Pune is the centre of ‘New India’, a shining light for modernism. It still holds India’s culture and spirituality close to heart, resulting in an eclectic mix of new and old. Part of that modern culture is dance music. Nightclubs and private parties take hold of the night-time entertainment here. Of course, DJs are the ones at the heart of it all. Not far from Mumbai, Pune is a cultural hub of India, with some of the best DJs and producers on the planet.
The area attracts a lot of students who are looking to explore music and culture. DJs play a big part in shaping the underground dance community, and students are keeping it alive. Pune is even starting to give Mumbai a run for its money! Let’s take a look at the most important DJs in the region.
1. DJ Abhishek Mantri
Ranked among the top 300 DJs on the planet, Abhishek Mantri is one of India’s finest musical exports. He has been active for more than 17 years, making him one of India’s oldest and most respected producers. Recently, he has focused on playing at the biggest stages possible. Jumping on the EDM boom across the world, he has played at many of the planet’s largest festivals. He recently shared the stage with Martin Garrix (no.3 best DJ in the world). Mantri is no stranger to dance music royalty, and destined to become part of dance history.
2. DJ Santy
Santy was born and raised in Pune, making him one of the few DJs that truly call the city home. For Santy, it was always about music and DJing. He became a regular DJ in high school, mixing for local parties and events. He quickly turned his high school hobby into a career, and four years later, he’s still smashing the underground scene. He’s one of the younger names in Indian dance music, but he is quickly seeing his star rise. As for the music, he is inspired heavily by the EDM giants like Deadmau5 and David Guetta.
3. DJ S.U.N
Another young talent, S.U.N. is fiercely ambitious, and rising quickly. He started producing and DJing at just 17 years old, mixing Bollywood with electro house. It’s a combination that has served him well, and his popularity has soared. This young DJ is just getting started, and there’s a lot more to come. S.U.N. is still experimenting with different genres including Desi, electro, and progressive. When he finds that killer sound, expect him to take off internationally.
4. DJ Vikas J
Latching onto the wildly popular sound of dubstep, Vikas J has brought dirty bass sounds and heavy beats to India. The genre is relatively untouched in Asia and India especially. But, Vikas J is riding the wave, and leading these new sounds. It’s abrasive, exciting, and unpredictable, which is what revelers love about it! Can Vikas J take this sound from the underground to India’s mainstream? We certainly wouldn’t bet against it.
Earthlink has a distinctly European trance sound to his music. Taking those euphoric trance synths, and mixing them with Indian voices is a recipe for success. The man behind the name is Tejas Gulhane, a relative newcomer to the list. But, don’t expect that to last for long. Earthlink is a name to watch for the future. As his classic tracks pick up attention across Pune and India, he’ll be hard to ignore.
6. Gaurav G.R.S.
For Gaurav G.R.S. his passion comes from working in the studio. Most of us imagine DJs pumping their fists and sending a crowd wild. However, there’s another, quieter side to our favourite DJs. By day, they spend their time honing their production skills in the studio. This is where Gaurav excels, creating huge sounds from nothing. In terms of his music, it’s all about traditional Desi dance, combining Indian tradition with modern beats. A simple, classic formula that works wonders in India.
Brixx grew up around the best DJs, and learned his craft the hard way. After spending five years spinning records in the underground clubs of Pune, he’s set to burst out. His technical skill and ability to DJing is second-to-none in the business. But, it’s his production work that puts him on this list. Brixx has an obsession with progressive dance music that builds and swells gently, before launching into a deep groove. This is the pure essence of house music, and Brixx is carrying the tradition.
8. Dipshankar Das
Dipshankar Das is another studio wizard, who is a sound engineer by trade. He began by crafting minimal, chillout tracks, but it was his exploration into trance that lifted him. He claims that trance music has the power to move one's soul. This statement guides every step of his career as he moves on to bigger stages. His biggest hit was a recent mashup of Armin Van Buuren's classic, ‘Summer Dreams’. It made its way onto some of the biggest dance radio shows around the world.
9. Mr Cyborg
This young DJ was born and raised in Pune, and absorbed all the rich dance culture in the city. Cyborg doesn’t just play music, he eats, sleeps, lives and dies for music, according to him. His bootleg remixes have been featured on TV commercials, and he frequently plays in large private parties. This is a DJ who is still finding his feet, but shows immense talent and potential. Keep your eye on this spark for the future.
Adrenalin is yet another young producer who hit the decks at just 17. His influencers are the forerunners of modern EDM including Skrillex, Diplo, and Deadmau5. It’s a clear example of where the next generation of Indian dance music is heading. Following the international giants, we are seeing a move away from the traditional Bollywood sounds. Adrenalin found favour from the biggest companies in international dance music, Spinnin Records. His track ‘Come On’ sat in the top 100 for more than a week.
Mumbai may be the capital of India, but when it comes to dance culture, Pune is leading the way. There are some big names just waiting to break.
Also know about the Top DJs in Bangalore at LiveInStyle
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