What performances are you involved in on campus?
My friend Alex Pensavalle and I are trying to make an electronic equivalent to Bowdoin Music Collective’s (BMC) Unplugged. We act as a sort of subgroup of BMC. We are going to try, at least once a week, to perform either at Chase Barn—maybe the Pub—and then some of our friends’ parties. We just want to get out there on campus.
How would you describe the Electronic Dance Music(EDM) scene on campus?
Well, I don’t hear a lot of it. When I was a freshman and sophomore and I went to social house parties, it was mostly just top 40. I wouldn’t even categorize what I play as EDM—it’s almost a weird electronic genre.
How would you describe the music you play?
I think the easiest way to describe it is trip-hop. It was basically this underground movement in the early ’90s that followed hip-hop and the introduction of electronic music into the industry. So that’s kind of resurfacing now on the West Coast, which I am really excited about. I would say dub-step, hip-hop and jazz.
How did you get started DJing in general?
So basically I got really lucky and all of my freshmen roommates loved music as much as I did, so I got the old school hip-hop, and I got introduced to a lot of new stuff when I got to Bowdoin. My friend Alex Pensavalle—who I work with most of the time—he first started using Ableton (the software we use) his sophomore year. He got really into that and I just sort of jumped on the bandwagon.
What is your DJ name?
It’s in the works right now. I am kind of just going with DJ ViraJ because I never really use my real name. People just call me VJ, so it’s nice that I have that.
How are you trying to get your music out there?
Every Thursday I want to get at least an hour set in. If there are even more people in line, we would start having a sign-up sheet that is called Open Decks, which is what we want to call our event. We could get some EDM, and all sorts of electronic music. The way I see it, electronic music is like the jazz of now because there are so many categories of where it’s going. We really want to push people to join.
How do you plan on incorporating your work with electronic music into your life after graduation?
This summer I plan to drive to Los Angeles after graduation. I’m going to set up shop there, get an internship at a talent agency or casting agency. Then, at night, Alex Pensavalle and I are going to try to get some DJ gigs in L.A. Eventually the dream is a performance at the Low End Theory club. That would be awesome.
And for the more serious questions…Who is your celebrity crush?
I’m going to have to go with Keira Knightley. It’s always been Keira.
What is your guilty pleasure song?
I’m a big Nine Inch Nails fan. That’s kind of a guilty pleasure, because that’s not exactly the type of person I am.
What is the song everyone must listen to before they die?
“Hell is Around the Corner” by Tricky.
Anything to add?
I would just say, for people kind of looking for new groups, come check out what we’re doing.