The melody maker
DJ Khushi, the remix expert talks about the remix culture and playing for top T'towners
Dj Khushi specialises in adding a whole other dimension to Bollywood beats. Right from Chikni Chameli to Chammak Challo if you love the latest Bollywood numbers, chances are DJ Khushi Soni has worked on a remix. Nine years ago, the ‘Remix Badshah’ as he is popularly known, broke away from convention and set his eyes on making a name for himself in the industry. Over the last few years, DJ Khushi has not only made a unique niche for himself in Bollywood with his fantastic remixes of popular numbers, he is also the first choice as a DJ for several A-listers from the film and corporate arena. Masala! meets the man who makes the biggest movers and shakers of India smile from ear to ear and gets chatting with him about his DJing company!
How did your journey as a DJ begin? When did you get your first big break?
I started deejaying around nine years ago just after I finished school! I initially got into it for fun and my first job was as an assistant at this club called Float. But here I got a reality check – deejaying is not as easy or glamourous as it looks. I realised facing the crowd is vastly different from being in the crowd! Then gradually I got into remixes. My first remix was the song called Rishte Naate from the movie De Dana Dan sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
DJing is a very competitive field. What makes you stand out from the rest?
I believe India has great talent and now there are more opportunities for youngsters to grow. I think I’ve always had a vision which makes me stand out and I’ve always worked hard and stayed focused on it. It’s important to do your work sincerely.
You have been a part of many hits. Which recent numbers did you enjoy remixing the most?
I enjoyed working on Chammak Challo and Hosanna by AR Rahman. Chammak Challo was a life-changing experience for me. After all, when your work is appreciated by none other than Shah Rukh Khan himself, it’s a great honour. Similarly, remixing a track for Rahmansaab was a different feeling of achievement altogether. I’m lucky to be the only DJ to have remixed songs for the great AR Rahman.
How do you ensure that the original flavour of a song isn’t lost when remixing it?
Even if it’s a remix, I always try and concentrate on the melody of the song. A good melody always works. At the same time, being a DJ, I ensure that the song I am remixing is something that I would like to listen to myself while driving or working out in gym.
Which music composers do you enjoy working with?
I have remixed tracks for AR Rahman Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar, Ajay-Atul, Sajid-Wajid and others. All music composers in Bollywood are hugely talented; there’s much inspiration and scope of learning from everyone when you meet them. I’ve enjoyed working with all of them.
You have played for several Bollywood A-listers like SRK and Katrina Kaif. Can you share any interesting experience while working with them?
The Moranis who have always loved my work once met SRK and suddenly the topic of remixing Chammak Challo came up. They referred my name to him and he decided to give me a chance but warned me that he would use the song only if he liked it. I then sent a demo and he loved it. When I finally met him in Delhi, he told me to finish the remix ASAP as he wanted it to be the part of the CD! King Khan appreciating my work was a great achievement in itself!
You have also played at dos hosted by personalities like LN Mittal. How is that different from the ones thrown by Bollywood celebrities?
Both are equally great in their own way. Mr Mittal’s event would have the who’s who of the corporate world from all over the globe besides the best of Bollywood. On the other hand, a typical Bollywood bash would have a more filmy crowd and people from high society. They both are fun and offer different exposure.
If you had to remix hits from old films which ones would you select and why?
There are so many of them! The music of the 70s was amazing, not just internationally but even in Bollywood. Take for instance, the hits of RD Burman, Kishore Kumar and Rafisaab...it was the era when real music was made in India. Their melodies were very strong.
Can you tell us more about your DJing company, Sound Station?
I started Sound Station five years ago. It is an entertainment company that provides deejaying and other services like artistes and event management but our primary focus is always music. We train DJs and give them opportunities to play at clubs and high profile parties giving them the much-needed exposure which is otherwise very difficult to get.
Do you have any particular favourite track remixed by you? Which genre of music do you enjoy the most?
I think my biggest asset as a DJ is that I am very versatile. Though Bollywood music is my forte, I equally enjoy playing all genres, International Dance music in particular.
Have you ever considered composing music or you would like to stick to remixing popular numbers?
Yes definitely, I would love to explore new horizons. All over the world, DJs compose original music but in India, they don’t get enough opportunities to do so. I’ve been focusing on original music both in India and internationally. In fact my first House album will be released next month. I am really excited about that.
You shuttle between Mumbai and Delhi. Which city do you prefer to settle in?
Delhi is home. It’s the place where I have been brought up. But Mumbai is now slowly becoming a second home as there is a lot of work happening in the city.
What are the three things you always carry with you on a gig?
Headphones, music and an attitude of a rockstar!
Related Articles & PhotosNo articles / photos
Most Read Today
Sonam Kapoor and Vidya Balan went desi with a vengeance! Plus Freida and Mallika at Cannes