By Romil Sharma:
The talented newcomers in music industry are making innovative and eclectic mixes that shape the genre while wily veterans are finding new ways to stay relevant. From thousands of music talents, we have here put together a list of the top ten best Indian DJs, a mix of young and old producers who hail from all over India and have slowly but surely carved out their own own lane and their own sound. Check out who made the cut below.
1) DJ Nyk – Nikhil Sahni
Never standing still, NYK is one of the rare breed that have always excelled as both. As happy on stage at the globe’s finest Clubs as he is burrowed in his New Delhi studio, the dedicated artist never fails to pour every drop of his passion into each project he takes on, and his energy never goes unnoticed. Dj Nyk, aka Nikhil Sahni, is the personification of all that’s cool without being over the top and all that’s classy without being ostentatious! Times have moved on and Nyk has moved well ahead of them. Within a short span of 4 years, Dj Nyk has effectively silenced critics and won the hearts of the gurus of good music and the masses alike who have branded him as the “King of Remixes “. NYK continues to ride high at the pinnacle of the modern dance movement, both as a DJ and more importantly, as a producer. Nyk, as a producer, has never buckled himself to any particular genre alone. Even way before his production had conquered the globe’s dancefloors, he had already experimented with ambient, chill out, house, euro trance productions and even drum, bass and Breakbeats. His indefatigable spirit to constantly discover new and enthralling music for his listeners, coupled with his vibrant energy and an enviable ear for first-rate music have ensured that the force of this passion of his life is conveyed to one and all. At the young and ripe age of 24, Dj Nyk is already a sensation, a phenomenon to be reckoned with! His multiple performances across the globe have received wide reviews and today Dj NYK has been the cynosure of all who have an ear for quality.
2) DJ AQEEL – Aqeel
DJ Aqeel is India’s top notch DJ/Producer and a business honcho to boot present the country’s first luxury nightclub to all the Â party lovers. He became known after his “Shake it Daddy Mix” song became very popular in early 2000. His popularity grew when his song “Tu Hai Wahi” song which was a remix of the “Yeh Wada Raha” hit the music scene.
3) Aftermorning Productions – Abhishek Yesugade, Anup Prabhakar and Dj Mer’c
Aftermorning productions is India’s first Trance Music Band formed in 2010 by 3 young boys- Abhishek Yesugade, Anup Prabhakar and Dj Mer’c who take their love for music very seriously, and are gradually becoming a leading figure amongst the younger generation of DJs in India. Best known for their raging innovative and eclectic mixes of Progressive House, Electro to Trance – the music that makes fans and party goers’ hearts crazy.
With one aim, to provide better beats for music lovers of all kinds. They are also specialized in producing bollywood(Indian) tracks. AfterMorning has a distinctive and unique production style that can perhaps best be described as a fusion of trance and progressive, with psy, tribal and techno flavors. There productions have been described as intelligent, driving, melodic and progressive. There dub mixes are often done in there signature “stuttering vocal” style.
4) Akhil Talreja
DJ Akhil Talreja is popular in India for his production of Bollywood remixes like Tenu Le Ke Jaana from the movieÂ Jai Veeru. He is well known for his spin attack in the commercial Bollywood and House genre. His music dynamically moves from swing to progressive creating havoc on the dance floor. DJ Akhil Talreja started DJing at the age of 17 in the year 2001. At that time, he was one of the youngest DJ’s in India. With an experience of 9 years in the field of DJing, he is one of the most promising and upcoming DJ the party circuit has witnessed recently. Apart from his spinning skills, he has also established himself a a well-known Remix producer. He has won 15 War of the DJ championships in Mumbai and Goa.
5) Nikhil Chinappa
To say that Nikhil Chinapa has donned many an avatar during his career, is like saying it snows in Alaska; a bit of an understatement. He morphs from DJ to VJ to MC to Music Promoter to Festival Director –some of his best known avatars – with amazing fluidity. He studied Architecture and graduated with a Thesis in Hospital Design. At MTV, Nikhil has hosted almost every show the channel has aired. As a popular VJ, Nikhil got to spend a lot of time around his first love, music. In 2001, a conversation between friends resulted in the launch of Submerge – India’s first, and now largest Electronic Dance Music (EDM) company. Nikhil’s sets are moody, varied, often erratic but usually fun. Most of his sets feature frantic foot-stomping and the random flailing of arms – sometimes by him. They also feature music, the kind that has a repetitive monotonous beat and is best enjoyed at dangerous decibel levels.Â Nikhil is also a Festival Director at Sunburn, India’s premiere EDM Festival.
Dj Ankytrixx is one of the best Tech-house & progressive DJs on the the Subcontinent. His fan base spreads from Nepal to Bangalore, from Bombay to Calcutta, through clubs, festivals, and even hot spots in Singapore. His energetic style and performance is super contagious. Truly one of the master blasters of the scene!
7) DJ Suketu – Suketu Radia
At a time when music was losing its luster and remixes were infamous, came a man who changed it all – DJ Suketu. A Times Music discovery way back in 2001, he has churned out some of the most successful and loved remixes of all times. His skills were nurtured by 4 times UK champion and 2 times world championÂ DJ Cut Master Swift at the DMC (Disco Mixing Club) headquarters in Burnham.
Soon after this, DJ Suketu went on to win the DMC in 1999 and became the number 1 DJ in Mumbai and India and represented India in the World DJ Mixing Championships in New York. He released his first album ‘440 Volts’ in 2002. His single ‘Pyar Zindagi Hai’ entered the charts at no.1 and parked itself there for 8 weeks. He followed it up with ‘Bin Tere Sanam’ which is his wildly successful party anthem . ‘Bin Tere Sanam’ was an overnight sensation. It debuted at number 1 on the Indi pop charts and stayed there for 20 weeks! It was one of the most frequently played tracks in nightclubs all over not only India, but the world and can be rightfully called the remix of the decade. Later that year, the track was recognized as the highest selling remix in the history in Indian music and was awarded the Best Remix Of the year by MTV India. DJ Suketu has worked with many composers on numerous projects. A few of them are Pritam, Adnan Sami, Shankar Ehsan Loy, Himesh Reshamiya and Vishal Shekhar. He collaborated with composer and singer Atif Aslam in 2004 to recreate ‘Woh Lamhe’, a song from the movie Zeher. The recreation become a sensation, an anthem of sorts once again. ‘Woh Lamhe’ wasn’t just the biggest remix of year, it remains timeless and an eternal favorite of millions. 2004 was a double whammy year for DJ Suketu with the release of ‘Kya Khoob Lagati Ho’, another chartbuster. Along with fame and fan following came the respect and adulation of the music industry. He was awarded by HMV Sa Re Ga Ma and Vishesh Films for making the highest selling Bollywood Film remix for ‘Woh Lamhe‘. He went on to win the MTV IMMIES 2005 in the Best Remix/Pop music category for Kya Khoob Lagti Ho. After the success of Woh Lamhe, DJ Suketu has worked with Vishesh films on almost all of their films, assuring them of a stellar soundtrack. His recreations of songs in Kalyug and Awarapan became a rage. ‘Aadat‘ from Kalyug was once again the highest selling remix of 2005. With his 3 remixed tracks from the film Awarapan, namely ‘Toh Phir Aao’, ”Tera Mera Rishta”Â and ‘Mahiya‘, Suketu set a new standard of excellence. All tracks became super hits and were well received by the industry
8) DJ Lemon – Anil Chainani
Having shared the console with big names in Indian Dj industry gave Dj Lemon the credit he deserved. Known for his authentic compositions of synths and beats, Dj Lemon introduced to the industry what potential electronic music has, and can have in the coming times. Although his first love is electronic music, Dj Lemon also realized that if you like different styles of music, chances are your audience do, too. Therefore, he mastered himself in music ranging from commercial club bollywood, to deep and progressive house. Dj Lemon is one of the few in India who can boast of creating their own compositions in remixing ,thus, giving an all new dimension to remixing/production.
9) Abhishek Mantri
DJ Abhishek Mantri generates energy and excitement at any event he performs. He explores and incorporates a variety of music into his sets, thus easily elevating the mood of a crowd with its fun, unexpected flow. Since the time Abhishek was young, he has always been interested in music. His fascination with music and the experience of truly listening to the rhythm and beat started at the young age of 16. This soon turned into a profession when he realized that he had found his purpose in life. Abhishek started DJing in 1998. He joined Thousand Oaks in 1999 and held his residency there till 2008. At Oaks, he played a mix of Rock, Retro and Lounge. In March 2008, he decided it was time to move on and then began yet another exciting journey in music! His variation in styles, which ranges from rock & retro through to house shows how versatile he is. This has given him various opportunities to play at several venues in Pune, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi & Kerala.
10) DJ Akbar Sami
DJ Akbar Sami, who shot to fame with his first remix album Jalwa has since gone on to produce a number of other hit albums like Jadoo and Jalwa II with popular remixed songs like Raati baaki and Dhagala lagli kal. He has mesmerized crowds globally, and music lovers have always had their evening’s excitement and thrill up to the last minute of the show. His passion for the artful chemistry of mixing Rap, Jazz, Folk, Rock and contemporary music with traditional melodies have had ensured that he is always one of the most preferred DJs in the Industry. He has to his credit a number of awards like the All Asian DJ Championship and Channel [V]’s Best Indian Club DJ. With his recent Bollywood hits like ‘Just Chill’ & ‘Ashiq Banaya Aapne’, DJ Akbar Sami has retained his position as one of the best in the industry.