A celebrity DJ, official DJ of Extraaa Innings IPL 7, jury member for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, 2016 and 2017 and ex-cabin crew, Jet Airways, DJ Paroma is truly an icon in the entertainment genre. Team Optimist spoke to DJ Paroma on her achievements and astounding journey through life. Excerpts…
Team Optimist: DJ Paroma — a brand, the pulse of a generation! How do you describe your amazing journey in the world of entertainment?
DJ Paroma: I fancied the profession of a DJ ever since I started partying, which was very early in life. I figured that I had the energy and passion. And I didn’t want to be just a decked-up woman behind the console. I wanted it to be a package showcasing my talent, along with the way I carried myself.
To upgrade my skills, I took an intensive four-month course from an institute in Mumbai under Bob Omulo, who was a stellar mentor. After finishing the course, I was hired as an assistant DJ by a four-star property near my home. Eight months into the job, I got my first freelancing gig in Chennai on Christmas Eve and there was no looking back.
Team Optimist: Over 800+ gigs from 2011 to 2019! What’s the secret of your success?
DJ Paroma: It’s very important to count your blessings always. It’s the love of the people and the respect you receive that keeps you going in life. If you aren’t grounded, it may backfire. It’s amazing to be a DJ — to see everyone dance and give a great time to everyone. Every DJ needs to be patient at all times and can’t lose his or her cool right at the outset. Just hold on, as hard work and determination will pay off soon some day.
Team Optimist: What’s been your experience of IPL? Do you think there’s a gender barrier in curating sports and games shows in India?
DJ Paroma: I got an overwhelming response for this. It was my persona on social media that caught Sony’s attention as a prospect for IPL Extraaa Innings in 2014. I was their official DJ in the studio for about 45 days. They put me in the frame many times, interacting with the hosts and guest cricketers. I have some videos on my YouTube channel too, spouting shayaris, dancing with the cheerleaders and more. In no time, my fan following tripled on all platforms.
No, I don’t think gender barrier exists now, because time and thought processes of people have changed over time.
Team Optimist: For an entertainer, there’s always a benchmark for excelling in performances. How do you motivate yourself with so many gigs around the globe?
DJ Paroma: All DJs need to inspire and motivate themsleves all the time to do something new and try to evaluate what more DJs can bring out, or what changes can be done within ourselves, and how one can become better to move ahead. This whole routine and pattern should not make you complacent and bring monotony into the regular schedule. The excitement wouldn’t remain and would become any other regular job that turns boring after a while. Being a DJ is one of the most exciting job profiles one can have; but, if not handled well, it will just disrupt everything.
Team Optimist: Being a jury in several national-level reality shows, what advice do you have for aspiring DJs who want to prepare themselves for shows?
DJ Paroma: I’d really want upcoming DJs to understand the seriousness of being behind the console. I see so many of them taking things lightly and not understanding that they’ve been chosen over so many others to perform for that night at the venue. I rarely see the ones coming in now, respecting what they’re doing. They also lack patience. The introduction of software certainly has made life easier and that’s totally justified, but it’s also being misused to a great extent. I’m not at a stage to mentor anyone yet, since I, myself, am learning every single day. But there are a few things I wish can happen the right way.
Team Optimist: With many offers coming from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, how has DJ-ing changed over the years?
DJ Paroma: I still remember my first few gigs in Tier 1 and 2 cities about 4-5 years ago. I had this strange thought of how the gigs were going to be, what the profile of the crowds would be, or what kind of music they’d expect from me. I was very nervous, since the venues I was performaing at were night clubs and I had a very different perspective of them.
But, believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more insane and mind-blowing experience than playing for them. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that some were even better than the big metros. DJ-ing has surely evolved and will keep evolving with newer and brighter talents and advanced technologies and it’s always fun to learn from these!
Team Optimist: In 5 years’ time, where do you want to see yourself?
DJ Paroma: As a DJ, I always keep myself abreast of the latest skills and technologies. I really wanted to learn the finer aspects of music, especially the piano! I’d started learning it a few years ago and had taken a break for a year and have now started off again. Playing the piano gives me goose bumps and I know I can do a lot with it. Also, I want to introduce my Handsonic that can produce the sounds of almost 100 different instruments. I have my heart set on my live gigs and tours and that’s something that’ll go on for as long as I perform. Studio recordings and album releases will go hand in hand, because there’s nothing like playing your own tracks at your live gigs!