t2 zeroes in on DJ Zaeden’s X factor 

Zaeden! Zaeden! Zaeden!” cheered the crowd at Shisha Bar Stock Exchange as the 23-year-old star DJ took to the console, dressed in a white linen shirt with black jeans and white sneakers, to perform as part of 15 Years of Shisha, in association with t2, on August 24.

  • Published 3.09.18
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Zaeden at Shisha BSE. (Below) With girlfriend Nina

Zaeden! Zaeden! Zaeden!” cheered the crowd at Shisha Bar Stock Exchange as the 23-year-old star DJ took to the console, dressed in a white linen shirt with black jeans and white sneakers, to perform as part of 15 Years of Shisha, in association with t2, on August 24. t2 caught up with Zaeden aka Sahil Sharma for a chat. 

You just came back after performing at Tomorrowland in Belgium. What was the experience like?

It was insane! I cannot describe it in words... it’s crazy, like it’s another world. When you land in Tomorrowland, it’s like some place you have never seen before. The crowd was also really good. Lost Stories and I played an early set; we literally opened the festival. We played at the Freedom Stage, and it was amazing to see so many Indians out there with the flags. 

How did you prep for it?

We actually played a lot of new stuff. I played my new songs, Rishab (Joshi of Lost Stories) played his new stuff, and we also played our collaboration for the first time. It’s going to be out soon, it’s the anthem for Budweiser. It’s called Uncomplicated. 

Your song Something Like has been out recently. What was the inspiration behind it?

Well, to be honest, Something Like was done probably three years back. That’s when I actually finished the song, and it was really hard for us to get the drop right and we sent it to Spinnin’ Records earlier. They were not satisfied, so then we worked on it again and again and then we actually stopped working on it and started working on other stuff. But I am so happy that it’s finally out. Yves V (DJ) really helped me with the song and he premiered the song at V-Sessions in Tomorrowland. I was on stage with Yves V and it was insane... 30,000 people, and we also played the song at the main stage.

You travel a lot, for your work and otherwise. What do you love and hate about travelling?

The one thing that I love is meeting new people and exploring new cities. I actually make a lot of music when I am on the road, like maybe on a flight or in my hotel room. I carry all my setup with me. The one thing that I probably hate is sitting on a flight for long hours because I have this bad back that I developed six months ago and that’s quite troublesome. 

When t2 first spoke to you, you had seven tattoos. Has that number changed? 

(Laughs) Well, I have lost count actually. I think I have 10 now. This was the last one I got I guess (points to his left wrist), it’s the headstock of a guitar. 

 

We recently watched your video with Lisa Haydon. How was it shooting with her? 

It was really good. Lisa is such a down-to-earth person. She is really sweet and I cannot thank her enough for getting on board, doing this video and helping me out with it. I am lucky enough to call her family.

Speaking of family, we saw one of your pictures with Nina. It is absolutely adorable! What do you love the most about her?

(Smiles) Thank you so much. I love everything about her. We have been together for almost two years and there have been hardly any fights. In fact, I actually at times look for some drama because I miss it; it’s so perfect. 

Also, since both of you are DJs, how does that work? Does it help you guys?

I think Nina is a really good critic. Even before I share anything with my manager, I share it with Nina because some of the songs are written for her. I like sharing everything with her.

So she’s the muse as well?

(Laughs) Yeah! She is the inspiration for most of my songs now. I am really excited to share some of my pop stuff, which I will be coming out with pretty soon. And it is just amazing being in the studio with her. I help her out with her stuff, when it comes to her sets and making edits. She’s always there to help me out as an artiste as well.

Do you have any style inspiration? Is there a pressure to constantly look good?

I just keep it casual and simple, and wear whatever I am comfortable in. There isn’t much pressure. I just make sure that I get a good haircut. That is the one thing I am very particular about! 

And what does Zaeden do to unwind? 

I don’t know... because when I make music, that’s chill for me. I find my peace there. But I am actually very competitive. Not in music, but when it comes to sports I am pretty competitive. I love pool, snooker, bowling and cricket. 

Text: Zeba Akhtar
Shisha BSE pictures: Rashbehari Das

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