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DJ Pearl
This month, itís Mumbaiís DJ Pearl in our hot seat talking about her love for vinyl, her frustration with forced deadlines and what itís like when two DJs decided to share their lives and record racks!

The Record: Itís great to see a girl behind a console! Youíve formed an electronic dance music collective called Submerge. Tell us a little about that.
Pearl: Yeah, there are three of us ~ [husband, DJ] Nikhil Chinappa, Hermit and me. Weíve had some amazing clubbing experiences around the world and every time we came back to India we found the scene kind of regressing. As an artist myself I didnít like the fact that DJs were being treated like jukeboxes here! We wanted to do our own little bit to change the scene. A lot of other DJs we spoke to at the time were also extremely frustrated and were really cheesed off about being told what to play all the time. We wanted to portray the DJ as an artist, which is what they are. Itís like, you canít tell a musician what to play. When you go to see a performance, you sort of submit to them for those few hours, go where theyíre taking you and enjoy the ride!

TR: How difficult was it to take DJin up as a career?
Pearl: It wasnít easy initially. It took a lot to make people take you seriously. Family of course were worried especially because of the whole security issue, like ĎHow will you come back at night?í and things like that. But I always had loads of friends there so there was always someone who would accompany me coming back home, I took care of that. It was also a lot of hard work. I spent hours playing records, I insisted on learning on turntables. I wanted to use vinyl. I gave it everything I could and Iíve picked up a little quicker than I thought I would. I did experience some insecurity from colleagues, which I think is very natural and exists in every profession. Itís a sort of healthy competition, I think. Itís good because that means youíre being taken seriously! [Laughs] I look at it as a good thing.

TR: The most memorable venue youíve played atÖ
Pearl: I think more than memorable venues, I have memorable gigs. The most memorable ones are the ones where the equipment messes up! [Laughs] There were times Iíve changed six turntables in one set while playing! We had a set of turntables one worse than the other because a lot of clubs donít really keep the ones we need and we changed six in the span of my gig. Then the headphones gave out so we had a microphone that we put in the output and I listened to the sound out of the mic basically as a headphone. [Laughs] There are some bizarre situations to be put into and I think you can only get it when you really play live in front of a crowd.

TR: Whatís it like for two DJs to be living under one roof?
Pearl: Itís crazy because there are records everywhere you walk. Weíve got a bit organised now, weíve got a record rack. [Laughs] We have loads of music all the time; itís always on in the house. Nikhil likes different sounds from me ~ every DJís style is different. Itís nice because thereís some variation then. We have a lot of stuff to discuss, we promote Submerge nights together, we share new music that we hear with each other. Itís great! It makes life very interesting.

You can read the rest of our feature on DJ Pearl in the July 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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