Kshmr on Mother Teresa, Enrique Iglesias and everything in between
Berkley-based DJ Niles Hollowell-Dhar better known as Kshmr takes his name from the state where his roots lie. His sound, notably in tracks such as Festival of Lights, heavily reflect Indian culture. He has collaborated with all the big names such as Hardwell, Tiesto and Headhunterz. The DJ now embarks on a multi-city India tour and we catch up with him about notable collaborations and what we can expect from this tour.
How does it feel returning to India?
It feels great. There’s so much influence from my heritage in my music and to finally be back in India, where so many of my fans have resided for so long and to give them a full tour is really important to me and special.
We heard you will be playing some Indian numbers.
I’m planning to play a lot of new material at Sunburn Arena that I prepared just for this tour. Yes, I have also created some exclusive remixes of Indian songs that I plan to debut.
Why did you decide to partner with Child Rights And You (CRY) in Delhi?
At the heart of what we do is a desire to touch people in an artistic way but we can do it in a very tangible, material way as well. My mom was a social worker in the US and took me to visit Mother Teresa in Calcutta. That has remained with me. My grandfather is also a member of organisations that help displaced people from Kashmir. I think all of that got passed down to me.
Of all the collaboration you have done, which one has been the most memorable?
I worked for a long time with Enrique Iglesias and I was struck by how humble and relatable he was and how much he cared about making good songs. He wasn’t one of these flashy guys who just showed up when it was time to sing his part. He wanted to be there from dusk until dawn and it was a real pleasure and honour working with him.
Tell us about your latest EP, Materia.
It explores new territory and different tempos. With this project, I’m a little bit more experimental. I do go through these periods where I just want to drop all the rules and have fun and that’s where I am now.
What are you expecting from the India tour?
I'm looking forward to finally connecting in a meaningful way with the Indian fan base. One of the collaborators who will be joining me on stage is Hasit Nada, who is a genius. He’s a piano virtuoso. Also there is Jai Wolf who is joining me and has roots in India. His music is very different than mine but is inspiring.
October 21, 4 pm. At E Zone Club, Marathahalli. Tickets (`1,600 upwards) on bookmyshow.com