Following another huge year in 2018, American DJ and producer KSHMR kicked off 2019 on a promising note, with the release of his collaboration with Yves V and Krewella – No Regrets.
On the touring front, KSHMR recently visited India and that forms the center of our conversations, as we sit together. Read our chat to know what Niles loves the most about India, the launch of Spotify India and his dream collaborators.
T.H.E – Hey, Niles! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How was 2019 kicked off for you?
KSHMR – Twenty nineteen’s been great. I took a little bit of time at the start of the year to work on some new ideas. And I’m really excited about where my music is gonna go in 2019.
T.H.E – You visited India yet again this year. Considering you’ve been here quite a bit in the past few years, what’s your favorite part of visiting India?
KSHMR – Well, my favorite part of visiting India in the past has been seeing my family. Over the last few years, I lost my Dada Ji and Daadi Ji, which has been hard and made India a different experience for me. But luckily, over the years, I’ve found all these new friends through music. The fans that I see at my shows so for me now, India has become something much bigger that includes all of the fans that I have here. And meeting them and hearing their stories and coming up with new things to play at the shows that I know will connect specifically with the Indian audience. And of course, when I can, I love to see my uncle and my aunt, Samy and Shamila.
T.H.E – This time around, the cities are a bit different (Goa, Hyderabad, and Kochi) than the usual metros. What did you look forward to this time around?
KSHMR – Well, I was really blown away by my first show in India, in Goa, and I always wanted to come back here. Fortunately, Sunburn moved to Pune so I am just over the moon that I get to be back here in Goa performing for Sunburn once again. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. On top of that, Kochi was a new city for me. I have never been there before and it’s a very distinct city and it’s beachy vibe, being so close to the water. It’s a side of India I never got to see growing up and visiting. And, of course, it’s famous and I am sure the crowd is famously enthusiastic as well.
T.H.E – With that being said, does India and your fans here surprise you every time you come or is it the same as per your expectations?
KSHMR – It definitely surprises me every time I come. I think my presence in India through my music has grown but also it’s intriguing just to see how India itself has evolved. And you see younger people with more independence and it’s a beautiful thing. I feel like I’ve seen India evolve quite a lot since I was young and visiting.
T.H.E – Your singles have always been hugely supported here. Given that Spotify has launched in India, how do you feel that will change the way fans consume electronic music?
KSHMR – Well, I think fans of all music, not just EDM, will always find the way. Back when Napster first came out, people were finding music that way. The love for music runs really deeply in almost every person and especially in India, which is such a creative place. And a place that has been such a trendsetter in terms of music so it’s a new avenue for people to get the music they want. But, of course, Saavn did exist and now with Spotify, it’s only going to grow bigger because Spotify is the biggest streaming platform and the most influential I would guess so this is just going to make it even… make music more accessible to the people.
T.H.E – Do you think it will have an impact on how you conceptualize campaigns to support your releases here in India?
KSHMR – Yeah, absolutely! I’m personally not too involved in the marketing side but I am very involved in every avenue available to me in reaching my fans. And I think this will only make it easier and give more opportunities because I know that Spotify has been very good about innovating new ways that artists connect with their fans.
T.H.E – Tell us a bit about your charity for impoverished children. How did it come about?
KSHMR – It’s not my charity per say but when we did my last tour in India, I did a big show in Delhi called Karma and all of the proceeds of that when to “Cry”, which is an amazing organization that helps young children who are attending school create the foundation for the rest of their life by supplying adults to mentor them, who have already gone out in the world and succeeded, thus giving them strong role models to achieve their own success. This was a recommendation from my Dada Ji, who passed away last year.
T.H.E – You have collaborated with so many big artists like Tiesto and Hardwell. If you had to name 5 artists that you haven’t yet but would like to collaborate with, which ones would you list?
KSHMR – Yeah, I get this question a lot and it’s tricky. I’m a huge fan of The Beatles so Paul McCartney would have to be on there. Hip hop was a big influence for me so I’d say, Eminem. One of my favorite rock bands of all time is The Killers so I’d say, Brandon Flowers. I think that Armin van Buuren has been hugely influential to anybody who makes dance music so he’d have to be on that list. And lastly, I’d say… well, I guess it’s two. I’d say, A.R Rahman and Hans Zimmer, because their music I think to me is just as influential and some people might not know who they are but they definitely felt the power of their music in their favorite films. I think we could do something really exciting together and I’d like to venture more into the world of scoring.
T.H.E – And lastly, what message do you have for your fans in India?
KSHMR – I’d have to say that it’s just been such an honor to receive your support. At the end of every show, I say growing up in India for me was kind of a small place because I only knew my grandfather, my grandmother, aunt, and uncle. So I’d be at their house, attending their functions and now I’ve seen just how big India is by meeting all of you, hearing all of your stories, seeing where you come from and it’s changed my perspective and really changed who I am and I am so grateful for all of you and for India and my heritage.