WOW | Musical Conversation
Arpana Syangdan Tamang (DJ Arpana) knows what she needs to do behind the turntables. Full of energy and life, Arpana has been making the crowd dance to her beat for four years now. She is perhaps one of the better recognised DJs in the country and has played at major national and international festivals. In a conversation with WOW, she talks about life as a female DJ in Nepal.
What’s it like to be a female DJ?
Honestly, I feel gender does not matter when it comes to your passion for music. There is nothing a female DJ can’t do that a male DJ can and vice versa. In fact, at times female DJs get more opportunity than men as they are fewer in number. However, I feel that out of the few female DJs, most of them are focused on their appearance than actually delivering good music. Hence, people perceive female DJs as someone who is sexy rather than respecting them for their musical talent.
And what’s it like for female DJs in Nepal?
Although I am still at an early stage of my DJ career, I have witnessed a lot of positive changes over the few years. There is a slow rise in the number of females DJs in the country. All the existing female DJs are doing great; some have even started creating new genres of music. Also, it has become much safer for female DJs to perform compared to the past.
How did you begin your career as a DJ?
Since childhood I loved music. It was right after my high school that I decided to become a DJ. My brothers DJ G1 and DJ Rupesh had a huge musical influence on me. I was also very much inspired by international artists such as Martin, Diplo and DJ Snake.
Are you into modeling as well…
I believe every woman has a model inside of her and the world is her runaway. I am still a fresher when it comes to modeling but I am glad that I got the opportunity to walk at Nepal Fashion Week.
Does being a model help you as a DJ in any way?
Yes, it does in terms of networking and promotions. Through Nepal Fashion Week I got to meet many people from different fields and professions, it was very inspiring.
How do you prepare for a show?
It’s fun to follow a routine. I bring my own selection; a few new tracks every week. I have a few folders that I use. I just wait and observe the crowd, feel the vibes and then decide on which set to play. I start off by preparing some current music tracks. The crowd doesn’t always respond in the same way, so I learn and adapt accordingly.
The Asian crowd is gradually opening up to underground and techno style. However, I don’t believe in listening and playing just one genre of music. I’d say that my music and mixes are very up and trendy. I am always creating different styles of music and mixing them with the latest tracks.
What do you want the crowd to feel when you are playing?
The power of music is invigorating. I think I am really an energetic DJ, I dance and move around along with the crowd. I think DJs have the power to turn a grey day into a good day.
A musician you would love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with the strong and bold Abhaya Subba because girls definitely run the world. Also, I would love to do a musical tour someday with DJ Rupesh, DJ BPM, DJ Zenny, DJ Redmus DJ Nick, Laure, Jay Author, Nattu Shah and Sabin Rai.
Your plans for the future…
I want to make a mark in the music industry as DJ Arpana. Also, after my studies, I am planning to become a full-time music producer. I also have plans of opening a children’s welfare foundation.