DJ GURBAX Talks About His Single 'Dirty South' And Much More

Avya Sharma , 27 Oct 2020

DJ/Producer GURBAX, famously known for being at the forefront of the bass music movement in India with hit releases like ‘Boom Shankar’ & ‘Aghori’, is all set for yet another banger of a release. Titled ‘Dirty South’, the track sees the DJ collaborating with acclaimed California-based world/experimental music act, Beats Antique for the very first time. Keeping my excitement about on this one at bay, I got an opportunity to have a fun tête-à-tête session with him where he spoke about all things music.


Here are a few excerpts from the conversation:

When were you introduced to this kind of music?

It’s funny, I clearly remember hating electronic music as a kid in high school. 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 acts performing a year so most of what I was exposed to was limited to what was on the radio or passed to me through friends. It was only when I reached 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, etc & it totally changed my outlook on the possibilities within electronic music & made me do a total 360.

I want to know the reaction of your father when you told him that you want to become a DJ?

My dad started off hesitant. I remember him initially asking if I could reconsider & explore a career within the music business instead. In fact, I actually wrote up an entire business plan for an event company that I told him I’d start just to show him how serious I was! The company never ended up being created but that never stopped him from being immensely supportive. I’ll never forget, during my last summer in college, when I told him I really wanted to spend some time to learn how to make music – he was the one who pushed me to find the best music production school instead of settling for anything mediocre that might’ve been closer/more convenient. If it hadn’t been for that decision, I might not have been here today. He’s since turned into my #1 anchor & I couldn’t have done this without him.

So, talking about your new release titled ‘Dirty South’, what is the inspiration behind the track and why the name ‘Dirty South’?

 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.

This track is extra special to me cause I got the opportunity to collaborate with the legends ‘Beats Antique’ whom I’ve looked up to since the early days of my introduction into electronic music. I’ve been a huge fan & literally been at multiple of their concerts in the front row raging while I was in college so it’s quite surreal that they agreed to work with me on this!

What can people expect out of your new track?

Psychedelic tripped-out South Indian wedding music.

Your dream collaboration would be with?

Rapper – DIVINE/Offset/Travis Scott

Singer – H.E.R/Don Toliver

Producer – Skrillex/Pretty Lights

If not a DJ, what would Gurbax be?

A consultant at Capgemini! I have an Industrial Engineering degree and actually interviewed with a ton of companies after graduation. Capgemini was the best offer I got & I ended up turning it down to move back to India and do music.

That’s not it GURBAX is also is the first Indian trap artist to debut at the psychedelic playground ‘The Mushroom’ at the virtual edition of the revered annual weeklong desert gathering, ‘Burning Man’ which was scheduled from August 30th to September 6th this year.

Talking about his festival participation GURBAX who has shared the stage with DJs like Steve Aoki, Marshmello, Wiz Khalifa, Troyboi elaborates—

Burning Man is a culture. It’s a movement. It’s an event of free-spirited art and self-expression and my set is going to be reflective of exactly that. I’ve been hard at work in the studio for the past 5 months & wanted to come out with an exclusive live-stream set only when I felt like the moment was right & it obviously doesn’t get much bigger than this, The virtual desert will allow attendees to get the most authentic experience the digital realm can possibly provide. 2020 is all about being radically inclusive!

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