Myfavdj.In Announces Its Winners
India’s first ever DJ Awards poll throws up a few surprises
India’s first ever DJ awards poll concluded on the 22nd of last month with the winners announced in a ceremony at the Blue Frog that was attended by all the heavyweights of the electronic music scene. The myfavdj.in DJ Awards are an initiative by Vishal Shetty (aka DJ V-Shall) and Eddie Cruzet (aka DJ Killer Chai) to highlight India’s burgeoning and diversified electronic music scene and to pick out the forerunners in each genre. While winners in most categories were voted for by their fans, there were also jury panel awards in three categories. Budding act Phi Degrees won the Ticket to the Festival award judged by the Sunburn Management that gives them a chance to play at the Sunburn Festival this year.
In the public choice category, DJ Lloyd took home the award for Best Bollywood DJ while DJ Pearl bagged the best House Music DJ slot. The much-loved Ma Faiza laid claim to the Best Electronica DJ award and Mumbai’s DJ Sa walked away as the Best Hip-Hop DJ. But the biggest winner of the night was Asad Zaidi aka DJ Freeaatmah who bagged not one but two of the most coveted awards that night Â”“Best Trance DJ and the crowning DJ of the Year award. “This was a big surprise, to get DJ of the Year, because Bollywood is still the biggest scene in India and for trance music to be voted above Bollywood is huge!” said the beaming DJ. “It means that whatever I’ve done for the last 25 years has not been wasted. It’s damn good to be appreciated, that’s most important. And with the way the nightclub scene is India is ”“ 1:30 everything shuts down; before people can even thank you for the night they’re thrown out of the club so there’s no way to interact with your fans where they can tell you what’s going on and how they feel about the scene.” Bay Beat Collective, who won the best Drum and Bass/Dubstep act of the year, though felt that the awards not only promoted the DJs but also helped to push niche genres as well. “Two years ago the dubstep category would even have existed if these awards were around then. So this means more than just winning an award, it’s more like recognising the birth of a genre in a way. It promotes the genre, it promotes the act, the sound and that’s more than we wanted,” says Sohail Arora of BBC.
DJ Sa sees his win as recognition that the fans are really listening. “It shows that your fans actually do support you, they actually live by your music and they come to actually listen to you and not just because it’s a swanky new club or because it has a good crowd. It means that the music you’re playing really reaches the masses, the people you really want it to.” He also reiterates how the awards are an outcome of the fact that the Indian electronic music scene is changing and diversifying. “For me it’s an achievement because I feel like I’ve reached out to people where two, three years before it would not have been possible, especially with a music genre like hip-hop. There still isn’t all that much competition in the genre keeping in mind there are very few DJs who play only hip-hop but from three, four years back to now when a lot more new clubs are opening and they’re playing everything apart from Bollywood. These two genres ”“ electronica and hip-hop ”“ are taking over.”
Not everyone is as positive about the scene though. DJ Sanjay Dutta, a veteran of the electronic music scene in the country, who walked away with the jury award for Best Electronic DJ, feels that the scene is still pretty bleak in the country. “These awards are great for the DJs because it’ll definitely create some more hype for the artists and the recognition factor goes up, the respect factor goes up. But I still feel that the Indian clubber is still illiterate. They don’t know clubbing manners, they don’t know the music and they can’t really differentiate. People still only go out to have a good time. It’s a very small section of the public that knows their music and until that number goes up, no real change will happen.” But he’s happy with the reconition bestowed on him by the DJ fraternity. “This award makes me the DJs’ DJ so it’s extremely special to me. I’m hoping this will add to my kitty also, when it comes to business hopefully I’ll get more shows, because at the end of day the bottomline is business.”
People’s Choice Awards
DJ of the Year -Â Asad/Freeaatmah
Best Trance DJ -Â Asad/Freeaatmah
Best House DJ -Â Pearl
Best Electronica DJ -Â Ma Faiza
Best HipHop DJ -Â DJ Sa
Best Bollywood DJ -Â DJ Lloyd
Best Drum & Bass/Dub Step DJ -Â Bay Beat Collective (BBC)
Best Techno DJ -Â ‘G’
Best Rock & Retro DJ -Â Blackjack!
Best Chillout DJ -Â DJ Sunny Sunshine
Jury Panel Awards
Ticket to the Festival Award ”“ Phi Degrees