She plays Progressive and commercial house as well as some peppy Bollywood numbers. She plays what people want. She plays what she wants… the dhol. Navni Kumar gets into a tete-a-tete with DJ/Remixer/Dhol player DJ Kamya.
Loud music, lot of drinking and dancing – that’s what we expect from a night out clubbing. What we don’t expect is the DJ whipping out a dhol and creating some live beats for us along with the fast peppy symphonies. And that is exactly what DJ Kamya does. First a DJ, then a dhol player, her performances are bound to send the leftest of feet into a dancing frenzy.
1. When did you decide that being a DJ was what you were meant for?
I used to hang out with a lot of DJ friends and so I was always updated with the latest music. The equipment- the big CD players, controllers, mixers always fascinated me. The thought of being a DJ struck me several times but somehow I could never gather the confidence to really plunge into it. Then one day I just went to Mumbai and learned it. I got my first break in 2009 and although I was very nervous and my hands were shaking, I took it in my stride and that’s what I always have to do.
2. What genres do you play and which is your personal favourite?
I play some progressive house, commercial house, Bollywood. It really depends on where I’m performing; each place has its own kind of crowd with specific tastes and preferences. Whatever the audience likes becomes my favourite.
3. What makes people take up this profession?
Some people might say that glamour is a major advantage for a female DJ. But glamour is short lived. I detest people who get into it for this sole reason. Glamour is short-lived; people might come to your performances to see you once or twice but ultimately it’s the music you play that will keep them coming back. Passion for music is the biggest factor.
4. Where all have you played recently? What’s your favourite place to perform at?
I’ve played all over India as well as Australia, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai, Bahrain, Malaysia and Africa. Delhi’s my city so I perform here a lot. Delhi nightlife has always been very rocking. People are very enthusiastic. Delhi rocks!
5. You are currently India’s only female dhol player. How do you balance this with being a DJ?
I integrate it in my music! I don’t play dhol solo. I play the dhol when I’m performing – it gives that extra edge to it and I totally enjoy it.
6. What are some of the popular tracks requested by the audience request?
It keeps changing from time to time as new music comes out. Peoples’ choices keep evolving. I’ve found Tum hi ho bandhu and David Guetta’s tracks are always received well. Currently, the audience loves Honey Singh so I do a lot of remixes of his tracks.
7. What’s been your biggest WOW moment so far?
When I played in Dubai this Holi. I was expecting a crowd of about 3000 but instead 16,000 people showed up! It gave me such a head rush. It’s the best feeling when your passion for music is appreciated by the audience.
8. What is one change you’d like to see in Delhi nightlife?
I think clubs should be picky about who all they let in. In the sense, notorious elements should be kept out and they should ensure that the guys who come in are decent and will not be the type to indulge in things like eve teasing.
If you want to catch DJ Kamya perform live with the console and dhol for company, she is going to be performing at Jynxx on 21st December. Do stay tuned for details on her New Year’s gig.