By Vishnu Makhijani
New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) DJ Akhtar has fast become a familiar name in music circles and has been hired to play at private parties hosted by or for Indian and international superstars including the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Hrithik Roshan and Shahrukh Khan, among others.
But the artist says that he does’nt “have a passion for music”, that it is not his life but his job and he is “good at it”.
“It was not a music bug that bit me; I just come from a humble family background; I don’t have a passion for music, how usually all artists say; music is not my life. Music is my job and I am good at it. So after I completed my 10th, during the vacation I had to do something for a living; so someone suggested to me to become a Disco Jokey at a club called RGs where they were hiring.
“So I just went there without knowing what Disco Jokey is and they asked me only two questions. Do you Smoke? I said no. Do you drink? I said no. Back in the day I used to not do anything. They hired me and it was a very vigorous and hard work every day because I was managing my college, my graduation, my night job; so it was a little tough for me and it was a self-learning experience,” Akhtar told IANS in an email interview.
He said that slowly and steadily he climbed up the ladder. He joined a the 1900 nightclub at the Taj in Mumbai as a DJ and worked there for a good 16 years. He also met popular celebrities and his career rolled on in a positive direction.
How viable is it to be a DJ these days?
Akhtar, who performed at the Hard Rock cafe in Gurugram as a part of its collaboration with Red Bull, will be performing on November 24 at its Mumbai outlet and on November 25 at its Pune outlet.
“In my opinion, these days everything is very social media-oriented. One can find DJs who are very active on social media with a huge fan following,” he said.
“However, on stage they might not be great performers. There are many qualities required to be a good DJ. Many event organisers and corporate companies have now realised that just good (numbers) of followers on social media doesn’t make (for) a good DJ. Today, DJs are recognised as professional artists.
“DJs play a major role in setting the aura of an event where we have the opportunity to be the center of attraction. It all depends on what you put on the table and what you present to your clients and listeners,” he maintained.
On his future plans, he said that he is planning to start a new venture along with a friend.
“In the long run we aim to help the music community as much as possible. With God’s grace and the love of my fans, my journey in the industry has been excellent so far and I will continue to work hard,” he concluded.
(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)