He parties every weekend AND makes money!
Meet DJ Reverb aka Nikhil Khedekar who DJs and runs a company that recruits DJs for parties
There are very few people who go against all odds, stick to their passion and make a career out of it and do a great job at it not to forget. Well, Nikhil Khedekar's surely one of them.
Also known as DJ Reverb, Nikhil calls himself a complete music freak. He parties in the weekends and what does he do in his free time?
He "makes songs and creates his own mixes". He started a company called DJ Reverb's Groove back in 2006 and since then there's no looking back for this 26 year old. His company focuses on organising DJs for parties.
Image: DJ Reverb aka Nikhil Khedekar
'DJs in India lack exposure'
The craze of DJing struck him during his college days. Along with studying engineering, he was also trying his hand at DJing and was deeply interested in anything to do with music. After doing a BE in electronics, he went on to do an MBA in marketing and a diploma in sound engineering.
Nikhil's idea behind setting up this company was to make things easier for the upcoming DJs and musicians. And so he made use of all his marketing skills and went ahead to start one on his own.
"There's a lot of budding talent in India but sadly they do not get much exposure like in the United States. Being so closely related to the music field for years, I felt that was the need of this field. That's when I thought I of contributing and doing by bit by providing them a platform to showcase their talent" he says.
'Parents were really sceptical about it'
Even though Nikhil's parents are pleased with what their son does now, things were very different when he started off. "Initially, my parents were really sceptical about it. They had no clue what my job entailed, to begin with. I was prepared to do a lot of convincing," he says.
And what did he do to finally get their thumbs up?
"I took them to one of my shows once to give them a glimpse of my work. They saw my talent and thankfully they agreed. Now, they're glad to see me do something I'm genuinely happy doing" adds Nikhil.
Getting his parents' nod was just the start. Nikhil faced many more hurdles in the way. "The biggest challenge I have to say was gathering the money. I needed to have enough capital to start my own company and buy all the equipment.
This had to be the toughest part. Then of course, once that was done, the next big hurdle was gaining exposure, making a name for the company and basically making people aware of its existence" recollects Nikhil.
Image: It was only after Nikhil took his parents to one of his events that they were convinced
'We don't need misguided youngsters'
This Mumbai based DJ who's been DJing since the age of 17 has something else to say when it comes to the youngsters opting to become DJs today.
"When it comes to DJs, funnily everyone thinks that s/he can be a DJ. They'll come along with a small collection of CDs and claim to be DJs. Such people tend to spoil the market because at the end the deserving DJs don't get to play and even the people aren't happy.
We need people with more knowledge about the field more than just a bunch of misguided youngsters who feel their knowledge about music is enough to become a DJ. Even the ones hiring should become more aware and quality conscious and shouldn't settle for any amateur" he says.
So what is the next plan of action in this entrepreneur's agenda?
"I plan to start a record label and give exposure to all those new artists and bands who are trying to make a mark in the music industry. Through that, I want to try and make sure more and more talented musicians are given their due" he says.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
DJ Reverb's success mantras
Be friends with the crowd. Remember it's the crowd you're playing for. Play what they want to hear and not what you think is good. The whole idea is to make sure that the crowd is happy with your work.
Be honest to yourself and to your music.
Make sure to keep good relations with the manager or owner of the place; it always helps to be cordial.
Lastly, while you're in there, just give in your best and have a blast!
Nikhil's message to all those youngsters who want to start on their own:
Don't do something out of the box because you think its "cool" to be different or because you want to show others. Do it because you're passionate about your idea and believe in it. Be dedicated and committed to your work. There are bound to be obstacles in the way but don't lose hope. Just hang in there and give it your best shot!