From: Berkeley, CA
Best known for: “’Jammu’, ‘Secrets’, ‘Burn’, ‘Karate’, ‘Memories’.”
Tune of 2015: “Of my own, ‘Secrets’; overall, ‘Flicker’ by Porter Robinson.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: “Probably Kygo.”
With releases on Dutch imprint Spinin’ Records, remixes for the likes of Avicii, and a huge collaboration alongside Tiesto, American EDM producer and DJ KSHMR has had quite a productive 2015 to say the least. His ascension to the top is even more impressive considering Niles Hollowell-Dhar has only been releasing music under his KSHMR alias since 2014. Before then he was one half of hip-hop production duo The Cataracs alongside David ‘Campa’ Benjamin Singer-Vine.
2015 finally saw the LA-based producer breakout from his hip-hop roots and into the world of EDM, and it was his collaboration, ‘Secrets’, alongside Dutch heavyweight Tiesto that was the catalyst to putting his new alias on the map. That success then saw the LA-based producer play his first live show at the Fonda Theatre in LA alongside Bassjackers and newcomer Yogi.
“This year has gone better than I ever hoped for,” KSHMR tells DJ Mag. “’Burn’ with DallasK really opened the door for me, and from there I had the honour of collaborating with Tiesto on ‘Secrets’, which became the biggest release of my career so far.”“Music aside, Tiesto introducing me for the first time at Ultra 2015 in Miami was one of the most surreal experiences of my life,” he continues.
As well as high-flying collaborations and remixes, KSHMR also found time to release ‘Jammu’ — his most personal track to date. It pulled in a host of influences, including those from his Indian heritage, into a giant EDM melting pot.
With support from the scene’s biggest names, KSHMR is showing all the signs of becoming one of the US’s biggest EDM stars to date.
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have? “Preparation. It’s important to give people an experience they couldn’t get just by listening to your tracks online.”
Is the future still bright for EDM? “That’s up to the artists, and if we can continue to innovate.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally? “No. But then again, I’ve only played one show.”
What cause is closest to your heart? “I want to show people that dance music is a genre capable of evoking the same full spectrum of emotions as any other. That it can reflect culture, and have a soul. I want to give people an artist in dance music that isn’t laminated in a glossy film of private jets and penthouse suites.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead? “I don’t know enough clubs to answer this.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll? “I’m not sure. I haven’t met many female producers but I’m happy to help any who want to learn.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers? “I think it’s acceptable to get help. Ultimately, it is up to the artists to decide at what point they are no longer being honest with their listeners.”
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