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Catching Up With Sensane DJ


We sit down with DJ & Producer Sensane DJ to discuss his musical journey, the Bhangra scene, his inspirations and more!

When did you start DJing - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

Music was a thing in the family growing up. My mum’s first cousin is legendary writer Jasbir Gunachuria and his song Kali Beh Ke with Manmohan Waris and that song was huge globally and got me hooked to Panjabi music. I would listen to Waris, Pardesi and Safri records at home, we only had a few records at home back then.

So, I would walk home from the Gurdwara on a Sunday and drop into one of the few music shops in Derby and spend time listening to music and buying cassettes like Death Jamm, Sohota’s, Safri etc. that was some of the best music available at the time! I started DJ’ing when I was at school, 14 maybe 15 years old and would arrange and DJ all of the parties back then! By the time I got to college a friend introduced me to Jagtar Rattu, a local DJ and music shop owner who gave me the opportunity to work in his music shop and join his roadshow.

It was just the best job ever, I was surrounded by Bhangra music and it gave me time to listen to absolutely everything! I’d have the likes of JK and Tru-Skool in the shop listening to old Manak and Shinda stuff in the shop too around then as well. I then really got to learn how to become a DJ - spent the time learning how to beat match and mix not just use a beat sync feature on Serato and the rest is history as they say…

Bally Sagoo, Panjabi MC and Apache Indian were artists that drew me into music as a kid. I shouldn’t say this but when Panjabi MC’s Legalized dropped, me and my friends skipped school to have a listening jam hahaha. I loved the fusion of West/East music and it made it relatable as well as being a representation of me growing up.

Who remembers Shaanti nights in Birmingham??? That was my go to event with my friends and watching the likes of Bobby Friction on the decks - the actual realisation of all styles of music coming together and full out energy, proper raves! 

Keeping up with the latest music trends is hard. What are your current challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing that you enjoy, rather than, say, producing your own music?

I personally haven’t found it hard keeping up with trends that difficult because I listen to all types of Panjabi music - it’s on all the time around me. I’ve seen a huge change from just Desi music, then the Garage movement with RDB and Metz n Trix, then came the Duets with Miss Pooja and not to forget the game changers like Tru-Skool, Diljit and Sidhu.

I also don’t do pre-sets, that’s boring - it’s like what’s the point in being a DJ. I believe strongly that as a DJ being agile and knowing your crowd/audience is the difference maker, engaging with your audience is the hardest challenge and judging what will they like or not and that’s the real test for a DJ. 

My passion is DJ’ing and the adrenaline rush I get when I see crowds on the dancefloor going wild from songs I’m dropping is why I do it. This is my stress relief. DJ’ing it challenges me to raise my level but then weirdly chills me out - that’s why I love it more than producing. 

When there's more music than one can possibly take in, it is becoming increasingly hard to know what constitutes an original and a remake anymore. What's your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting originals and sources? 

This is a great question, in my humble opinion innovation is important and that’s what takes music to different heights. If we stay with just tradition we close our opportunity to broaden our listeners.

You just have to see how Bally Sagoo and Panjabi MC broke from traditional music and opened new avenues for the industry to grow. Even more so in recent years as Sidhu Moosewala, AP Dhillon and Karan Aujla have broken barriers with their respective brand of music. I’ll add that those making remixes need to respect and acknowledge the original artists and credit them. The original source needs to be recognised, so that people know where the inspiration was born from. 

Since there is so much music out there, is it even possible to build a meaningful long-term connection with a particular track or album?

Before streaming platforms, you went to a store invested your money to buy a single artist’s music, that automatically meant that you invested your time, attention and commitment to the music which enable those connections to that music to be formed. So, roll on Spotify, Apple Music etc and this is a double-edged sword, right?

In truth, we’re now so fortunate to have access to an incredible amount of old and new music that unfortunately, streaming platforms have made music disposable because there is so much of it. In and Out of your ear before you can really connect with anything. Sad but true. Now the challenge is to be consistent, be good and keep raising your own standards to keep your listeners. 

What can we expect from you in the upcoming months? What should we be excited for?

Firstly, I’ve got two new remixes to come - first will be Daru Pee Ke from Specialist n Tru-skool’s Repazent album and then an alternative summer version of Scars, which I hope the fanbase will enjoy. I am also teaming-up with one of favorites radio stations, Panjab Radio, to bring a series of live mixes ranging from duets, UK bands and even a senti song mash-up.

All coming very soon! Panjab Radio have been amazing with me since I started releasing music and it’s been great to collaborate with them already with my Live Session mixes. Panjab Radio by the way are one of the very few radio stations in the UK that support upcoming artists and not social media hype so I’m really grateful for their support. 

I am also excited to share that work has begun on my first original project! It’s too early to share names but I have formed an alliance with an established, highly respected and incredible singer who gives me goosebumps every time he sings.

Added to this, another song writer in the family is very thankfully supporting me with penning some songs that will be for the dancefloor! Watch this space! 

Can you describe your state of mind during a DJ set? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?

I always have butterflies before a set, I guess that’s the nervous energy before the adrenaline rush from the set itself levels me out. Mindset is so important, being positive and looking forward to delivering an experience is what makes me tick!

Focus and confidence in myself are two things which definitely supports me in keeping my state of mind where I need it to be to perform. If you’re focused on the outcome, then distractions don’t bother me - especially the “ek hor song” types lol. 

Essentially, I’m in competition with me. That’s why part of my build-up leading to a set and even during, I’m thinking about the three “E’s” - Energy, Engagement and Enjoyment.

How am I going to deliver these things to make sure that the SENSANE experience is wanted again? That’s the pressure I enjoy, I’m goal oriented - there is a constant need for me personally to out to do myself.

Do you have a fixed schedule? How do life and creativity interact - do you separate them or try to make them blend seamlessly?

I don’t have a fixed schedule, it’s fluid. Making mixes on my decks is what started this whole process off for me. The response to my live Modern Mirza x Ready or Not Jungle mix is why I tried my hand at this production game and so far, so good I think hahaha. 

I do think without life experience it’s not possible to be creative. In fact, I think without it it’s impossible to create something that anyone would relate to and the small chance someone could connect with it. I take inspiration from everything.

My own life, those around me and from what I’m seeing in the media. That’s what makes me think about what to do next with my music, with an initial focus on Garage and DnB and then more traditional percussion focused tracks trying to find a balance in what I see the world wants and what I like myself too. 

Thank you and do you have a message for all your fans? What social media handles can people follow you on?

Yes, definitely! Thank you to you for all of your support, encouragement and constructive feedback in the very early stages of my producing life! I’m going to continue to work hard and create music that you love. 

You can follow me at:

Instagram: @Sensane

TikTok and Facebook: SENSANE DJ

Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and SoundCloud: SENSANE DJ

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