DJ Chetas opens up on his journey, latest single and Bollywood
Chetas Shah, popularly known as DJ Chetas, is a pioneer of Bollywood Dance Music, a genre that wasn’t as popular a decade ago. Known for his mashups and remixes of Hindi songs, DJ Chetas debuted with his original Itna Sannata Kyu Hai in Golmaal Again (2017). However, his first production for a Hindi film was with 2016 sport-drama film, Azhar. Apart from being India’s no 1 Bollywood DJ, he is also ranked World no 59 on the DJ MAG Top 100 DJs list.
In February this year, the Mumbai-based artiste released his single, Jab Koi Baat, a reprised version of the classic, originally sung in Mahesh Bhatt’s romantic thriller Jurm in 1990. The party track features Pakistani singer Atif Aslam and Indo-Kiwi singer Shirley Setia. The song retains the retro vibe and infuses an element of electronic dance music, making it quite a hit. The video for the song was shot in Thailand with the trio - DJ Chetas, Atif Aslam and Shirley Setia - gate crashing an Indian wedding in Hua Hin. We catch up with Chetas about his journey, Bollywood and his future projects.
Tell us about your journey as one of the most popular Bollywood DJs in the country.
When I started off as a DJ it was still a nascent idea. There was only DJ AQEEL back then, who was somewhat popular. The rest were still considered as resident DJs to a particular outlet. Luckily, my parents let me pursue my hobby with all the support. I’d initially spent days in the waiting area of label offices to be able to procure a simple remix or mashup and wouldn’t be entertained for days at a stretch.
How was it to work with Atif Aslam and Shirley Setia for your single?
Both of them are amazing! I'm good friends with both so for us it was more fun rather than work.
What were your initial ideas of electronic music and what inspired you to take it up?
I’ve been purely brought up on Bollywood music and in 2008, I discovered my love for electronic music as well. I wanted to take the best of both - Indian melodies and vocals and international production quality and that’s what helped me create my mashups.
How difficult is it to keep experimenting with new music styles?
Not at all. In the Bollywood DJing space, you’re open to exploring all kinds of genres. That’s the reason why, in my released music and shows, you’ll find a mix of genres including trap, future bass, hip-hop, reggae and big room.
What are the trends you’ve noticed in Bollywood music in the last few years?
The most common one is remakes and recreations. Guess this will last for another year at least.
Do you think Bollywood is opening up to indie musicians and other new genres?
100%! You’ve seen big room enter with Sooraj Dooba, trap and bass with Paintra, Amit Trivedi keeps exploring new genres in his arrangements as well. I’m sure indie music will go commercial sooner than ever now.
Tell us about your upcoming projects in Bollywood. Will we see you make music for Telugu films or other movies down South in the next few months?
My first original composition came with Golmaal Again and I’m happy with how things went. I’m currently working on six movie projects in Bollywood. Apart from that, I’m working on my own independent scene with some of the most talented singers in this country. If given an opportunity, I’d love to explore South Indian films too.
What are your musical influences?
What are the songs on your playlist right now?
Bandeya, Jab Koi Baat, Lag Ja Gale, Dil Diyan Gallan and Bom Diggy.
What is your most memorable experience in Hyderabad?
Salman Khan's sister, Arpita's wedding at Taj Falaknama Palace was great. Amazing fun there!