During my time spent at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, I had the pleasure of getting to know San Francisco based DJ, Atish. First discovering his music through friends obsessively playing his Soundcloud mixes, I was curious to pick the brain of the man behind such emotional and intelligently crafted sets. Atish did not let me down, providing insight on the experiences which have molded him into the DJ he is today. If there’s one thing that stuck with me most about Atish, it was his incredibly modest nature and down to earth, healthy views on the music industry.
During our brief period of talking, a few fans came over, enthusiastically thanking Atish for the beautiful moments they experienced during his set on the Robot Heart bus during Burning Man. He humbly thanked them for their praise, clearly flattered and touched that he was able to share the party magic with so many other people. With his uniquely intuitive style of music rapidly garnering more and more fans, this is certainly a DJ whose timeless mixes are here to stay.
Favorite WMC 2013 set: I’m a big fan of Tale of Us. It’s really inspirational the way they put records together with so many different sounds and mix so flawlessly. After I hear sets like that, I just want to go home and widen my range and become better. Another surprise was John Digweed’s set, at the 10-year Bedrock anniversary. The music he’s playing isn’t necessarily in style with what I’m playing, but just hearing someone play on that level was really awesome.
Dream collaboration: I would like to collaborate with Fugazi lead singer Ian MacKaye, because of his idealist approach to music, and his thoughts on the way a label should be run and promoted in a non commercial sense.
Life changing DJ set: There is actually one party that stands out in particular to me, which was a Lee Burridge underground party at this place called The Compound in San Francisco. My good friend Gunita from Listed Productions put the party together, and it was such a great vibe that it made me want to become a part of it, and rather than just be a consumer, become a creator as well.
Favorite ongoing party in San Francisco: The party that Listed is doing at the End Up called “Play”. I think the quality of acts that have come through and the type of crowd that Listed brings is some of the best San Francisco has to offer.
Experience at Burning Man 2011: That year made me fall in love with the art of the marathon set, since I played two gigs that were over eight hours each at the Panda Lounge camp. I also had my highest profile gig thus far, playing on top of the Robot Heart bus.
Compared to Burning Man 2012: Playing the Robot Heart bus in 2012 was different, because I was a lot more confident. I knew what to expect on the bus, and my overall goals were just to have fun with the whole thing, and embrace the chaos. Seeing the thousands of lit up people on the playa from the DJ booth, with some of my best friends literally rocking the floor behind me is something I’ll never forget.
On the importance of the interaction between the crowd and DJ: I think the relationship between the DJ and the dance floor is the core of the art form. It’s reading and feeling a room, and playing music to respond to what the crowd is doing. It’s hard for me if the DJ booth is removed from the dance floor, because I just the energy in my face. I like it when people are in the booth and having fun with me.
Biggest thing learned from the whole experience: The biggest thing that I’ve taken away from Burning Man and Robot Heart is to be confident and just have fun with what you’re doing. I try to apply both those ideas in my approach to DJing, and I’m really fortunate for the way things have turned out as a result.
To learn more about Atish, visit his Facebook page.