One of the first Indian disc jockeys to be featured in the DJ Mag, his popularity can be garnered from the club hitting population of the country. In a Bollywood centric nation, Chetas has rightly cemented his place with his upbeat whirl on movie music. Having worked and produced music for industries’ heavy-hitters like Karan Johar and Salman Khan, the popular music-mixer is playing for the big leagues. The celebrity DJ, hailed from a Marwari family, but he chose to break away from the norm when he opted for music as a career over his family business. He introduced the concept of mashups, where he amalgamated well-known Bollywood tracks and soon it became a significant part of the Indian pub culture. In a detailed repartee, DJ Chetas gave us an insight on his journey this far.
[Q] What has been your biggest inspiration as a musician?
“I started very young, so in my early days I looked up to DJ Akhil for inspiration. Indirectly I learnt a lot from him and what he did – internationally I admired David Guetta’s work.”
[Q] Was becoming a musician always on your mind, or was it something that happened by accident?
“As a kid I was never into regular toys, whenever I visited a store I would ask my parents to buy musical instruments. Any object that had music attracted me even as a kid.”
[Q] What do you think is the biggest challenge out there for aspiring musicians?
“The competition is increasing day by day, whether you’re a singer, composer or a DJ. In order to survive, you cannot follow trends, you have to come up with new ideas and be different. It has a fair amount of risk, but if it works it will make your life.”
[Q] With singers showcasing their talent trough Youtube and other social media channels, what do you think about these platforms?
“I think it’s brilliant. The biggest example is Shirley Setia. No one thought she will do a track with Atif Aslam, but she rose to fame through YouTube. Vidya Vox is another such example, all these people inspire me. Even if you don’t have all these direct mediums, you can still reach out and showcase your talent.”
[Q] What has been your biggest achievement?
“To be honest, I still haven’t achieved a lot. It’s still the beginning for me.”
[Q] Who do you look up to for creative and musical inspiration and what has been the biggest influence in the sound and soul of music?
“What I feel is, more than the music, the technical aspect matters. Right from the production, the visuals and the lights are responsible create that magic on stage. All the big DJ’s play the same tracks in concerts that are available on i tunes and other portals, but people go there for the live experience. Very few musicians in India do that. I am one of those people, who believe in giving the live experience for them to differentiate.”
[Q] How do you go about creating and ranging a song, what is the process like?
“If it’s a remake it’s easier, I change the beat and make it sound better. It should be relatable to the youth. When I remade ‘Jab Koi Baat’ my parents could relate to the lyrics but the beats were modern. It has to be the perfect combination of everything. When you’re creating music it’s a different game, you have to create a melody, it’s something that doesn’t exist and you have to develop it. It could take 5 days or a month – it all depends on the vibe.”
[Q] How has music enriched your personal life?How has music enriched your personal life?
“The girl who I got married to, I met her at the club I was playing. Nothing better could have happened to me through music.”
[Q] What’s something interesting people don’t know about your music?
“As DJ’s people feel we enjoy party tracks only, but with me it’s completely different, I enjoy soulful music. Even when I play, I play romantic tracks that connect with people. These are the tracks people remember you for and become your fans.”
[Q] The most memorable concert you performed at?
“This concert I did at NSCI, 6 months before that I posted about it being a dream venue. When I played there I actually had tears in my eyes and I was thankful to God for what he made me.”
[Q] What’s next for you?
“I am planning to do another remake with Atif Aslam. As a composer I just finished working on 2 tracks for this upcoming film called ‘Loveratri’ for Salman Khan Films. I recently did the remix for Badshah’s track ‘Buzz’ and ‘Tera Yaar Hoon Main’ from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.”
[Q] Tell us something about you that no one knows?
“I can’t sleep without watching a movie – I have to watch a movie to fall asleep.”