Jan 19, 2017
KSHMR: Striving For More
KSHMR strives to deliver more of a full experience compared to a standard DJ set, combining a well thought out and developed production to complement his music in order to tell a narrative. KSHMR discusses this idea, his drive, and his happiness following a conversation with Porter Robinson at Electric Zoo.
Striving For More
Coincidentally, Porter and I shared the same green room at Electric Zoo. We got to talking and it turned into a discussion about what it means to shine through this scene and be an artist, rather than just a DJ. DJing is sort of a loaded term. To some people, DJing means that you’re supposed to play the music that people want to hear and you’re supposed to read the crowd and adjust your set based on the crowd.
I want to give people an artist more than a DJ. Although I make electronic music and thus my live instrument is effectively the turntables like everyone else, when you come to my show, even if the storytelling turns some people off, I want you to at least be left with an experience that you couldn’t confuse with somebody else on the bill that night.
I think that to a certain extent, you have to ask yourself, “Are you happy just to stand amongst the ranks of the big DJs?” If you want to just stand there, the EDM world is set up nicely for you. You can have a couple of big songs and be invited to the circuit indefinitely. If that’s enough for you then you can do just that. But I think you have to push yourself and it takes a certain mentality to not be satisfied with that.
Happiness is such an internal thing. Your own metric for what it means to be happy is ultimately an internal thing. I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I’m stressed or seem anxious, when they feel I should be satisfied. I think the same sort of anxiousness and perpetual dissatisfaction, it hasn’t always been great for my relationships and that’s unfortunate, but if I’m being honest with myself, that is voice that I have to answer to – my internal voice. It’s responsible for my anxiousness and wanting to get back home and make another song. It’s sort of a burden to live with, but I think it’s been a driving factor for my success. I think for anybody who sets out to do something remarkable, there’s a lot of insecurity involved. Why do you need to make more songs than the next guy? It’s driven by something a little bit darker than meets the eye. Or maybe it’s from a good place, but it’s going to be difficult for you on your relationships or sometimes your mental stability.
It doesn’t even phase me anymore to stay up until 8am or to stay up two nights in a row finishing something. It brings me back to being young and having a sleepover, staying up all night and watching movies. It puts me in this sort of high when I have a goal that I feel strongly enough about when I’m willing to stay up two or three nights in a row. There are days when I look forward to being done and watching TV and eating. But the days when I’m really happiest are the days where I don’t want to get into any of that and just want to stay up 48 hours finishing something. It’s a sort of high that I live for.
Be sure to check out part of one of our coversation with KSHMR, Progressing Into New Worlds.
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