We got a chance to do an interview with DJ Kalkutta. Check out what she has to tell you.
Tell us about your name, and the meaning behind it.
Don’t mean to get super deep on you right away here, but not only is Calcutta (Kolkata), India where I was born, but it is also where my birthmother took the ultimate leap of faith and placed me in an orphanage. It’s the city where my entire destiny was really set into motion. I consider it homage to the family I may still have there as well the city itself. I actually spell it as a hybrid of the Bengali and English spellings of the word, since I was born there and adopted by an American woman in the States. How’s that for an explanation? Haha…
How did you get into Dj’ing?
I actually studied music all through school and studied audio engineering & production in college. Ultimately, many of my goals
lie in production- and I thought to myself- what can I use as a platform to get people to care about my music? You pour your heart and soul into making beats, you don’t want to sell them to just anyone up on Myspace!! (Lol!) So I started spinning, but soon realized what a dope art form it was and fell in love! Now I’m in there like swimwear!
What made you believe that DJing is what you were meant to do?
Everything just fell into place. It’s hard to answer this without sounding cliché, but when you find success doing something you really love, you’re just like ‘This has to be right!’
What are people’s reactions when you tell them you’re a DJ?
Hahah. Oh God. There are two different reactions-the male reaction and female reaction. Chicks are always like, “Seriously? That’s so cool!” They’re very supportive on the girl power tip, which I’m all about. (Hello? Grew up in the Spice Girls era!!) Dudes are always like “Oh yeah? That’s sexy! That’s so hot!” Yeah, guy. That’s why I do it. So people think I’m sexy. Never mind that I’m extremely emotionally invested in this and put countless hours into putting sets together, practicing, learning tricks, learning my music, ect. Don’t get me wrong- I appreciate the admiration just like anyone would, but the reaction I’m really looking for is from people who see/hear what I do and realize that I’ve taken the time to really learn my craft and respect me for that.
Do you think being a female DJ, gives you some sort of edge, or set back from male DJ’s.
I won’t front- it’s way easier for females in this game. All edge all the time if you ask me. If not anything else we have it easier based solely on the fact that people give us the time of day. If a female seeks out a club manager or promoter (who are almost always male), who’s really not going to give them 2 minutes to break it down and at least leave a business card? On top of that, the nightlife & event industries are completely image based- so it’s always a good look to have a pretty girl on the 1′s & 2′s if the venue can help it (providing she can hold it down!).
What’s your favorite thing about being a DJ?
It makes me feel like if a Rock Star and a Bollywood Superstar had a baby and that baby was also a Princess it would be me. That’s the kind of rush I get from this. Does that make sense to you? Hahaha!
How do you spend your time, when you’re not DJing?
Getting into trouble, usually. I live in the East Village so I’m always out supporting the art and tomfoolery taking place in the East Vill/L.E.S. Just like everyone else, I procrastinate on the internet, oftentimes getting sucked into the vortex that IS online shopping. I keep a blog on my website which is more than anything just a feeble attempt to bring my random internet findings full circle in a productive way. I’m always up to date on Family Guy and Glee of course. And, I know I’m small, but you’d be amazed at the actual percentage of my time that I spend eating. I eat full-on meals pretty much intermittently throughout the day. So there’s that.
What are you listening to on your iPod right now?
It’s mostly a mixture of stuff I don’t really get to play in the club (like Imogen Heap, Adele, Amy Winehouse) and artists that are on the come up like Soundwavve and Ninjasonik. I’m also really still stuck on Drake’s first mixtape- Comeback Season.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing?
I mean if I had to pick something totally unrelated to the music industry I would be a journalist. I just love to write.
What was the craziest request you’ve got asked to play?
Oh man. Where to start? You know what? It’s honestly more of a timing thing than anything else- people have a knack for either asking for really obscure stuff during prime time, or really prime time stuff during opening or closing time. I know it’s 10 o’clock and you’re totally ready to hear “Shots”, but I’m gonna need you to just slow your roll for a minute, buddy. I also think it’s really crazy when people ask me for something super obvious- like “Oh, you want to hear Lady GaGa and The Black Eyed Peas this evening? I had no idea they were popular right now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.”
What are two random things people don’t know about you?
1. I was adopted into a very special situation- My mother is single, adopted me on her own as well as my little sister who is adopted from Honduras. *Issues late pass to Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Sheryl Crow & Sandra Bullock.* My mom been on that!! She literally looks the polar opposite of me- Caucasian, 5’7″ (I’m 5’1 on a good day), Red hair. And my sister looks..well…very Latina. We’re quite the motley crew, really.
2. I went to boarding school, Harry Potter status. We even had Prefects. Yup, those are real. I should’ve probably been DJ Hermione. I’d probably have a way bigger following and get to spin awesome stuff like Comic-Con if I had. Oh well- the world is stuck with Kalkutta now!! Better just get into it!
Download her Slumdog Trillionar Mix here