DJs who produce music have more opportunities, says music producer and DJ Smokey
Known for DJ and music producer Smokey speaks to Indulge ahead of her event scheduled to take place over the weekend near Chennai Dishing Smokeyn hot music
DJ nights are always hip and one always ends up grooving to the music with friends or that special someone well into the night and sometimes, until the morning next. While people are, more often than not, engrossed in the party that unfolds in front of their eyes, seldom do they take the time to look at the person who is keeping them entertained.
Indira Kanawade, better known as Smokey, has been in the business for 14 years. Apart from being a DJ, the Mumbai-based artist is also a music producer and an Electronic Live Act & Teacher. Smokey will be present at the Mahabs Sundown Festival set to happen near Chennai this weekend and ahead of the event, we caught up with her for a tête-à-tête.
We begin by asking Smokey what she finds comfortable -- being a DJ or a music instructor (she has 10 years experience teaching music)? “DJ is about entertaining a crowd. I learn from my own experiences, from my teachers, mentors, and people around me, because the process of learning never ends. Teaching is passing that knowledge to the next generation. So, that is a completely different thing and I'm proudly sharing my mistakes so that others do not repeat the same,” Smokey says.
When asked what makes a DJ, a good DJ, Smokey says, “A good DJ is a person who keeps their audience entertained. You see, a DJ doesn't produce music on stage. There are DJs that have a producer, while some DJs simply perform. So when you as a DJ produce music, you create something from your own ideas and play your own tracks at events. Thus, they have more opportunities because of the uniqueness of their work.”
“Because, when you die, nobody cares about how many followers you have, or how much money you made. What you leave behind is your art,” She further adds.
Smokey is also known for performing at events in a sari at times. “I've partied wearing skirts and all that. But as you grow, you want to keep everything raw and natural. So, I stopped wearing make-up, and I wear a sari, just like how I do when I step out from my house. Also, with time, I realised that if people enjoy my music, they will not care about my attire,” she explains.
For all the years Smokey has spent as a DJ, she cannot name more than 10 music producers who share her gender and this, she says, needs to change. “There are very few women in this industry. There are many DJs out there, but there are hardly eight to 10 women producing music in India,” she states and adds that although there is no dearth of opportunities, families form the major roadblocks that female DJs have to cross.
“The conservative, sophisticated families in society think that it is not suitable for a girl from their family to step out past 10 pm to work as a DJ at clubs where people drink and smoke. There are families that do support… I got that support from my family. So, this this field is not for everybody,” she adds.
Finally, we ask Smokey about what the outlook is for DJs with the onset of AI. “Already, this AI thing has started and technology is evolving. Now, people are taking shortcuts by using this technology. But I hope that it goes in a positive direction. People, if they learn the basics of music, robots or AI cannot replace humans and the things that make us human,” she ends.
INR 599. On October 1. 4 pm onwards. At Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center, Mahabalipuram.