The name Satheerth Kunneth might not ring a bell but if you follow today’s music scene, you would be familiar with the name DJ Shadow Dubai. As soon as Kunneth realized he wanted to make a career out of music, he adopted the stage name DJ Shadow Dubai. Apart from performing all over the world, he has several popular tracks to his credit as a music producer. Some of his chartbusting songs have been ‘Casanova’ and ‘Slowly Slowly’.
In this interview, DJ Shadow Dubai talks about his journey in the music industry, collaborating with the likes of Pitbull, doing Bollywood music, upcoming projects and more.
One of your recent hits has been ‘Casanova’ on which you collaborated with Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Working with Yo Yo Honey Singh was a dream come true. He is a legend and has inspired so many of us. He is not just a rapper but a music producer and a composer as well. I learnt a lot while working with him. It was a lot of fun creating a party song like ‘Casanova’.
You had stated in an interview that Bollywood is the next big destination for you. Do you plan to compose or produce music for films?
I started off as a music producer. I was doing a lot of remixes and I realized a lot of remixes were happening in Bollywood as well. There came a time when I felt the urge to create original music. If I get the right opportunities, I would love to compose and produce music for films.
You have worked on many popular tracks over the years. One of your most loved tracks has been ‘Slowly Slowly’ on which you collaborated with Pitbull and Guru Randhawa. What are your memories of working on this particular project?
I have a lot of wonderful memories of working on ‘Slowly Slowly’. We worked on this track for close to nine months. We flew to the United States multiple times and visited Miami frequently while working on it. There is one particular incident which I can never forget. The day we finished shooting the video, Pitbull came up to me and said, “Thank you Shadow for having me on this project.” That made me realize how humble he is as a person. That’s the reason why he is the legend he is. There was great energy on the sets. Guru and I have been friends for a long time. Collaborating with him on this track was a wonderful experience.
While you have worked with several music labels, you have also released a lot of music independently.
When you release a song independently, you have the freedom to do a lot of things your way. When you work with a label, you are working with individuals who have a lot of experience releasing, distributing and marketing music. It is great to collaborate with established labels as well. You have to know what feedback you should take and what you should keep aside. I enjoy both the processes.
Why did you choose DJ Shadow Dubai as your stage name?
I wish there was an interesting story behind this (laughs). I was a very shy kid in school. When I thought of becoming a DJ, I thought of having a stage name. At that time, it was very cool for artists in India to use English names. I thought my name should represent my alter ego. It should be my shadow. That’s how the name DJ Shadow Dubai came about. While I was still shy, I would transform into a different person while performing as a DJ.
Is there any artist you wish to collaborate with in the near future?
I have a wishlist and it’s quite long. Ever since I got into music production, I have been wanting to work with a lot of artists. In the Indian music scene, Arijit Singh is somebody I have been wanting to work with for the longest time. He has had a big influence on my musical journey.
What are you doing next?
I am very excited about the next track I will be releasing. I have collaborated with American singer – songwriter Jason Derulo on it. The track has got a very different vibe to it. What’s interesting is that Jason has sung a couple of lines in Hindi. The entire track will be a huge surprise for his fans. It has the potential to become a global anthem.