‘‘ The possibilities are endless and you have to be up-todate.
Sahil Sharma, much popularly known by his stage name Zaeden, is one of the youngest and the most popular DJs in India at the moment. He is also the only one to have performed at Tomorrowland. This month, Exhibit talks to DJ Zaeden to find out more about his journey, the craft of DJing and a whole lot of fun facts.
Exhibit: The journey.
DJ Zaeden: I started off quite early in life. I started recording guitars and all the instruments I played on this digital audio workstation called Abelton. I became a DJ much later in my life, when I was maybe 16. But I started off when I was just 14 with making music. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can’t wait for whatever is planned for the future.
Exhibit: Highest point of your career.
Zaeden: Highest point has been being signed on to the biggest label of the world – “Spinning” – and maybe crossing 3 million views for Never Let you go which was my second single. Performing at Tomorrowland was also quite a big deal for me.
Exhibit: EDM scene in India.
Zaeden: It’s insane! I’ve played a lot around the world but the amount of energy I see in the Indian crowd just can’t be matched. I’m really happy to be a part of the EDM scene in India and I get really happy when I see it growing. With so many festivals happening, so many International DJs playing here in India and so many Indian DJs collaborating with International DJs, it’s great to see the way the EDM scene is growing.
Exhibit: Your style of music.
Zaeden: I honestly make whatever I love and whatever inspires me. I used a lot of progressive house remixes and originals when I started off and slowly shifted to deephouse with Never let you go. City of the lonely hearts has deephouse and tropical stuff. I know that I will always stick to pop stuff. Also, the vocals are really important in a song and I really focus on getting the right vocals so people could relate more to the song.
Exhibit: Favorite place to perform.
Zaeden: Has to be Sunburn and Supersonic which happen in India. I love playing in my country!
Exhibit: Challenges that come with being a DJ.
Zaeden: For me, the main challenge that I faced when I started off was dropping out of college, not having a degree and dealing with my mum and dad for that. That was a really hard time for me but now times have changed. A lot of families are supporting this profession, the art of Djing and making music. So, that was the first challenge I faced and probably the biggest one.
Exhibit: Tech gadgets in your professional life.
Zaeden: I use the Novation Launchpad, the mini one, which is a really basic Midi controller for my live shows and also in the studio. Other gadgets I use are the dynaudio monitors which are really solid, the oxygen 49 midi keyboard to make tracks, my acoustic guitar, the electric guitar among others. I have a very basic studio setup. I’m also going to be using the Roland SPD-SX for my live shows, which will have the whole live concept. We’re going to launch it in a few months where I’ll be playing the drums, the guitar, keyboard and it’s going to be massive!
Exhibit: Zaeden and Tech.
Zaeden: I think it’s important to be updated with the new plug-ins and all the new stuff that’s coming out when you are a music producer. I watch Youtube tutorials to learn new things and thus try to update myself with the latest gadgets. The possibilities are endless and you have to be up-to-date and that’s what I try to do.
Exhibit: When not working.
Zaeden: I love spending the free time with my family and my dog Leo.
Exhibit: Vinyl Records or Digital Streaming?
Zaeden: Digital Streaming.
Exhibit: Zaeden in 2017.
Zaeden: A lot of new tracks are coming out. I’m also going to be releasing two new singles— one with Raghav and another with Ankit Tiwari. The new song with Ankit Tiwari is going to be a Hindi song fused with a future base kind of an instrumental. So it’s going to be something really different and I’m very excited about that. Both are really different in their sound and fresh! I’m sure the response will be massive!
- One song on loop: Milky Chance- Cocoon
- Favorite artists: Milky Chance, Avicii, Porter Robinson, The Chainsmokers, Illenium
- Dream gig: EDC Las Vegas
- First gig: La Terrazza, Pune
- Dream car: Rolls-Royce Phantom
- Must have gadget that’s not your laptop or phone: Novation Launchpad
- Guilty pleasure: Bowling too much
- You’d tag her on a #WomenCrushWednesday: Nina Shah
- If not a DJ, then: No idea. Really. Maybe a rhythm guitarist of a band or something.
- Arena shows or small crowds: Arena shows
- Zaeden at 40: Happy
- One song you think didn’t deserve the attention it got: Martin Garrix Animals