EDM comes in all sizes

Published: Nov 16, 2011, 10:37 IST | prachi.sibal |

Or so proves 16-year old DJ Shaan doing his second big gig at Sunburn 2011

Or so proves 16-year old DJ Shaan doing his second big gig at Sunburn 2011

He is still in school, but is far from the usual 16-year-old tutorial hopping, formulae mouthing nerd. Shaan Singh, who prefers being called DJ Shaan, laid his hands on the mixer at 15 and is  the youngest DJ playing at the Sunburn Music Festival this year. He's overwhelmed at the thought of playing at the fest but  admits that his parents are more excited than he is.

His forte now is EDM, but his trajectory hasn't been predictable. "I wasn't exposed to EDM before Sunburn. I wouldn't even listen to too much of it. I found it repetitive at first," he says before telling us that his loyalties lay in the genres of rock, hip-hop and pop. "I love artists like Michael Jackson and Metallica," he tells us.

Music for this young boy hardly started out as a passion. Being a part of the school band, he tried his hands at the trombone followed by the guitar and gave up both soon. "I touched no instrument for two years following that. It was then that I began experimenting with some equipment my dad kept at home and that is how EDM happened," he says.

Having a father who worked closely with the organization of the Sunburn Festival did help things and resulted in the lad not having missed a single edition of the music festival since its inception. He also, in the meanwhile, began learning musical notes and practiced it during his downtime.
The many experiments with the equipment led to Shaan turning into a part-time DJ. His big debut with a life-size gig happened at the Sunburn Festival last year and since then there has been no looking back. He has travelled across countries to play and continues to play at parties in hometown Mumbai.

He admits his exposure to EDM was limited to the festival alone through his father's work and says, "My dad loves his music. My mom is a normal person."

He dreams of touring the world and playing to a huge crowd  but plans to go to college as well. "My dream is to tour the world and play for 10,000 people. I am still deciding on what to do at college. I am interested in subjects like Business Management and Media and Communications," he says.

He doesn't intend to give up DJing though and admits that music will always be there. When asked what life looks like for someone who has touched the ladder of fame at the tender  age of 15, and how he manages to juggle music with studies, he says, "School friends found it cool initially, now they are quite normal and used to having me around.  I practice for about two hours on weekdays and more on weekends. I don't take leave from school."

Gigs though are a different story, where he sets out a playlist a good two weeks before the show and begins rehearsals. He  already has a rough playlist ready for the big gig that is coming his way.

Despite being surrounded by many musicians from an early age, his dad continues to be his role model. "My dad has always been my role model, though there are a lot of people I look up to like DJ Pearl, Lost Stories and Vishal Shetty.
They taught me everything about the art from the start. The nicest things I have heard about my work have been from DJs Nikhil Chinappa and Pearl who said I had grown so much since my debut gig. It is nice to hear such things from people who have nearly brought you up," he says.

The new kid in the music block is oozing with confidence, but admits that people often react to his age with surprise. "People get shocked.

At one particular gig in London, one of the organizers asked me how old I was and appeared shocked when my mother, who travels with me for all my gigs, said I am 16. I  laughed as I thought that they had known my age all along. I am a humble person," says DJ Shaan.

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