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The Master Of Mix

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From being featured in Time magazine to being on top of the charts, DJ Abhi is no stranger to fame. He now wants to build his own radio station in Australia.
In a career as a DJ spanning 17 years, DJ Abhi has hogged every possible limelight. In 2006 Time magazine featured him for remixing Rabindra Sangeet, he has been No 1 in many remix competitions such as Acid DJmusic competition, DesiDJ Remixing Guru, War of The DJ, he has been ranked No. 77 of Top 100 DJs global poll. He has composed music for Star Cine Awards, Zee Awards, Sony Awards and other reality and dance shows. The list can go on. Just in case you are wondering, a DJ is a disc jockey or a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Today DJ’s have taken over pop culture drawing an audience because they are developing on music that people already enjoy. They have become the new celebrities as the phenomenon of in-house music sweeps across the world.
“I have two aspects – one radio and the other DJ(ing),” quietly asserts DJ Abhi born Abhishek Das, as the interview begins. Both aspects are fascinating, if truth be told. His phenomenal growth as DJ Abhi is the product of his blood and sweat, he proclaims.
To track the rise and rise of DJ Abhi, it is essential to go back to his radio days. Both radio and DJ-ing are intertwined in the making of his career which in the initial days startled his middle class parents who dreamt of an engineering career for their son. ‘What is DJ?’ was a question he lived with till they and those around him were convinced about it. More on that later.
Just 30 km from Kolkata, India’s eastern city, lies the town of Shyamnagar. It is situated on the east bank of river Ganges and it is a place rich in culture and sports. Growing up in this town in the early 1990s, Abhishek spent his time listening to radio stations from around the world when kids of his age were into cricket and other things. The radio was his world and DXing was his hobby. The hobby of listening to far-away foreign radio is known as DXing, ‘D’ is said to mean distance and ‘X’ refers to the unknown.
“What I used to do was tune in using short wave recievers and listen to all news stations from around the world. I used to listen to the BBC, Radio Iran, Voice of America, etc.,” he reveals. “The reason I used to like this is because I developed a fascination for some of the words. Even if you don’t know the language, you pick up and understand some of the words and get the culture of that country. You travel the world through your fingertips.”

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Abhishek was drowned in this hobby. “As a kid when you like something you go mad about it. That was my case. My centre of attraction was the radio, I was passionate about radio and music.”
It is this fascinating experience of tuning in to radio stations around the world that taught him the lessons of life, he reflects. “It taught me more than what I learnt in school or college. I realise now that it is world radio that has taught me how to live life, how to see things, what to do and what not to. I realised it when I started working for the radio.”
Gradually in mid 1990s, Abhishek started listening to music from around the world. At that time music shows called DJ Remix used to be aired from all around the world. “They were new stuff for us. There was no electronic music those days in India and no remix, so it was a new term for us. What the remix did was play some English songs with some new beat, new rhythm and new grooves. I started liking this genre of music, it was the same songs with new kind of treatment.”
Bally Sagoo was one of the greatest hits those days. In 1994, sago released his album Bollywood, one of the most successful remix albums ever released. “That album was so cool. I bought it and was listening to it like a crazy guy. At one point of time I knew my life’s calling was music and remixing. I wanted to be a DJ like him. I learnt how to produce remixes and it came naturally to me.”
But Abhishek had another dream alongside his desire to remix and make music albums. He wanted to build a radio station and he was very serious about it. With music as his traction point, he studied sound engineer after his schooling, and as a step towards fulfilling his dreams. He started his own research and found out that equipment cost about $30,000 (Rs 15-20 lakhs) and after speaking to his family and friends thought it was a feasible idea.
But much, much before this, he had already experimented on running a radio station when he was in Year 9-10 when he built a small 5-10 watt transmitter by connecting old antennas from his building block. “At time I used to stay in one of the tallest buildings of Shyamnagar. Those days on the rooftops of our society building there were about 5-6 antennas which were lying useless because dish antenna came in by then. I collected the antennas and started my own private radio. That time in Kolkata there was just one radio station 107 All India radio FM. From my antenna on the rooftop I connected my small transmitter and it used to come on the radio, so someone who was tuning in to the radio station could get my radio. I was broadcasting on the same wavelength. My friends used to listen. If you know technology you can do it. However it is illegal but I didn’t know then of course. It is called pirate radio.”
Hanging the radio on his bicycle, Abhishek rode just to map how far the radio went. “I used to get excitement every minute I moved further, so my broadcast used to go for two and half km. People were listening to my songs and what I was saying. You can understand how excited I was by this sense of achievement.”
By the time Abhishek was in college, his passion had grown. He started meeting people who were working in radio. But when he submitted a proposal about starting a radio station, he was demoralised, to say the least. “They said I can’t do it, that it is a not a middle class person’s game, that it is multinational companies who open radio stations. But I said I had the money to buy equipment, they said it’s not the equipment, it’s the licence the price of which runs into crores of rupees, millions of dollars…”
Though his dreams were shattered to pieces, Abhishek consoled himself by working for radio hosting shows and as sound engineer. And he spent the next 16 years of his life working for various stations such as Meow FM, the Aaj Tak group, Filmi, and Radio JU. It is at Radio JU that he spent the longest seven years hosting a late night talk show as RJ Tintin, a show which received immense popularity.
But all along this journey, his work as a DJ soared too. How he dabbled in DJing was when in the 1990s listening to Bally Sagoo and others he got inspired to produce his own mixes using his computer with the use of softwares such as Cool Edit etc. “I started producing remixes of Hindi and Punjabi songs. I used to spend my time doing it, I knew nothing else, that was my life, I liked it. I used to upload them on Napster. Globally all my songs got downloaded. So you can understand a kid who is making remixes and uploading is suddenly known all over the world . I had inadvertently built a world-wide fan base and I had a worldwide audience. So I had gradually built my brand. My label DJ Abhi became popular and I started getting calls from India and all over the world.”
Abishek’s first national gig was in Pune and his first international gig was in Birmingham in 2002, the home of remix kings such as Bally Sagoo and Apache Indian, with whom he performed later. “Birmingham had club and regular parties with different DJs from around the world. There I performed some Indie and electro music. Later I started performing all over the world and started producing remixes at professional level, did stuff for Bengali movies and other big productions.” A bedroom hobby had suddenly turned big.
In the beginning, Abhishek’s biggest challenge was convincing his engineer father. “I said I wanted to be a DJ and he said what is a DJ? This was a question that I got a lot in the 1990s. People used to say oh those black, black things you use to scratch? I was told I am trying to get into a profession that people don’t know,” he laughs.
To top it, the money too was not there in the beginning. “By the grace of God money came later. Parents were also happy later. You know the middle class psychology when they see you are on the papers and being interviewed,” he laughs, again.
One incident that comes to memory is of him receiving a cheque of Rs 10,000 for his first big show at Radisson Fort hotel in Kolkata. Abhishek candidly admits to never having held a cheque of that amount in the past. So as a sign of respect he gave it to his father. When he asked his father if he could encash the cheque, his father asked him, “but what did you do that you got paid so much for one night, what (baaje) line have you got into?” He laughs recalling the incident. “Because nobody in my family is in the artistic or media line, I had to make them understand that the money was for genuine work and I had made a name that’s why I was paid that much. Gradually my parents were satisfied that I was on the right path.”
DJ Abhi was one of the top five DJs in India for a long time. Disco Dada Remix, Karz 2000, S.K.V, Z.S.M, Time to Disco, Bootleg, Remix Land are some of his impressive discography of 12 albums. He has performed with the big names of the industry such as Apache Indian, Jazzy B, Bally Sagoo, DJ Akeel, and Atif Aslam. So far he has done 1100 shows in 15 countries. As his career grew big, he became selective in his choices, because being average, he says is a recipe for getting lost.
If his career as a DJ flourished, his full time work on the radio also thrived. Abhishek created the radio station show ‘Desi DJ Sessions’ which focused on a variety of music genres from all around the globe including Bollywood remixes, electronic dance music, trance underground music. In one of his late night talk show called Recycled Bin, he introduced an innovative concept of playing only Bangladeshi music in India. Recycle Bin went on to become one of the most popular Late Night Radio Talk Show hosted by Abhishek whose RJ name was Tintin. “It was number one in rating for about two years.”
For over a year now, this celebrity DJ has been in Sydney working for 93.7FM Koori Radio, Sydney’s only First Nations radio station broadcasting 24/7 from Australia’s Black Capital of Redfern. Its Live ‘n Deadly mix of music, news, community information and discussion draws a wide audience of listeners from Australia’s largest population of Aboriginal people, the many other First Nations people who have called Sydney home and ordinary Australians.
At Koori Radio, Abhishek performs as a DJ night every Saturday. “I do Bollywood Beat at Koori Radio 93.7 it is available on digital radio, FM and Tunein app. People can also hear it on the website kooriradio.com. It is heard by a lot of Australians, Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshis, Fijians etc and the feedback is very good.”
Asked if he likes it here, he says, “Once and Indian always an Indian, I miss home”. But he is continuing his passion of DJing in Sydney whike being selective despite a plethora of offers. “I have come from the grassroot, I know the meaning of nothing, I have built my brand with my blood and soul so I don’t want to play for everyone, if the profile of the event or place is very good then I go for it. If it is for a good cause, I can play for free.”
Abhiskek is driven by his goal in life. “I came here thinking this a good country and my short term goal is to become associated with someone and make an Indian radio station here in the next one-two years. I can’t do it alone, there are a lot of interest from people running media houses. If I do it in Hindi I will easily reach a few countries too and because I have the skill and the experience having worked for 15-20 years in this field, I can do it,” he confidently states. The question is getting the funds. But with such a drive and passion, this Master Mixer with an astonishing number of records might soon hit the bull’s eye. For the record.
In a career as a DJ spanning 17 years, DJ Abhi has hogged every possible limelight. In 2006 Time magazine featured him for remixing Rabindra Sangeet, he has been No 1 in many remix competitions such as Acid DJmusic competition, DesiDJ Remixing Guru, War of The DJ, he has been ranked No. 77 of Top 100 DJs global poll. He has composed music for Star Cine Awards, Zee Awards, Sony Awards and other reality and dance shows. The list can go on. Just in case you are wondering, a DJ is a disc jockey or a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Today DJ’s have taken over pop culture drawing an audience because they are developing on music that people already enjoy. They have become the new celebrities as the phenomenon of in-house music sweeps across the world.
“I have two aspects – one radio and the other DJ(ing),” quietly asserts DJ Abhi born Abhishek Das, as the interview begins. Both aspects are fascinating, if truth be told. His phenomenal growth as DJ Abhi is the product of his blood and sweat, he proclaims.
To track the rise and rise of DJ Abhi, it is essential to go back to his radio days. Both radio and DJ-ing are intertwined in the making of his career which in the initial days startled his middle class parents who dreamt of an engineering career for their son. ‘What is DJ?’ was a question he lived with till they and those around him were convinced about it. More on that later.
Just 30 km from Kolkata, India’s eastern city, lies the town of Shyamnagar. It is situated on the east bank of river Ganges and it is a place rich in culture and sports. Growing up in this town in the early 1990s, Abhishek spent his time listening to radio stations from around the world when kids of his age were into cricket and other things. The radio was his world and DXing was his hobby. The hobby of listening to far-away foreign radio is known as DXing, ‘D’ is said to mean distance and ‘X’ refers to the unknown.
“What I used to do was tune in using short wave recievers and listen to all news stations from around the world. I used to listen to the BBC, Radio Iran, Voice of America, etc.,” he reveals. “The reason I used to like this is because I developed a fascination for some of the words. Even if you don’t know the language, you pick up and understand some of the words and get the culture of that country. You travel the world through your fingertips.”
Abhishek was drowned in this hobby. “As a kid when you like something you go mad about it. That was my case. My centre of attraction was the radio, I was passionate about radio and music.”
It is this fascinating experience of tuning in to radio stations around the world that taught him the lessons of life, he reflects. “It taught me more than what I learnt in school or college. I realise now that it is world radio that has taught me how to live life, how to see things, what to do and what not to. I realised it when I started working for the radio.”
Gradually in mid 1990s, Abhishek started listening to music from around the world. At that time music shows called DJ Remix used to be aired from all around the world. “They were new stuff for us. There was no electronic music those days in India and no remix, so it was a new term for us. What the remix did was play some English songs with some new beat, new rhythm and new grooves. I started liking this genre of music, it was the same songs with new kind of treatment.”
Bally Sagoo was one of the greatest hits those days. In 1994, sago released his album Bollywood, one of the most successful remix albums ever released. “That album was so cool. I bought it and was listening to it like a crazy guy. At one point of time I knew my life’s calling was music and remixing. I wanted to be a DJ like him. I learnt how to produce remixes and it came naturally to me.”
But Abhishek had another dream alongside his desire to remix and make music albums. He wanted to build a radio station and he was very serious about it. With music as his traction point, he studied sound engineer after his schooling, and as a step towards fulfilling his dreams. He started his own research and found out that equipment cost about $30,000 (Rs 15-20 lakhs) and after speaking to his family and friends thought it was a feasible idea.
But much, much before this, he had already experimented on running a radio station when he was in Year 9-10 when he built a small 5-10 watt transmitter by connecting old antennas from his building block. “At time I used to stay in one of the tallest buildings of Shyamnagar. Those days on the rooftops of our society building there were about 5-6 antennas which were lying useless because dish antenna came in by then. I collected the antennas and started my own private radio. That time in Kolkata there was just one radio station 107 All India radio FM. From my antenna on the rooftop I connected my small transmitter and it used to come on the radio, so someone who was tuning in to the radio station could get my radio. I was broadcasting on the same wavelength. My friends used to listen. If you know technology you can do it. However it is illegal but I didn’t know then of course. It is called pirate radio.”
Hanging the radio on his bicycle, Abhishek rode just to map how far the radio went. “I used to get excitement every minute I moved further, so my broadcast used to go for two and half km. People were listening to my songs and what I was saying. You can understand how excited I was by this sense of achievement.”
By the time Abhishek was in college, his passion had grown. He started meeting people who were working in radio. But when he submitted a proposal about starting a radio station, he was demoralised, to say the least. “They said I can’t do it, that it is a not a middle class person’s game, that it is multinational companies who open radio stations. But I said I had the money to buy equipment, they said it’s not the equipment, it’s the licence the price of which runs into crores of rupees, millions of dollars…”
Though his dreams were shattered to pieces, Abhishek consoled himself by working for radio hosting shows and as sound engineer. And he spent the next 16 years of his life working for various stations such as Meow FM, the Aaj Tak group, Filmi, and Radio JU. It is at Radio JU that he spent the longest seven years hosting a late night talk show as RJ Tintin, a show which received immense popularity.
But all along this journey, his work as a DJ soared too. How he dabbled in DJing was when in the 1990s listening to Bally Sagoo and others he got inspired to produce his own mixes using his computer with the use of softwares such as Cool Edit etc. “I started producing remixes of Hindi and Punjabi songs. I used to spend my time doing it, I knew nothing else, that was my life, I liked it. I used to upload them on Napster. Globally all my songs got downloaded. So you can understand a kid who is making remixes and uploading is suddenly known all over the world . I had inadvertently built a world-wide fan base and I had a worldwide audience. So I had gradually built my brand. My label DJ Abhi became popular and I started getting calls from India and all over the world.”
Abishek’s first national gig was in Pune and his first international gig was in Birmingham in 2002, the home of remix kings such as Bally Sagoo and Apache Indian, with whom he performed later. “Birmingham had club and regular parties with different DJs from around the world. There I performed some Indie and electro music. Later I started performing all over the world and started producing remixes at professional level, did stuff for Bengali movies and other big productions.” A bedroom hobby had suddenly turned big.
In the beginning, Abhishek’s biggest challenge was convincing his engineer father. “I said I wanted to be a DJ and he said what is a DJ? This was a question that I got a lot in the 1990s. People used to say oh those black, black things you use to scratch? I was told I am trying to get into a profession that people don’t know,” he laughs.
To top it, the money too was not there in the beginning. “By the grace of God money came later. Parents were also happy later. You know the middle class psychology when they see you are on the papers and being interviewed,” he laughs, again.
One incident that comes to memory is of him receiving a cheque of Rs 10,000 for his first big show at Radisson Fort hotel in Kolkata. Abhishek candidly admits to never having held a cheque of that amount in the past. So as a sign of respect he gave it to his father. When he asked his father if he could encash the cheque, his father asked him, “but what did you do that you got paid so much for one night, what (baaje) line have you got into?” He laughs recalling the incident. “Because nobody in my family is in the artistic or media line, I had to make them understand that the money was for genuine work and I had made a name that’s why I was paid that much. Gradually my parents were satisfied that I was on the right path.”
DJ Abhi was one of the top five DJs in India for a long time. Disco Dada Remix, Karz 2000, S.K.V, Z.S.M, Time to Disco, Bootleg, Remix Land are some of his impressive discography of 12 albums. He has performed with the big names of the industry such as Apache Indian, Jazzy B, Bally Sagoo, DJ Akeel, and Atif Aslam. So far he has done 1100 shows in 15 countries. As his career grew big, he became selective in his choices, because being average, he says is a recipe for getting lost.
If his career as a DJ flourished, his full time work on the radio also thrived. Abhishek created the radio station show ‘Desi DJ Sessions’ which focused on a variety of music genres from all around the globe including Bollywood remixes, electronic dance music, trance underground music. In one of his late night talk show called Recycled Bin, he introduced an innovative concept of playing only Bangladeshi music in India. Recycle Bin went on to become one of the most popular Late Night Radio Talk Show hosted by Abhishek whose RJ name was Tintin. “It was number one in rating for about two years.”
For over a year now, this celebrity DJ has been in Sydney working for 93.7FM Koori Radio, Sydney’s only First Nations radio station broadcasting 24/7 from Australia’s Black Capital of Redfern. Its Live ‘n Deadly mix of music, news, community information and discussion draws a wide audience of listeners from Australia’s largest population of Aboriginal people, the many other First Nations people who have called Sydney home and ordinary Australians.
At Koori Radio, Abhishek performs as a DJ night every Saturday. “I do Bollywood Beat at Koori Radio 93.7 it is available on digital radio, FM and Tunein app. People can also hear it on the website kooriradio.com. It is heard by a lot of Australians, Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshis, Fijians etc and the feedback is very good.”
Asked if he likes it here, he says, “Once and Indian always an Indian, I miss home”. But he is continuing his passion of DJing in Sydney whike being selective despite a plethora of offers. “I have come from the grassroot, I know the meaning of nothing, I have built my brand with my blood and soul so I don’t want to play for everyone, if the profile of the event or place is very good then I go for it. If it is for a good cause, I can play for free.”
Abhiskek is driven by his goal in life. “I came here thinking this a good country and my short term goal is to become associated with someone and make an Indian radio station here in the next one-two years. I can’t do it alone, there are a lot of interest from people running media houses. If I do it in Hindi I will easily reach a few countries too and because I have the skill and the experience having worked for 15-20 years in this field, I can do it,” he confidently states. The question is getting the funds. But with such a drive and passion, this Master Mixer with an astonishing number of records might soon hit the bull’s eye. For the record.
In a career as a DJ spanning 17 years, DJ Abhi has hogged every possible limelight. In 2006 Time magazine featured him for remixing Rabindra Sangeet, he has been No 1 in many remix competitions such as Acid DJmusic competition, DesiDJ Remixing Guru, War of The DJ, he has been ranked No. 77 of Top 100 DJs global poll. He has composed music for Star Cine Awards, Zee Awards, Sony Awards and other reality and dance shows. The list can go on. Just in case you are wondering, a DJ is a disc jockey or a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Today DJ’s have taken over pop culture drawing an audience because they are developing on music that people already enjoy. They have become the new celebrities as the phenomenon of in-house music sweeps across the world.
“I have two aspects – one radio and the other DJ(ing),” quietly asserts DJ Abhi born Abhishek Das, as the interview begins. Both aspects are fascinating, if truth be told. His phenomenal growth as DJ Abhi is the product of his blood and sweat, he proclaims.
To track the rise and rise of DJ Abhi, it is essential to go back to his radio days. Both radio and DJ-ing are intertwined in the making of his career which in the initial days startled his middle class parents who dreamt of an engineering career for their son. ‘What is DJ?’ was a question he lived with till they and those around him were convinced about it. More on that later.
Just 30 km from Kolkata, India’s eastern city, lies the town of Shyamnagar. It is situated on the east bank of river Ganges and it is a place rich in culture and sports. Growing up in this town in the early 1990s, Abhishek spent his time listening to radio stations from around the world when kids of his age were into cricket and other things. The radio was his world and DXing was his hobby. The hobby of listening to far-away foreign radio is known as DXing, ‘D’ is said to mean distance and ‘X’ refers to the unknown.
“What I used to do was tune in using short wave recievers and listen to all news stations from around the world. I used to listen to the BBC, Radio Iran, Voice of America, etc.,” he reveals. “The reason I used to like this is because I developed a fascination for some of the words. Even if you don’t know the language, you pick up and understand some of the words and get the culture of that country. You travel the world through your fingertips.”
Abhishek was drowned in this hobby. “As a kid when you like something you go mad about it. That was my case. My centre of attraction was the radio, I was passionate about radio and music.”
It is this fascinating experience of tuning in to radio stations around the world that taught him the lessons of life, he reflects. “It taught me more than what I learnt in school or college. I realise now that it is world radio that has taught me how to live life, how to see things, what to do and what not to. I realised it when I started working for the radio.”
Gradually in mid 1990s, Abhishek started listening to music from around the world. At that time music shows called DJ Remix used to be aired from all around the world. “They were new stuff for us. There was no electronic music those days in India and no remix, so it was a new term for us. What the remix did was play some English songs with some new beat, new rhythm and new grooves. I started liking this genre of music, it was the same songs with new kind of treatment.”
Bally Sagoo was one of the greatest hits those days. In 1994, sago released his album Bollywood, one of the most successful remix albums ever released. “That album was so cool. I bought it and was listening to it like a crazy guy. At one point of time I knew my life’s calling was music and remixing. I wanted to be a DJ like him. I learnt how to produce remixes and it came naturally to me.”
But Abhishek had another dream alongside his desire to remix and make music albums. He wanted to build a radio station and he was very serious about it. With music as his traction point, he studied sound engineer after his schooling, and as a step towards fulfilling his dreams. He started his own research and found out that equipment cost about $30,000 (Rs 15-20 lakhs) and after speaking to his family and friends thought it was a feasible idea.
But much, much before this, he had already experimented on running a radio station when he was in Year 9-10 when he built a small 5-10 watt transmitter by connecting old antennas from his building block. “At time I used to stay in one of the tallest buildings of Shyamnagar. Those days on the rooftops of our society building there were about 5-6 antennas which were lying useless because dish antenna came in by then. I collected the antennas and started my own private radio. That time in Kolkata there was just one radio station 107 All India radio FM. From my antenna on the rooftop I connected my small transmitter and it used to come on the radio, so someone who was tuning in to the radio station could get my radio. I was broadcasting on the same wavelength. My friends used to listen. If you know technology you can do it. However it is illegal but I didn’t know then of course. It is called pirate radio.”
Hanging the radio on his bicycle, Abhishek rode just to map how far the radio went. “I used to get excitement every minute I moved further, so my broadcast used to go for two and half km. People were listening to my songs and what I was saying. You can understand how excited I was by this sense of achievement.”
By the time Abhishek was in college, his passion had grown. He started meeting people who were working in radio. But when he submitted a proposal about starting a radio station, he was demoralised, to say the least. “They said I can’t do it, that it is a not a middle class person’s game, that it is multinational companies who open radio stations. But I said I had the money to buy equipment, they said it’s not the equipment, it’s the licence the price of which runs into crores of rupees, millions of dollars…”
Though his dreams were shattered to pieces, Abhishek consoled himself by working for radio hosting shows and as sound engineer. And he spent the next 16 years of his life working for various stations such as Meow FM, the Aaj Tak group, Filmi, and Radio JU. It is at Radio JU that he spent the longest seven years hosting a late night talk show as RJ Tintin, a show which received immense popularity.
But all along this journey, his work as a DJ soared too. How he dabbled in DJing was when in the 1990s listening to Bally Sagoo and others he got inspired to produce his own mixes using his computer with the use of softwares such as Cool Edit etc. “I started producing remixes of Hindi and Punjabi songs. I used to spend my time doing it, I knew nothing else, that was my life, I liked it. I used to upload them on Napster. Globally all my songs got downloaded. So you can understand a kid who is making remixes and uploading is suddenly known all over the world . I had inadvertently built a world-wide fan base and I had a worldwide audience. So I had gradually built my brand. My label DJ Abhi became popular and I started getting calls from India and all over the world.”
Abishek’s first national gig was in Pune and his first international gig was in Birmingham in 2002, the home of remix kings such as Bally Sagoo and Apache Indian, with whom he performed later. “Birmingham had club and regular parties with different DJs from around the world. There I performed some Indie and electro music. Later I started performing all over the world and started producing remixes at professional level, did stuff for Bengali movies and other big productions.” A bedroom hobby had suddenly turned big.
In the beginning, Abhishek’s biggest challenge was convincing his engineer father. “I said I wanted to be a DJ and he said what is a DJ? This was a question that I got a lot in the 1990s. People used to say oh those black, black things you use to scratch? I was told I am trying to get into a profession that people don’t know,” he laughs.
To top it, the money too was not there in the beginning. “By the grace of God money came later. Parents were also happy later. You know the middle class psychology when they see you are on the papers and being interviewed,” he laughs, again.
One incident that comes to memory is of him receiving a cheque of Rs 10,000 for his first big show at Radisson Fort hotel in Kolkata. Abhishek candidly admits to never having held a cheque of that amount in the past. So as a sign of respect he gave it to his father. When he asked his father if he could encash the cheque, his father asked him, “but what did you do that you got paid so much for one night, what (baaje) line have you got into?” He laughs recalling the incident. “Because nobody in my family is in the artistic or media line, I had to make them understand that the money was for genuine work and I had made a name that’s why I was paid that much. Gradually my parents were satisfied that I was on the right path.”
DJ Abhi was one of the top five DJs in India for a long time. Disco Dada Remix, Karz 2000, S.K.V, Z.S.M, Time to Disco, Bootleg, Remix Land are some of his impressive discography of 12 albums. He has performed with the big names of the industry such as Apache Indian, Jazzy B, Bally Sagoo, DJ Akeel, and Atif Aslam. So far he has done 1100 shows in 15 countries. As his career grew big, he became selective in his choices, because being average, he says is a recipe for getting lost.
If his career as a DJ flourished, his full time work on the radio also thrived. Abhishek created the radio station show ‘Desi DJ Sessions’ which focused on a variety of music genres from all around the globe including Bollywood remixes, electronic dance music, trance underground music. In one of his late night talk show called Recycled Bin, he introduced an innovative concept of playing only Bangladeshi music in India. Recycle Bin went on to become one of the most popular Late Night Radio Talk Show hosted by Abhishek whose RJ name was Tintin. “It was number one in rating for about two years.”
For over a year now, this celebrity DJ has been in Sydney working for 93.7FM Koori Radio, Sydney’s only First Nations radio station broadcasting 24/7 from Australia’s Black Capital of Redfern. Its Live ‘n Deadly mix of music, news, community information and discussion draws a wide audience of listeners from Australia’s largest population of Aboriginal people, the many other First Nations people who have called Sydney home and ordinary Australians.
At Koori Radio, Abhishek performs as a DJ night every Saturday. “I do Bollywood Beat at Koori Radio 93.7 it is available on digital radio, FM and Tunein app. People can also hear it on the website kooriradio.com. It is heard by a lot of Australians, Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshis, Fijians etc and the feedback is very good.”
Asked if he likes it here, he says, “Once and Indian always an Indian, I miss home”. But he is continuing his passion of DJing in Sydney whike being selective despite a plethora of offers. “I have come from the grassroot, I know the meaning of nothing, I have built my brand with my blood and soul so I don’t want to play for everyone, if the profile of the event or place is very good then I go for it. If it is for a good cause, I can play for free.”
Abhiskek is driven by his goal in life. “I came here thinking this a good country and my short term goal is to become associated with someone and make an Indian radio station here in the next one-two years. I can’t do it alone, there are a lot of interest from people running media houses. If I do it in Hindi I will easily reach a few countries too and because I have the skill and the experience having worked for 15-20 years in this field, I can do it,” he confidently states. The question is getting the funds. But with such a drive and passion, this Master Mixer with an astonishing number of records might soon hit the bull’s eye. For the record.
By Indira Laisram

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