Forced to pursue engineering as a student, Samar aka DJ Chryses realised that his true calling in life was understanding music and therefore decided to follow his heart by pursuing a course in audio production at the SAE Institute in Oxford, UK. A rigorous study schedule followed by eight hours of practical work left him 10 kg lighter by the time he returned to India almost six months ago.
In Chandigarh for his debut India performance, Samar, who belongs to SAS Nagar, isn’t too sure about what to expect from the crowds here. Having visited clubs to gauge what is popular, the DJ, however, isn’t too optimistic. “I’ve seen that once people have had one too many drinks and the party’s in full swing, all they want is Punjabi and Bollywood. Even though I’ve been told that that’s not the case anymore, I’m still holding out hope for my performance,” he says.
On the contrary, he believes that people in London are more willing to experiment with different forms of music. “If I deviate from popular music and play my own tracks there, they’ll still love them as much,” he says. Currently working on his debut album — which will contain his own tracks — he’s banking on his network in England and good word of mouth to get the album going. “I don’t want to align with Bollywood because the fate of stand-alone artistes is dismal,” shrugs Samar, who describes himself as a trance artiste influenced by Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren, though he has included dance numbers in his repertoire due to the burgeoning popularity of EDM (electronic dance music).
Ask him why he had strained himself so much in the UK while studying and Samar says it was done to avoid making any mistakes while performing. “I was representing the brown community in an industry dominated by the English, and so, my sets had to be completely flawless,” says Samar. The only downside of so much technical training is that he can’t enjoy clubbing anymore. “If I’m not performing, then I can’t help but listen to the mistakes that the performing DJ is making,” he laughingly explains.
Apart from his upcoming album, Samar has worked on the sound engineering of two short films in the UK, titled Soulmate and Interrogation, the latter being still under production. The DJ also stays busy hosting a bi-weekly show on AntiFm Radio, a New York-based station for which he streams live music from his place in England.