Nawed was in Class 8 when he heard DJ Akbar Sami—a music producer and one of the earliest known DJs of the country—play music. Right away, says Nawed, he had developed a fondness for music.
At Blue Blazer in Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Saturday, where DJ Nawed came to play music, he talked about starting off and hitting the right notes. “It all started when people used to approach me to play since I had the best collection of music. But then, in 1999, I stepped into a club for the first time to learn DJing from a DJ friend who played in a Mumbai club,” 32-year-old Nawed tells us.
He calls DJ/music producer Nikhil Chinapa as his mentor and talks about his association with him, “I am the resident DJ at Submerge, an entertainment company in Mumbai that is promoted by Nikhil Chinapa. Nikhil and I also partnered as DJ-producers and our work was featured in mainstream Bollywood films such as Musafir, whose remixed songs Door Se Paas and Rabba became quite popular.
Even in Dus, the remix version of the track Deedar De replaced the original number in the film.”
The USP of his remixes, claims the DJ, is that they don’t sound like the others. “My remixes have an international flavour, that is why they are still remembered,” says Nawed, who has also done the remixes of songs of Salaam Namaste, Right Here Right Now from Bluffmaster and Main Hoon Zinda, the club mix from Zinda. In Bollywood, Nawed has worked with some of the best, including music directors Vishal and Shekhar and Pritam. “It is very challenging to work with them because they don’t compromise on the quality of the product. That is why they are such big directors. I have to give them almost 10-15 remix versions of a song, out of which they select one,” he says.
But, Nawed has left Bollywood now.
“Bollywood is not my destination. I am into progressive or international dance music,” he adds. However, the DJ is quick to point that Bollywood music will always be loved in India. “Even though the music scene is changing and international music is now in demand. This is because international music gives a sense of unity, which the new generation believes in,” he feels.
Nawed has, in the past, been the resident DJ for Dubai’s hotspot Pulse apart from being a regular at Sunburn Electronic Dance Music festival and performed with international bigwigs including Axwell, Paul Van Dyk, Roger Sanchez, RDB and others. The DJ is still enamoured by Dubai’s pace. “Dubai is unlike South Africa, where people don’t want to come out of Yash Chopra’s era. In Dubai, the music of a film that is yet to reach India gets released,” he says.
Next, Nawed is looking forward to coming up with an original English dance music album.