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In Conversation With DJANE Shilpi Sharma (Exlusive Interview with DJANEMAG INDIA)

Before she chose the path of music, Shilpi has starred in films Style[2001], Jo Bole So Nihaal[2005] and Heroine. She has also done 55 adfilms for brands like Colgate, McDonalds, Pears Soap, Larsen & Toubro, Sia Jewelry, Ghanasingh Jewelry and many many more. Here's taking a look into her journey from an actress to a Dj and the struggles of being a female artist.

Djanemag India: To begin with, could you tell us a bit about your roots, educational background and interests apart from DJing?

Shilpi Sharma: I’m from a small town called Dholpur in the state of Rajasthan, close to Agra. I come from a family of powerful entrepreneurs and politicians. I studied in All Saint’s School, Nainital and have a degree in Acting and Interior Design (I studied Interior design in New York City). Besides DJing, I love sports, travelling, taking care of animals and oh, I’m a certified Scuba Diver!

Djanemag India: What got you into DJing? How did people around you react to this decision of yours?

Shilpi Sharma: I took a break from acting when I lost my father. I needed something new after that trauma and I always loved music so much so I decided to become a DJ/Producer. Music helped me stay positive, it gave me life. It made me smile again and so, I devoted myself to it completely. My fans and Bollywood folk were stunned at my decision, they believed going from an actress to a DJ was taking a step down. The media hounded me about why I was dropping my career. My fans are happy with my success but they still continue to request me to go back to film.

Djanemag India: Tell us more about your journey as a female DJ in this country.

Shilpi Sharma: My journey wasn’t easy. Considering my background in Bollywood films, people assume I got work easily. That my social connections and friends helped me or maybe I used my charm. This is not true. My friends never took me seriously when I went to them with my decision to become a DJ. Nobody believed in me or supported me. But I had faith in myself and with my father’s blessing, I worked day in and day out to better myself and my skills. I wanted to prove to people that I was more than just a pretty face – And that’s exactly what I did. All my Bollywood remixes were chart toppers, people LOVED my music. They gave me so much love and respect. Contrary to popular belief, what any other girl could achieve easily, I had to work twice as hard for. But all said and done, there were ups and downs but my journey was worth ALL it’s challenges because it’s made me who I am today.

Djanemag India: What genre are you most comfortable with? In your daily life, is this the genre that you like to listen to all the time?

Shilpi Sharma: I am very comfortable with Bollywood music and deep house and I listen to it most of the time, along with some chill music too.

Djanemag India: How different is the experience of playing at clubs and playing at events/festivals?

Shilpi Sharma: Clubs have a lot less crowd as compared to festivals. Festivals are a whole other level of scale. However, both give me the exact same high because as long as I’m playing music and the crowd is dancing, no matter how big or small, I’m happy.

Djanemag India: Do you have any DJs/DJanes that you really want to work with in your career? Why them?

Shilpi Sharma: Axwell! I love his music. It’s so happy, it makes me happy. I love the positive vibes and the soulfulness, and it’s amazing how it’s so upbeat and catchy at the same time.

Djanemag India: Any specific memory with fans (good or bad) that remains etched in your memory?

Shilpi Sharma: I have no bad memories to date. Only good ones. I’ve had people go down on one knee and propose to me. Some fans went on hunger strikes for me to interact with them. One fan actually travelled all the way to Mumbai in search of me without even knowing where I lived or where to find me!

Djanemag India: Any message for the upcoming DJanes especially here in India?

Shilpi Sharma: Be focused. Focus is KEY. Make sure you have clarity on what you want to do, what kind of DJ you want to be, what music you want to make. And most importantly, keep learning. Make sure you consume knowledge, practice new things and keep experimenting. It is the best way to grow.

Stay tuned to this space to listen to Shilpi's project for Djanemag India. Don't forget to vote for her for India's top 20 Djanes.