DJ Kalakaar: From Varanasi Roots to Goa’s Nightlife Star

DJ Kalakaar, originally from Varanasi, India, discovered her passion for music at a young age, earning a senior diploma in Hindustani music by age six. Initially aspiring to be a doctor, her path changed at 17 when she saw DJ Raya perform, igniting her interest in DJing.

DJ Kalakaar Interview

Her journey took a significant turn at the Asian Academy of Film and Television, where she honed her skills despite initial challenges. Transitioning from science to music, she faced societal skepticism but persevered with support from her parents.

Based in Goa, DJ Kalakaar’s diverse musical style spans Bollywood, Techno, Hip-Hop, and more. She’s performed at prestigious events like Raymond’s corporate party and New Year’s Eve at Lord’s Resort in Gujarat. Her ability to read and engage the crowd sets her apart.

Despite challenges as a female DJ, she remains confident and resilient, inspired by mentors like DJ Adaa. Her evolving career includes new music productions, with her latest track, ‘Sajni,’ showcasing her growth.

DJ Kalakaar’s advice to aspiring DJs is to trust themselves and never give up. Her story is a testament to dedication and passion, making her a rising star in Goa’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Pooja Kashyap: Can you tell us more about your early years in Varanasi and how they influenced your passion for music?

DJ Kalakaar: Since the age of 6, I was into singing. My hobbies were singing and dancing. I even earned a senior diploma in Hindustani music. Slowly, this hobby turned into a passion, which eventually inspired me to pursue DJing, as it combines both dance and music.

Pooja Kashyap: At what age did you first become interested in DJing, and what were some of your early musical influences?

DJ Kalakaar: At the age of 17, I became interested in DJing after witnessing one of Mumbai’s DJs, DJ Raya, perform at a club in Varanasi.

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Pooja Kashyap: You initially aspired to become a doctor. What led you to pursue a degree in science, and how did that transition into a career in music?

DJ Kalakaar: I was good in academics, and biology was my favorite subject. I loved interacting with people and helping them, so I initially planned to become a doctor. I prepared for my NEET examinations and was confident about my career path. However, seeing DJ Raya perform sparked an idea for DJing in my mind. It seemed unique, allowed me to achieve my goals, and was a career I could enjoy to the fullest.

Pooja Kashyap: How did your studies at the Asian Academy of Film and Television shape your skills and career as a DJ?

DJ Kalakaar: My days at the academy were a mix of good and challenging experiences. It was my first time stepping out of my city into a metropolitan area. My classmates already had knowledge of various genres, so it was initially hard for me to understand everything. However, I gradually caught up.

Pooja Kashyap: What were some of the challenges you faced when transitioning from a science student to a professional DJ?

DJ Kalakaar: My parents were very supportive, so convincing them for my diploma in DJing was easy. However, I faced many challenges, including taunts and skepticism from others. Deep down, I was scared of failure, but my faith in God and my hard work helped me succeed. Now, I am a full-time professional DJ.

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Pooja Kashyap: What have been some of your most memorable performances or events so far?

DJ Kalakaar: One memorable event was sharing the stage with renowned DJ Adaa at a Raymond’s corporate party at the Neeta Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre. Another highlight was playing at a New Year’s Eve party in 2023 at Lord’s Resort in Gujarat, with a crowd of at least 3500 people. The energy and enthusiasm at that event were incredible.

Pooja Kashyap: Can you share any notable collaborations with other artists or significant milestones in your DJing career?

DJ Kalakaar: Yes, I have collaborated with DJs like DJ Adaa and DJ Lloyd (Bombay Bounce) and opened for many DJs, including DJ Kawal, DJ Cyrus, DJ Stella Bossi, and DJ Ankitriaxx.

Pooja Kashyap: Your music spans several genres, including Bollywood, Techno, Hip-Hop, Commercials, Punjabi, Afro, and Deep House. How do you approach blending these different styles in your sets?

DJ Kalakaar: I have been a resident DJ at many places like JW Marriott, Flow the Superb Club in Goa, and Trippy Tequila in Noida. In these clubs, I go with the crowd and switch genres to keep the energy up. Playing the same kind of music for 7-8 hours can bore anyone, so I divide the hours into different genres and play them sequentially.

Pooja Kashyap: How do you stay updated with the latest music trends and incorporate them into your performances?

DJ Kalakaar: I listen to other DJs and make time daily to check out the latest tracks on platforms like Spotify and YouTube.

Pooja Kashyap: How do you read the crowd and create an electrifying atmosphere during your performances?

DJ Kalakaar: Initially, I start playing tracks of my choice, then I observe the crowd’s reactions. After a few tracks, I gauge their taste and adjust my set accordingly. I never stick to a pre-set playlist; I change the sequence and genres based on the crowd’s vibe.

Pooja Kashyap: Can you walk us through your process of curating a playlist for an event?

DJ Kalakaar: As I mentioned earlier, I never create a fixed playlist for any event. However, I do have a sorted collection of songs from different genres, which makes it easier for me to find tracks while playing.

Pooja Kashyap: Based in Goa, how do you feel the city’s vibrant nightlife scene has influenced your music and career?

DJ Kalakaar: Goa is a happening place where you can enjoy yourself without paying attention to others. I’ve visited many clubs both as a DJ and as a customer, listening to various DJs. Goa has a diverse music taste, so I’ve experienced everything from high-end music parties to more casual gatherings. This diversity has helped me understand different kinds of music and how to cater to various audiences.

Pooja Kashyap: As a rising star in Goa’s night culture, what do you think sets you apart from other DJs in the industry?

DJ Kalakaar: I enjoy my music and play tracks according to the crowd. Unlike some female DJs who stick to their own sets, I interact with my audience, entertain them with micing, dancing, and jokes, and maintain high energy on stage. I don’t judge songs by their lyrics or language; if the crowd enjoys a song, I play it. This approach helps me connect with my audience and makes me stand out.

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Pooja Kashyap: What are your aspirations for the future in the music industry? Are there any specific events or international stages you dream of performing at?

DJ Kalakaar: I have planned both things but I am not going to share them right now. However, I pray to God that I achieve them soon and make my people proud.

Pooja Kashyap: How do you see your music evolving in the coming years?

DJ Kalakaar: I have started music production, and one of my tracks, a Bollywood-tech song titled ‘Sajni,’ is going to be released this week. I hope my audience likes it. I plan to upgrade my music with time and with the support of my fans.

Pooja Kashyap: Despite choosing music over a medical career, do you still find ways to incorporate your scientific background into your work as a DJ?

DJ Kalakaar: Yes, I still read books and recall what I have studied. Currently, I am a psychology student, which is related to human behavior and the brain, keeping my interest in biology alive.

Pooja Kashyap: How do you manage to balance your interests in science and music, and do you think this unique combination gives you an edge in your career?

DJ Kalakaar: Until class 12, I was a science student with a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, and physics. Music has always been a part of me, and I used to sing and perform frequently. Now, as a psychology student, I balance my time between reading books and following social media pages that share new scientific facts. This combination of interests keeps me engaged and informed.

Pooja Kashyap: Looking back at your journey so far, what advice would you give to young aspiring DJs, especially those who might be considering a significant career change?

DJ Kalakaar: Trust yourself and never lose hope. Success doesn’t come overnight. Stop worrying about others and focus on improving yourself. Networking and meeting new people are crucial. Sitting at home and dreaming won’t make you a DJ; you need to build contacts, work on your music, listen to renowned DJs, sort your music, and never give up, no matter the situation.

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Pooja Kashyap: How has your personal and professional journey shaped your identity as DJ Kalakaar?

DJ Kalakaar: I’ve always been an entertainer, whether through singing, acting, or joking. I had a natural sense of mixing and sound quality. DJ Adaa named me Kalakaar, which inspired me to improve my music and maintain the dignity of my stage name.

Pooja Kashyap: Have you ever faced criticism as a female DJ that it’s all about looks and skin show rather than talent? How do you respond to such criticisms?

DJ Kalakaar: Yes, I faced such criticism, especially during my struggling phase. People often made derogatory comments. Initially, it hurt, but now I don’t care about such opinions. I know my hard work and dedication, and I don’t let others’ negativity affect me.

Pooja Kashyap: How do you handle inappropriate proposals from club owners/managers, and what advice would you give to new female DJs facing similar situations?

DJ Kalakaar: Being a girl, you will face inappropriate approaches. You need to be bold and strong. Don’t hesitate to be rude if necessary. A strong response will earn you respect and make it clear that you are not to be taken advantage of.

Pooja Kashyap: What made you switch your name from DJ Steeze to DJ Kalakaar?

DJ Kalakaar: When I started my career, I named myself Steeze, which was popular in East UP. However, when I went to Goa, DJ Adaa changed my name to ‘Kalakaar’ with her blessings, believing it.

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About GrooveNexus   

At GrooveNexus, we believe in nurturing and empowering emerging artists, allowing them to gain visibility and recognition in the music industry. Our platform is a launchpad for talented musicians to showcase their unique styles, genres, and artistic visions. 

For further information, interview requests, or media inquiries, please contact: [email protected].

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