Alright, here’s a small complaint against my adopted city. We have an extremely limited musical library. Bars, radio stations, weddings. I’ve only taken one month of Hindi lessons, but I still somehow know all the words to Aaj ki raat. It’s as if there is some giant replay button the whole town’s been stuck on for three months until a new soundtrack comes out and we move forward one CD.
So, there was no reason to expect anything different on a normal Friday night at another farm party. Women in short dresses. Boys clustered around whisky bottles. A perfect spring night poised precariously between the winter’s freeze and the summer’s slow roast in hell. Some brave girls twirling on the dance floor. And the music was the same mix of Bollywood hits, poppy dance tunes and a dash of techno, right?
Nope, the music was new pulsating beats and long, looping notes flirting with electronic twangs. And I had never heard any of it before.
Usually, if you want to hear music remotely like that, you have to subject yourself to being tossed around a sweaty dance floor in one of the only two clubs in Delhi. Not exactly my ideal way to spend an evening.
Now this party had the atmosphere of a chill lounge, with a bonfire, a swingset and plenty of space to indulge in the music. I even got a chance for some up-close field research on a thesis I’m writing: The Cultural Flirting Habits of Star-struck Girls.
Don’t worry. I’m one of them. We all love stars. Who doesn’t? We go giggly and goofy for anybody with a modicum of talent. And we constantly find new idols to worship. The latest brand of city celebrities? The DJ.
There have been DJs floating around Delhi for years, but it seems like suddenly everyone has a favourite DJ, knows the best MC or is inviting a group from Goa to spin records. DJs are the hottest trend since pugs.
For some DJs, this trend rankles. You mark a profession hip and cool, and the posers will come flocking. Not exactly the worst thing in the world for the aforementioned girls. Really.
Here’s a quick refresher course in DJ 101: There’s the DJ who mixes records; the MCs who work the microphones (not be confused with DJs as one hapless girl did); the various drum players or tabla players; and the turntablist, or someone who scratches a record, for those uninitiated in DJ-speak.
Thankfully for our dire musical situation and our malleable hearts, this trend isn’t going to just stay limited to private farm parties. This is a special blending style of music and the DJs are infiltrating the lounges around town.
Q’ba in Connaught Place has just begun hosting a Live Lounge night (good name, right?) on Thursdays. Laidback Waters near the Q’tab Minar has started bringing in DJs from Toronto and Goa to host events Friday nights. Finally, some variety in our evenings!
Plus, fine, I’ll admit it. The music isn’t always exactly the draw. The DJs, much like their rock star precursors, are pretty easy on the eyes.
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