Chetas Shah, who is popularly known by his stage name DJ Chetas, is one of those artistes who ushered in dance music and remix culture in the Indian music panorama.
The DJ, who performed recently at Playboy in the Capital, opened up on his journey, experience and observations on the growing remix culture in the industry to thestatesman.com.
You recently collaborated with Atif Aslam and Shirley Setia. How was the experience?
Absolutely amazing, they’re 2 of the most talented musicians in our fraternity and we all had an amazing time. The response is visible to the world – we’re 50 Million Views and 20 Million + streams strong, a landmark for a song which doesn’t feature any actor or actress.
You’ve recreated many songs like the recent one Jab Koi baat bigad jaye. What do you keep in mind before re-creating such gems? Any pressure?
Maximum pressure since these are absolutely legendary. If I mess it up, my father will be the first to criticise me. I try and keep the soul of the track the same so I don’t play around too much with lyrics and composition, it is the arrangement, instrumentation and overall music production that I try and modernise to make it relevant to present audience.
What is the current scenario of DJs in India? Are DJs getting recognition that they deserve ? What’s your take?
Currently there are two sets of DJs in the country- those who’re sitting and complaining about how they don’t get good opportunities and others who go out of their way to produce good music, shows and overall content. The entire setup is a lot more professional now and there is a sort of best practices in place to help and guide new talent. The likes of Lost Stories, Zaeden, Nucleya, DJ Aqeel, NYK, Ritviz, etc, are doing extremely well and we’re all very happy as the scene is growing.
There are many international events mainly for DJs. Do we need to give a platform like such in India as well?
India has its own share of international format festivals. Events like Sunburn, VH1 Supersonic, Enchanted Valley Carnival, Magnetic Fields, etc and a lot of smaller festivals have also emerged in different cities. There is space for more but I think we’re in the right direction.
What is the approach of listeners towards the kind of music that you make?
I am really not sure how they approach it but I have a fixed criteria – either their foot or head should be tapping 80 seconds into the song. If it works then the song will do well, if it doesn’t then I need to revisit it.
Apart from remixing, are you planning something different in music?
I am doing my own original compositions already for movies like ‘Golmaal Again’. I have three more originals releasing this year. Apart from this my radio show with Red FM is doing really well and I have a new TV project launching this June.
What are your future plans? Any message for fans?
Thank you for the amazing support, honestly I am just getting started. 2018 is going to be a riot for all of us and I can assure you, you’ll get some amazing music straight from my studio.