In talks with the amazingly talented DJ Dhaval Chauhan.
Gujarat Celebs got a few minutes from Dhaval’s super busy schedule to talk to him. The brilliant man is not only an exceptional DJ but also has a humble and down-to-earth personality. Let’s know him some more.
Welcome to Gujarat Celebs. Let’s start with the first time you decided that you want to be a DJ; when was it?
“I decided that in the year 2010 or 2011.”
Tell us about your childhood.
“I used to live at a village. When I was in 2nd standard, my family moved to Ahmedabad. I completed my schooling from Ahmedabad itself. Half of my childhood spent at the village and the rest here.”
How have you ended up DJing?
“It was my hobby at first. I had a computer at home; there I had this software where I would try my hand. I took it as a hobby for about four years. Then I got to know that I can begin my career with it in the industry.”
Is there anyone from your family in this field?
“No. there is no one. I am the only one from my whole family.”
How does your family take your career? Wherever you go you entertain people. So how do they react?
“They did not like it at first. Even the work profile also was seen as a low category. So, they did not like that I was interested in this. they wanted me to get a normal job. My father was in government service; he wanted his son to be like that only. That is why I did not get much support. I have been here for around 10 years and it may be one and a half or two years that they have started understanding my work. Now my profile has ungraded, I am getting good work. But when I started the pay was as low as 200 rupees for a party.”
Who inspired you the most to come to this field?
“When I started, I did not think much. I had the software and that was all. After some time when I got to know more, I liked Demetri Vegas and Like Mike from Western music. From Bollywood, I followed YoYo Honey Singh since the beginning. I can say he is my biggest inspiration.”
What were the hurdles when you started?
“There were a lot. I had no instruments. I had my laptop and I used to play with that. the popular artists in the industry used a lot of instruments. I used the laptop for about 4 years. then some people supported me. after working for 5 years, I finally bought a basic level controller. I used that for more than three years. after that, finally I was categorised as a professional. Because I had no family support, I could not join any academy. Without monetary support, it was impossible as the fees were around one lakh rupees. I learnt it all form home. I would like to go to the parties to play, come back home and practise more. You can say I was a bedroom DJ.”
What do you look at as your biggest achievement till now in this field?
“I got a 31st-night gig some five years ago at Gandhinagar University were about three thousand people were there. After I performed there my followers increased overnight. Three-four hundred people clicked pictures with me. that the best moment for me. About achievement, I don’t know. But yes, I went to many cities where I really wished to perform. I dreamt of working with big artists and that I got. I worked with Raftaar, Sachin – Jigar. More projects are at hand. Let’s see where it goes.”
What is your upcoming project?
“Our own band is being launched. The date is set in April or May. It is named ‘Four Beats’. We are working on it with full force. Our rehearsals and jamming are going on.”
What is your dream project?
“The band has been my dream. I want to make it one of the biggest ones in India. I want my band to perform at the biggest music feasts held in the country.”
What would you have chosen as a career option if you were not a DJ?
“I would be a Cricketer.”
How do you feel when you go to various parties, functions and meet different people?
“We meet different kinds of crowds every day. We prefer weddings actually because in Ahmedabad there is no clubbing or corporate gig. In weddings we get to deal with various crowds every time. Sometimes it becomes tough. But now that we have been in this field for so long, we can read the crowd in the first ten minutes and understand what their music tastes can be. 99.9% of times or assessment works. It is rare but we still touch this margin of error sometimes. But most of the times it works just fine.”
Out of all the shows you have done which is your most favourite?
“I did one at Bangalore. Sachin – Jigar was there also. After their performance we had to handle the party. It was really great. And another we have been in to recently, at Udaipur. That one is also memorable because the after party went on for seven – eight hours.”
What will you advise the youth who want to follow your steps and want to be DJ?
“All I want to say is that just believe in yourself.”
What message would you give to your fans and today’s youth?
“What I feel is you need to have a lot of patience while going on. And you need to believe in yourself and your dream. Your mindset and goal should be clear to you because once you enter the industry there are so many ways leading to different to destinations. So you will have to clear about what you want. If you are new it is more tough because you will not have any contacts. And the whole business is about having contacts. If people do not know you, you will not be bale to carry on. You will have to make yourself known. It takes time to reach out, to know people, to make your skill recognized. The first three-four years pass with these. Even if you have learnt from recognised academy, when you enter the industry, you will have to start from scratch. Before you might have played before your friends. But here you need to gather experience. With time your stage fear goes away, your performance improves.”
There is a lot of competition in the industry. How do you handle it? How do you make your band better than the others?
“I learnt it through the years. I have not learnt from any university or academy. Now if I train some students, they will follow my work style. I improved myself. I never really followed anyone’s skill. The music collection we have, about 80% of the others DJs have the same collection. But the technique to mix them, the skill of playing them are different for everyone. I believe that until you learn to improve your skill you cannot really improve. It will be easier to compete if you have your own technique.”
How many hours do you practice daily?
“Now with continuous show I don’t get much time. But in the off-seasons we make three hours sessions.”
How many members are there in your band?
“Basically, we have five members. But it depends on clients and what they want. Based on their demands we collaborate with other artists also. And for the whole team that works for the band are about thirty people. They handle everything throughout the year.”
What are the platforms that you perform at?
“We have performed for many commercial parties in Ahmedabad. We have played in Holi, 31st night, and many more under different tags. But now, we have stopped. We arrange our sessions and manage them. We have made our stages like the big platforms that use to give stage to artists. This Holi will be the 5th year of our own stage performance. We arrange the stage ourselves. Our artists do not work under other banners.”
So, which kind of functions can people invite you to?
“We perform at Freshers’, after parties, in-house parties, weddings, Holi, farewell, 31st; last time we even got invited for a kitty party.”
What are your preferable charges?
“It usually depends on clients’ requirements. Market charges always depends on competition. The minimum charge of a setup is 20k. you can go up to 20 lacks and even 2 crores if your requirements is such. So, it all depends on the client.”
And usually, how many hours do you perform?
“The basic time is of 4 hours; the if the party goes well it extends to six-eight hours. We have performed for twelve hours also.”
Any memorable incidents in your life?
“I wanted to meet Raftaar. I had a performance in Chennai. And Raftaar was there too for a session. At the same venue, first my gig was there for a three-day wedding. So, this incident happened there. He was just a few metres away and I really wanted to meet him; but could not leave my work and go. Finally, I thought after the show ends, I would meet.”
But his session ended after an hour, and he was to leave with his team. I asked my team to request his team so he would meet. I told them how took this show so I could meet him. His car had almost left the parking, but he did not go. And we met. He called me to his car, and we talked for a few minutes; clicked pictures. So that was a great moment. I almost lost hope, but it ended well.”
How do you deal with the crowd when they ask you to play different songs?
“We usually set a track list and try to go with it. if they request for other songs, we try to include those fast. But it is not possible always to get it. but we set the song where it fits and if does not go with the segment, we play it in the end. The situation gets really hard sometimes. We have to keep calm and go on with their request.”
Which is your favourite track that you include in every list?
“It is ‘Ishq Tera Tarpave’; the name is ‘Oh ho hoho’.”
Which one is on trend for 2020-2021 weddings?
“The song ‘Makhna’ from the movie Drive is trending.”
What did you do during the lockdown period?
“We did our best to entertain people. We created our own setup. We have a social media page where we used to go live with our team. Sometimes we invited other artists from foreign also. Our artists performed on weekends. We spent the whole time with that.”
Now we will do a rapid-fire round. I will ask you some questions and you’ll have to answer without thinking.
- Your favourite food – Brown rice
- Favourite actor – Nawazuddin Siddique
- Favourite actress – Anushka Sharma
- Favourite hangout place – Cafes
- Favourite musician – YoYo Honey Singh, Demetri Vegas, and Like Mike
- Gujarati singer – JigardhanGandhvi
- A dream you really wish to come true – I want a verification batch on my Instagram
- The special person in your life – My friend circle
- Favourite holiday destination – Himachal
Will you share your thoughts about us, Gujarat celebs?
Gujarat Celebs is a great platform. The first time I noticed, I sent my message saying how good they are doing. The way you guys are promoting the artists from Gujarat is remarkable. Not many people notice these talented artists. Among the artists from the other major cities in India, clients do not know much about us. But Gujarat Celebs is working really well. Hopefully, our artists will also be able to create a stand for themselves one day. I appreciate the hard work.