From overcoming a life-threatening injury to being rejected by 13 music labels, life hasn’t been easy for Pratham Mehra, a 21-year-old DJ who goes by the name of DJ Kimera. His latest single Fight for Ya, which has over 18,000 streams on Spotify, was released on Generation Smash, a label by worldrenowned DJs Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. Pratham has over 1,70,000+ streams on Soundcloud currently.
What inspired you to make music?
Music was never a part of my plan. I was so much into sports. Like most of the Indian kids growing up, my love for cricket was on another level, and I always wanted to be a cricketer. I injured the left side of my lower back once, and I was advised to stay on bed for almost like six months. For six months, I was just on bed. I couldn’t get up to walk freely; it was just that bad. So, during that period, something just caught my attention. I have a faint memory of Ultra 2014. I was just watching one of these sets by Martin Garrix and Hardwell, and it was just inspiring, because these were young guys just playing out their music. Then I landed myself on FL Studio and started messing around. I used to play the keyboard when I was very young, so that also came in hand.
This 20-year-old Bengaluru-based producer has 7.5 million streams to his credit, and his unique approach of mashing up electronic and rock elements, with a touch of retro nostalgia, is pretty much responsible for that. Almost two years ago, he became the first Indian EDM artist to be signed by signed by Revealed Recordings, the prestigious recording label founded by former No.1 DJ Hardwell. Besides Hardwell, he has been lucky enough to get the support of producers like Nicky Romero, and Volt and State. Some of his most famous tracks include Rush and Five Miles, with 837,816 and 273,788 streams on Spotify respectively. On the same platform, he has 18,892 monthly listeners.
What makes your music stand out?
I love to add my guitar to almost all of my songs, and I think that gives me a little bit of an edge in EDM, because I think many people simplify the guitar lines so that the vocal or the drop can seem bigger. But what I do is I add the guitar as the very core element to the song, and I think that makes it kind of unique in its own way. Another thing that separates my music from the crowd is the song writing itself. I think it’s a little more old school. I pay attention to the kind of lyrics I use, the melodies. So it’s very old school electronic in its own way.
DJ KINI RAO
Mumbai-based DJ Kini specialises in house and techno music, and she surely does know how to mix some hi-fi and lo-fi soul and come up with grooving music. Some of her famous tracks include Bumpin and Pali Naka, with 40,998 and 65,144 streams on Spotify respectively. She has been steadily creating waves in the Indian EDM scene with her quirky melodies and funky basslines, and she is a force to be reckoned with.
Which electronic music sub-genre fascinates you the most?
The current wave of breaking up conventional house/techno music into breaks/ broken-beat is a sub-genre that I love exploring. So 4/4 beats, not so 4/4.
Yugesh Madhwani, who goes by the stage name DJ Greff, has creatively experimented with live sets, and he has successfully executed more than three varied live sets from his house. Yugesh currently has 1,70,700+ streams on Soundcloud, and his single, Don’t Know Shit, has 2,066,261 streams on Spotify at the time of writing. He has 21,255 monthly listeners on the same platform.
How much has the Indian EDM scene evolved over the years?
I’ve been following the EDM scene in India since the late 2000s, and I think that’s the point where the scene actually started standing out; that was the time when the pioneers were making their way to the mainstream. Also, the past five to six years have been the most crucial where we have seen so many talented artistes coming up with some great music, and I feel there’s a lot more talent waiting to be discovered, which we’re going to witness in a few years.
Subhi’s metaphorical lyrical style is further amplified by her authentic vocals and modern pop production. Subhi’s debut English EP, Define Me, released on March 19, 2021, and she recorded the songs, shot the music videos, and released this EP during her pregnancy. On Spotify, her songs, In My Way, and Chaand Ka Chilka, have 65,144 and 23,885 streams respectively. Her work has been featured on Netflix, Y-Films and TVF. She has performed at SXSW Music Festival, TEDx, Talks At Google, Facebook and The Kennedy Center (USA). ABC Chicago showcased Subhi’s musical journey on their Emmy award-winning show Asian Influences.
How did you realise music is your true calling?
My grandfather is the reason behind this. When I was a kid, he used to recite poems by famous poets. He used to explain the meanings behind them. That inspired me to write songs to share the stories I wanted to tell the world.