With his energetic performances and a sharp ear for music, Deejay Shadow Dubai is a music producer who has the crowd grooving to his beats. Originally from Dubai, the artiste is always on the move and recently performed at the ‘Bollywood Night’ at Mi-a-mi the club in Pune’s JW Marriott. He recently collaborated with Guru Randhawa and Pitbull in a song titled Slowly slowly. Deejay Shadow is also the founder of Shadow Experience, a collective of artists, producers, songwriters and deejays who are producing and supporting Bollywood tunes worldwide. His other popular works include Aaja ni aaja, Move your body, Champagne train, Saari saari raat, Rich, and several official remixes. Excerpts from an interview:
What is your earliest memory of music?
I grew up in Dubai, a multicultural city where music was at the forefront of east meets west fusion. This is not only one of my earliest memories of music but also what forms the roots of my career. Slowly slowly is an example of this sound that caught me at such young age and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with two of the biggest stars from the east and the west; Guru Randhawa and Pitbull.
When did you realise that music was something you wanted to do full time?
I believe music was always in my blood. I started out by working in the events industry and as a teenager was pondering over what to do with my life. My passion for music and exposure to deejay sets at events got me really interested in exploring it more and that’s when I started experimenting as a deejay. From the time I started deejaying, I knew it was more than just a hobby. It was something I was extremely passionate about and the next step was to get into music production. Looking back, there isn’t a significant moment but rather a gradual pull that got me to do music full time.
Who inspires you to create music?
Inspiration comes from everywhere, from life itself and from the people you meet in different parts of the world. Travelling gives you the opportunity to explore new and unique sounds that you could incorporate into your music. For me, inspiration comes naturally when I least expect it. Sometimes I wake up with a particular sound I want to work on. It also comes out when I’m jamming with other artistes. All the artistes I’ve worked with, from Sean Paul, Bohemia, Jay Sean, Badshah, Guru Randhawa and Pitbull, each of them have brought their own experiences to the table and that has resulted in unique songs with each collaboration.
What are the struggles of making music?
As a deejay, the biggest challenge is the inability to stand out in a flood of remixes and mashups. It takes a lot of time to find your own sound and discover who your audience is and what works for you. Even today, there are a lot of remakes of songs being produced in the market for many of the latest movies and this limits our sets because there aren’t many original songs being produced.
How do you feel your work has evolved since you first started?
When I started deejaying, it all started with wanting to create a blend of Bollywood and electronic music which wasn’t being done at that time, so I started doing it myself. I wanted to create unique sounds which would eventually be known around the world. I started out by doing remixes which got a really good response. They found their way into the top 10 of the BBC Asian Network. This journey continued into mashups and has now developed into original music which has led me to create international collaborations like Slowly slowly, Move your body and Aaja ni aaja.
What are the upcoming projects you are working on?
After such a positive response to Slowly slowly, I’m super excited to be touring and sharing this song with so many fans. I think this year, you can expect a lot more original music. I believe collaborations are the way forward to uniting the world through music as well as taking Indian music to a global audience, so that’s something you can definitely expect. I have some super exciting projects coming up this year