‘Women have gained the freedom to follow their heart without fear’: DJ Paroma
She is the queen of music mixing. SME Futures celebrates International Women’s day with DJ Paroma, the music juggler.
Anushruti Singh March 6, 2020
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Rare in the DJing scene in India – why? Because she is a woman.
Meet DJ Paroma.
With growing nightlife culture and increasing number of clubs, DJing has become a serious career option for many in India. And, women too are joining the scene. A ‘complete clubbing soul, a night life lover and a bling freak crazy’ in her own words, Paroma has carved out a space for herself in this male-dominated profession.
Since 2012, she is making people groove to her tunes not just in India, but internationally too. Paroma has come a long way and is much more than a music juggler. She is one of those very rare in this profession who has also launched a single music video – ‘You’re not worth a sorry’. The single addresses the emotions of pain and betrayal with an aim to motivate everyone to get through difficult times.
At a time when women empowerment is the talk of the town, becoming a mentally imperishable woman is a trait to rise in the world full of roadblocks. What it means to be empowered today? On this Paroma says, “We have moved a decade ahead from times when women were suppressed and did not have a voice of their own. Their wants, needs, desires and appreciation in the society has been extremely well defined and expressed today. They know now what they want, where they should stand in life, and have gained the freedom to follow their heart without fearing what will everyone have to say.”
The queen of music mixing DJ Paroma shares her incredible journey with SMEFutures in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Music is muse
Paroma started her career as a cabin crew at a tender age of 18 for a reputed airline. But her craving for music became priority over flying. “I was going through a tough, yet good phase. Being an airhostess, I visited amazing places and interacted with many people. But there was a satisfaction lacking and I felt my potential is not being used to its fullest.”
That was the moment when she decided to take up DJing as her career. Paroma was confident that sure she would excel in it!
“The sense of beats and rhythm came straight from within, naturally. I had some friends in the industry that motivated and inspired me to get into the world of DJing, and my life has turned completely since then. I was trained under the best – Bob Omulo, and life has never been better,” she asserts.
But as you may have heard it, everything is not easy as it seems, Paroma adds. “Being in a male-dominated field has its own blockades. Even today, when Indian music is renowned across the globe, still women are micro-minority in the avenue. One has to invest time and soul to prove her, besides other challenges we have heard of.”
Challenges are inevitable!
But how tough can be the music industry for women? On which, Paroma says, “Women working in any nightlife profession are not seen under a very clear light. It took my talent and my hard work, which spoke for me in the end, and gave me a successful career in the DJing industry. I am happy that I receive as much respect and recognition as a male DJ should, and I can proudly say that I come from a respectable profession with sheer talent. Like, I was born to be a DJ.”
Other than demanding extra efforts from women to prove their worth in this industry, DJing can be a challenging profession financially too. Paroma says she faced financial concerns as DJing did not give her a fixed salary every month, like a professional job profile does. However, one can reap the fruits of it once you gain more popularity over the years…this becomes a very well-paying industry, she shares.
Doing back to back shows, especially at night, and travelling for work is inevitable in this profession. On this, she says, “Being a girl and working out till late, I also had safety and security concerns. But, I always ensure my safety and security first by checking on the availability of good security and bouncer facilities at the venue.”
Juggling work and family like a pro
Prejudices or not, an Indian woman today can do more jobs at a time. She can optimistically juggle the world around her whether at work or home. Being busy never stops her taking out time for her loved ones, she can do it all, says Paroma as she answers how she balances work and life.
“I do get a very minimal amount of timeframe with my family with all the hustle and bustle of gigs and events. I travel a lot too, so yes it does take a lot of my time away from my family. But whenever I get the time, I do make sure that I have made up for the moments missed with them, and we spend some quality time together. I always ensure I have made time for my family as well.”
Music is what she loves, lives and shares. So far, DJ Paroma has given more than 800 gigs around the world and was the official studio DJ for IPL Extraaa Innings Season 7 in 2014. Not only this, DJ gear accessory brands V-Moda and UDG Gear have roped in Paroma as a brand ambassador. She has been featured in couple of shows as a jury member and at the same time she has won several awards.
What makes her keep going and how did she catch up with all the latest happenings in the music industry? To that, she believes it’s definitely a long way. “Throughout the journey I am always thankful to the fans for showing their love,” Paroma notes.
The music industry is constantly evolving, thanks to technology. But, Paroma sees technology both as a challenge and a helping hand. “The technologies are many, and I need to constantly keep myself abreast with these. I read the news, watch videos and tutorials, and I also learn new stuff from my seniors in the industry. There are so many sound software these days, but I believe overusing it dissolves the essence of the track. Hence, it is important to make good use of the technology we are provided with.”
What is in ?
Music has many facets, and it keeps changes with the audience preferences. To excel in this industry, one has to be on the edge – ahead of all the latest trends to keep entertaining the audience. As we have entered 2020, DJ Paroma told us about some of the latest trends that are currently in DJing. “There are many. People are streaming music online. With this we are evolving as well.”
Some of the popular trends:
- Rise of standalone DJ systems
- Easy new ways to make re-edits and bootlegs
- Rise of streaming for DJs
- Increasing popularity of Afrobeats
- Drill music going mainstream
- Growth of baile funk
- A faster tempo EDM
- More genre specific DJ-driven music festivals
- Tiktok making viral hits
- Spotify playlists are the new mixtapes these days
“People have different tastes and thus new platforms are providing them the whole new experience,” Paroma adds.
As a renowned personality in Bollywood, DJ Paroma inspires many to take up DJing as a career. However, she is currently focusing on her music making, and there are no initiatives and plans to impart education in this sector – as she has still a long way to go. “I have not thought in that direction [educating] yet. I would love to do this should I be able to make the time for the same,” she tells us.
On the other hand, Paroma has strong views on the burning issues, such as sexual harassment. In the past few years, women especially from the entertainment industry took a stand against harassment with the #MeToo movement. Commenting on women in mass media sector, she shares, “I am extremely happy that women are more vocal about their issues today. I expect it to continue like this for the years to come. It is important to be aware of what’s happening, and your story could save someone else’s mishap.”
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