Mixing her spinning skills and some of Bollywood’s catchiest music, Disc Jockey (DJ) Hi Frequency likes to have the most hardened wallflowers tapping their feet.
After she gets them moving, she usually likes to make an appearance from behind the console. Actually, it’s hard for this DJ to peer over the console: She’s only seven years old.
Meet DJ High Frequency’s alter ego, Shalom D’Souza, a primary school student who is Bollywood’s youngest DJ, poised to give her first public performance at an anti-drug rally in Mumbai’s Charni Road on Thursday.
“I love music, in every form,” said Shalom, whose DJing education began when her father, Ryan D’Souza, took her to Workstation, the DJ institute he runs.
“I was thrilled every time daddy took me there,” said the pint-sized prodigy. “Other students and instructors taught me scratching and mixing. Now I’m ready to rock the stage,”
Despite the lack of formal training, it’s not difficult for Shalom to follow the beats in a song. She even makes notes while she’s practicing to help her figure out how to transition from one song to the next.
“She has been learning classical music since she was five, so she understands rhythm,” said father Ryan.
While Shalom’s repertoire currently only includes Bollywood music, she will eventually try her hand at other genres too. “Bollywood music keeps playing on the radio and TV so she’s familiar with that,” said Ryan. “But we’ll introduce her to better dance music soon.”
Shalom’s lack of size can sometimes make her an even bigger force to reckon with, as Mumbai’s police found last month.
It was her seventh birthday, and her first time manning a console at a party hosted on her terrace.
“People got so caught up in the music that we forgot what time it was,” said Ryan. That is, until the police came knocking.
“They headed straight for the console, saying ‘DJ kidhar hai. Usse maloom nahin 10 baje ke baad loudspeaker bandh karna padta hai? (Where’s the DJ? Doesn’t he know that no loudspeakers are allowed after 10 pm?)’ Before I could explain, they met Shalom and couldn’t believe that she was the DJ.”
She got away with a warning.
“I still remember the expressions on their faces,” laughed Shalom’s mother, Sherry. “They couldn’t comprehend that our little girl was a DJ.”