A cool pop

Anjali Jhangiani
Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Nucleya talks about his radio show on the BBC Asian Network, making time to work on his upcoming album and how he loves sleeping!

Nucleya sure has many feathers in his cap, the latest one being invited to host his own show on the BBC Asian Network. Yes, you read that right. Our very own desi DJ will be joining the likes of Pete Tong, Diplo and Benji B who have hosted their individual shows on the BBC Radio. His weekly residency will be broadcast every Sunday night 11.30 — 1.30 pm (IST). 

BEING ON THE RADIO
“Mark (Strippel) from the BBC Asian Network team got in touch with Tej, my manager. He mentioned that they were rethinking the programming strategy for the station, and they were keen to have ‘Nucleya host his own show’. That’s where the conversation started — they showed interest and when I was asked if I wanted to do this, I said yes,” says Nucleya, adding, “The intention of the show is to let the UK-based listeners know that what they hear as Indian music on radio or television isn’t all that there is to the Indian music scene. Whether it’s through radio shows like mine or even through Diplo’s show who plays a lot of cool music that never makes it to mainstream platforms, my show would introduce them to lots of cool artists and music from India. Then I also want to try and share my tastes — music that I find very cool, artists that I find very cool. At the end of the day, good music is good music — whether from India or Mexico.”

There’s no doubt that he’s super excited about this show, so much so that he’s launched a contest to find a budding artist to open for him. Do you remember the song that gave Nucleya the recognition he deserves, went viral and was on everyone’s playlist? He has uploaded the stems of Laung Gawacha and invited music producers to remix it. The best one gets a chance to open for Nucleya, along with a cash prize, some merchandise and other goodies. But what is he looking for in the winner? 

“Something different. I don’t think it’s important to make it like a house mix, or a techno remix. It’s important to make something of it that bears little resemblance to the original. It needs to have a flavour of its own. Uniqueness is definitely a quality I am looking for,” says he. 

But wouldn’t it be a case of ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ if one tried to remix his already remixed song? “We chose this track because it’s my most well-known track, fortunately or unfortunately. It would definitely appeal to a larger set of ears. I am not expecting to better my track, I am expecting them to make it their own. Chicken is chicken but you can make so many different things out of it,” he answers. 

Though feedback for the show hasn’t started rolling in yet, Nucleya shares that he always turns to his wife Smriti to give him an honest opinion. “She never hesitates to tell me what she doesn’t like. I played the first show for her, and she was like “Change it, what are you playing!” She felt that I sounded too awkward and said that I should relax. I will be honest, I was very nervous during the first episode. I had a lot more fun recording the second episode. I knew where the problem was and I fixed it. As time goes by, I will sound more confident and more sure of myself. When you hear yourself, it always feels a little weird,” he says.   

BEING ON TV
The DJ has made his way from behind the console to in front of the camera with his stint as a judge, along with Sunidhi Chauhan and Amit Trivedi on a reality web series called The Remix. Does the camera intimidate him, or has he got used to it now? “I am not as bad as I used to be back in the old days. It also depends on who is behind the camera. With some people, I am just more comfortable. When it came to shooting The Remix, I was pretty relaxed and comfortable. I don’t think too much about how I am looking. I just want things to look natural,” says the dapper.  

BEING AN AWESOME DAD
Putting India on the global map when it comes to deejaying and music producing, Nucleya has been on a tight schedule for quite some time now. But he makes time for his duties as a dad. He shares, “I used to wake up at 7 in the morning and wake my son up an hour later to get him ready and drop him to school. From 11 am to 2.30 pm, I would be working in the studio. I would then go, pick him up, play with him, feed him and by 8 pm, I would crash. I realised that this schedule wasn’t working for me because I wasn’t getting enough time to work, plus the radio show was about to start. Instead of getting up at 7 am, I now wake up at 3 am and start my day with a COLD shower to wake myself up! I sit down in my studio with a huge mug of coffee and work till I have to wake my son up. Then it’s the same routine. I cannot stay up beyond 8 pm. It took me a month to settle into this routine, because I need to work on my album and do justice to it. That negative stress and energy spills over to other people and other areas in your life which is completely avoidable. Once the album is ready, I can get back to a more relaxed schedule and will be concentrating on touring. Hopefully by then, I would be able to manage the BBC show on the move as well. The only thing I dislike about touring is that my sleep goes for a toss, and I absolutely love sleeping!” 

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