Oh, and his message to anyone comparing him to ‘DJ’ Bobby Deol? “I feel pity for them”.
The unlikeliest of celebrities trend on social media. In June, actor Rahul Bose trended on Twitter, and nobody knew why. Last month, it took Bobby Deol turning DJ to break the internet (in this part of the world). This week, another actor with a similar career graph had Twitter busy.
An event poster announcing that “DJ Ashmit Patel” will play at a bistro’s Bollywood night this weekend, did the rounds online. Memes and wisecracks followed. It’s probably the most attention he’s received.
Ashmit Patel (38) made his acting debut with Inteha in 2003. The next time he entered our collective consciousness was in 2010, as a participant on the reality show Bigg Boss (season 4).
From the horse’s mouth
When we speak to Patel, he clarifies that he has been DJ-ing since February, 2015. Alright, so it’s a not a case of him following Deol’s footsteps. But we hope the music is better too, considering Deol played songs from Gupt (1997).
Patel, too, has plans to play Bollywood numbers (it is a Bollywood night, after all) but says he will throw in remixes. A YouTube video uploaded by DJ Missy K shows her and Patel playing Main Lovely Ho Gayi Yaar (from Happy New Year; 2014). Patel’s music partner Drumboodha (Canadian percussionist, DJ and music producer) accompanies him on the djembe.
When not spinning Bollywood songs, Patel plays tech and deep house. He says he’s performed in Delhi, Dubai, and even at Hard Rock Café, Sydney, Australia. We ask if he is aware of the online reaction his upcoming gig has generated. “I did read an article that said that after Bobby Deol, I’m DJing. [But] they didn’t do a proper check to see how long I’ve been DJing for,” Patel says.
He adds, “There were some comments that said acting didn’t work out, hence DJ-ing. But I have two films (Six-X, Dongri ka Raja) coming out soon, and I have a TV show (Amma, on Zee TV) on air. Music and acting are both creative fields.” That they need completely different skill sets seems irrelevant at this point.
But Patel isn’t done yet. He adds, “Social media is how people vent their frustration. They want to do what you’re doing - but they can’t. I feel pity for them.”
The DJ bug apparently bit Patel when he was a teenager. He says he used to DJ at his house parties for friends. He decided to “learn the craft” two years back from Drumboodha.
Was he apprehensive before going public with a performance? “There’s nerves when you’re playing to a crowd. It’s like doing theatre - when you’re live in front of an audience, there is pressure,” he says.
Like many popular, international DJs, Patel too is critical of EDM (Electronic Dance Music). “It all sounds the same. I don’t understand it. I have no idea why it’s so popular,” he says.
Patel is admittedly enjoying his new-ish role. “I won’t deny [I like] being in the spotlight. You’re looking at the DJ to make your night fun. A lot of people clamour for selfies [at concerts],” he says with such conviction we want to believe him.
What: DJ Ashmit Patel and Drumboodha will perform on September 30, 9pm.
Where: Mojo’s Bistro, Cyber One, Sector 30, Vashi
Entry: Rs 2,000 onward