DJ Gurbax is undoubtedly one of the most popular DJs and music producers around. Some of his creations and recreations have become chartbusters and they command viewership in huge numbers. We got in touch with DJ Gurbax to know more about his journey, what DJ’ing looks like at times of Covid-19, upcoming projects and a lot more. Read to find out…
Tell us about the DJ name GURBAX. Let us talk about your musical journey in depth?
My real name is Kunaal Gurbaxani, so ‘Gurbax’ was a nickname that a few friends called me in school.
The first time I picked up an instrument seriously was in the months leading up to my 10th board exams. I remember spending more time playing guitar than actually studying. It’s funny cause I used to hate electronic music back then. I lived in Bangalore & anyone who was here during the early-to-late 2000s knows that the city didn’t have much to offer in terms of musical diversity. We’d only get one or two big performing acts a year, so most of what I was exposed to was limited to what was on the radio or passed to me through friends – which was a lot of metal & classic/punk rock. It was only when I left to go to Atlanta for college when my mind started to unravel. I started going to a lot of shows & got introduced to bass music through artists like Pretty Lights, Griz, Bassnectar, Zeds Dead, Doctor P, Flux Pavillion, among others – they totally changed my outlook on the possibilities within electronic music & made me do a total 360.
The track Dirty South is a blend and transition of so many beats that sound & resonate cultures as you stated. What initiated the thought process?
A constant theme in my music has been to attempt a perfect intersection between the two cultures that have impacted my life the most – Indian & American. Growing up in both places meant my music had undeniably become this mutant love-child of the East and the West. However, up until this point, I had never actually attempted to combine the cultures of the specific cities that influenced me the most, namely – Bengaluru & Atlanta. ‘Dirty South’ attempts to do just that. It draws inspiration from the instrumentation, rhythms and musical motifs that are signature to both cities – coincidentally both situated in the South of their respective countries – and combining them in a way that’s totally refreshing & unique.
If digital/virtual is what 2020 looks like what are the challenges, hurdles?
I feel like we’re in this strange limbo where the demand for digital concerts is through the roof, however, modern-day technology simply isn’t up to the level at which it needs to be to provide that immersive experience just yet. I’m excited to see how promoters & venues innovate in these times though – I’ve seen some quasi-socially distant parties & heard murmurs of drive-in concerts but I’m curious to see who finally cracks the seemingly impossible balance between experience & safety.
Lastly, any upcoming projects?
I’ve got a few singles coming out later in the year and then an EP, which will mark a slight shift in my sound. Also going to be releasing a music video out for Dirty South.