DJing is all about Sex, drugs and EDM (It was Rock N Roll earlier). Newcomers need to understand that is definitely is not about that.
Which track do you best relate to with your life?
The Entertainer by Billy Joel
The weirdest request you have had?
“Please play Fost Beats or play something we can dance to” when the dance floor was already full of people dancing and shouting.
Most memorable night as a DJ
In Dubai for a Gig for the Navratri festival. I had more than 6000 people packed like Sardines in a Badminton Court and all of them screaming at one time! It was quite an amazing feeling.
What is your unique style of playing?
I cannot play the same set two nights in a row even if it is at a different venue. I like to always challenge myself to do better that the previous gig I did.
One track that does not get too old, no matter how many times you have heard it
Where The Streets Have No Name- U2
If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene – which year would it be?
I do not like being stuck. Keep Evolving is the Mantra.
Your favourite non dance song?
Too many to name. One of them is a song by Manna Dey called Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli and another is Eminem – Lose Yourself.