The internationally acclaimed DJ Ravin will be performing in New Delhi on Saturday. Born in Mauritius, he was raised in a traditional Hindu family. As a teenager, he moved to Paris, a move that heralded his collaboration with Buddha Bar— a club he has worked with since, creating rhythms and tunes that have become the signature Buddha Bar sound.
Edited excerpts from a phone interview with DJ Ravin:
Tell us about your formative years in music.
I was always passionate about music but was never really good at school. So, I quit it. Moving to Paris as a teenager, I began working at a music shop. At the time, all I was concerned with was selling records. There was no deejaying back then, so I began doing radio programmes to get by.
How did your association with Buddha Bar begin?
In 1995, I was in London. The next year, I returned to Paris and decided to explore this new place called Buddha Bar that had opened there. I went there to feel the vibe and soak in the atmosphere. The owner asked me about how I could decorate the place with music. There was talk of introducing the sounds of nature, etc. But I said that we should have global music mixed with electronica. He liked my idea and we began working. The feedback that we received from the public after six months was phenomenal. We were on our way.
Do you think Buddha Bar’s sound is becoming a cliche—the same old sitar/tabla samples layered on heavy synth and slow beats?
I do not agree. People always listen to new, innovative music. What DJs do is that they bring fresh perspectives to Oriental and Indian sounds. All this time, we have devoted ourselves to discovering new artistes who have been creating fresh music.
Tell us about the artistes who have inspired your work.
I listen to all kinds of music. Nitin Sawhney from London has always been an inspiration. I have taken pains to never limit myself to a single genre, thus encompassing Bollywood, electronica and classical music to create my unique blend. The melodious haunting voice of Lata Mangeshkar, the work of A.R. Rahman, I listen to everything.
How long do you work on a single composition?
It is very flexible and depends a lot on the task at hand. It is also about special edits. We are always trying to deliver something fresh. So it can take anything from six months to a year to create it.
What do you have in store for Indian audiences?
A surprise. They will hear something that they have never heard from other DJs. I am given to improvisation and creating a unique sound. The music will be ethnic and progressive.
If you were to define your music in a few words, what would you say?
Global fusion world music. It’s world music fused with electronic music. Basically, a beautiful bouquet of world music.
DJ Ravin will be performing at The Blue Bar, Taj Palace hotel, in New Delhi on Saturday, 10pm.