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DJ Aaron James: On his gig in Mumbai, playlist expected and more…

One of New York City’s most celebrated DJ Aaron James is all set to perform at the Rodeo Drive, Mumbai on 24th August.

About Aaron

His dynamic repertoire, unique sound, and consummate professionalism are sought after by some of the most influential personalities and organizations in the world.

He’s opened for performances by Elton John, Eminem, Pitbull, Lil’ Kim, Sheryl Crow, Eve, TV On The Radio, Santigold, Bootsy Collins, Talib Kwele, Jack Johnson, Kid Rock, Groove Armada, The Wailers, PM Dawn, Michael Franti (Spearhead),  Poet Named Life (Black Eyed Peas), Graeme Hamilton (UB40 / Fine Young Cannibals), Jan Kindcaid (Brand New Heavies), House legends Barbara Tucker, Joey Negro, and Danny Rampling as well as performed along with some of the top producers on the planet such as John Digweed, The Chainsmokers, Mark Ronson, Tomcraft, to name just a few.

Our conversation

What’s on your set list for the gig in Mumbai? 
For the Rodeo Drive event on Thursday, 24TH I’m playing all the newest RnB, Hip Hop, Twerk, Dancehall, Latin.  Basically it’s a Ladies Night and all the stuff that keeps them on the dance floor and you know, shaking it.  Club bangers basically, all the new hotness.

Are you excited to be playing for the Indian audience?

Absolutely yes!  It’s been almost one year since my last visit to India and had been missing it a lot.  For the most part Indian audiences are fun in all the cities I’ve played. They mainly come to move their a** and not sip from their glass, which of course makes my job all the more rewarding.

What’s your take on the Indian music scene? Who is your favorite Indian artist?

Honestly I’ve been a bit out of touch as to the new up and coming acts in the game.  What I am happy to see however, is many of my old school artist friends across different genres taking their craft to ever higher levels.  Few immediately come to mind Soulmate, The Ska Vengers, Reggae Rajahs, Ankytrixx, Rummy Sharma, etc.

If you have the chance to perform with some here, who would they be and why?

For this tour all my bookings are for solo shows, but had there been any collaborations I’d certainly have loved to tie up with any of the aforementioned acts. I’ve known them for many years now and are like family.

Tell us about your upcoming projects

Can’t discuss in too much detail as contracts have yet to be signed and hope to this week, but after years of freelancing internationally it’s time to change the pace and work closely with one company for awhile  plant roots in one city and enjoy a bit of stability for a welcome change. I think I can safely say that the next exciting chapter will be in Hong Kong, a city I have always been intrigued by and have yet to visit. As I’ll be turning 46 in a few days, it seems totally fitting to be again plunging into the unknown and taking on a fresh new direction.There is nothing more refreshing than the opportunity to be able to reinvent yourself, especially in the later stages of ones’ career.   

Your message to upcoming DJs

Don’t be lazy and do your homework, practice your craft religiously, research and adapt to new technologies and techniques that keep your performances exciting and fresh and also keep you always learning and growing.  Don’t ever assume you know all there is to know and stop challenging yourself to try new things. Prioritize from the very early stages marketing and branding including logo design, a sharp looking Press Kit and website. Be your own social media guru if you can’t afford or don’t yet have management be in the game for the right reasons and not just for the spotlight and perhaps most importantly. Watch that ego of yours so it doesn’t inflate beyond the scope of your talent and consume you, let your music and good work ethic speak for itself stop hating on other artists to prop yourself up and just be cool man. And please do take care not to fall victim to the occupational hazards of alcoholism, drug use, and crappy diet.  Take care of yourself and keep a mind’s eye towards the long term think about longevity and future goals. Shine bright and don’t let the light burn out before it’s time. And for sure don’t be shortsighted and spend money beyond your means save, plan ahead, work on building your nest egg to get you through the slow periods and unforeseen events that inevitably pop up.

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