Jockeying to fame
DJ Suketu is the name that one recalls immediately as far as remixes are concerned. A pro in disc jockeying, he released his first album ‘440 Volts’ in 2002.
His single, Pyar Zindagi Hai, entered the charts at number one and stayed there for eight weeks. He followed it up with Bin Tere Sanam, an overnight sensation that debuted at number 1 on the Indi-pop charts and stayed there for 20 weeks! His remixing spree continued and Woh Lamhe from Zeher became the highest selling remix in 2005.
Looking back at starting out as a DJ 15 years back, he says, “The scene in DJing was pretty different then. Bollywood was in the backseat. However, now Bollywood is in the forefront and the rest has taken a backseat. I took up DJing because I found the profession interesting. It was a pleasure for me to play music and see the dance floor kicking. It still gives me a high, after all these years.”
However, it is a challenge to remix songs. “I think it is very difficult and very challenging to remix a song because you are playing with something which is already good, a hit, and loved by all. Your listeners will definitely keep comparing it with the original. So you have to be very careful and not spoil the original feel and melody while also bring in new inputs so the song sounds fresh. I try and keep my remixes simple and groovy,” he explains.
His latest album is a tribute to legendary composer R D Burman and is called ‘DJ Suketu & Friends present RD Burman Reinvented’. The album is a collection of 10 different melodies and moods from the huge bouquet of RD’s chef-d’oeuvre recreated in today’s sound. Each track is remixed and reinvented in a unique style, featuring trends from today’s popular electronic dance music sounds, with vocals by a wide array of contemporary Indian singers.
“This is an album I did after four years. My last album was ‘Ultimix’ in 2008. The album is a theme-based remix album and is a tribute to one of the best musicians in India. We have picked up fun, hit R D Burman songs and given them a 2012 sound for the people of all ages to enjoy. In fact, my friends, who are involved in this album, are R D Burman fans themselves. The album has a different sound as the singers also have been an integral part of the album,” he says.
The album features the vocals of singers like Javed Ali, Anushka Manchanda, Sophie Choudry, Chin2 Bhosle, Anusha Dandekar, Mustafa Zahid, Kamran Ahmed and Manasi Scott.
An avant-garde performer, he believes that performing live is what got him into DJ’ing. A people’s person, he enjoys seeing people having a good time on the dance floor.
“Each gathering has its own preferences. It is fun to catch on to that and make them have a good time. Plus, knowing that people around the world come to your shows because they trust you to help them have a good time motivates you,” says Suketu, who counts his personal favourite DJs in David Guetta, Armin Van Burenn, Deadmau5 and Skrillex internationally. What also works for him is that the current music scene in India is booming with a nice mix of Bollywood and international music.
“Young music directors are coming out with very good music, keeping current genres of music in mind. People are enjoying this mix of Indian and international styles together,” he says.
Currently awaiting the remix project of Race 2 to begin later this year, he is also dabbling in music for ad films. Being the music junkie that he is, he is sure to be everywhere as far as music is concerned.