You know that blissful feeling when you’ve finished your Class 12 exam and you’re waiting for the results so you can take admission into a college, but during the time in between, you can do whatever you want? Wandering about in his neighbourhood one such day, Yogesh Patil came across a signboard that contained the information of a set up offering DJ classes. This was over a decade ago. He’s come a long way since then. From a student he’s become a popular name in the nightlife circuit of Pune. From Yogesh Patil, he’s become DJ Dustin too. Everyone calls him DJ Dustin now, some even minus the prefix.
There’s an interesting story behind how he took up that name. “The first movie my father took me to see was Dunston Checks In. It was about an orangutan who bonds with a boy and escapes the jewel thief who manipulates him to steal from the other guests in a hotel. I loved Dunston since then. So when I started playing gigs, and there came a time when I had to get my name on a poster for an event, they asked me to come up with something and I could only think of Dunston. I tried it out, calling myself DJ Dunston, but it wouldn’t roll on their tongue, consequently, Dunston turned into a simpler, more common and easy to remember — Dustin,” says Patil, who plans to celebrate 10 years of being a DJ by releasing a mix tape every week.
“I was a metal head. I don’t just mean that I used to listen to metal music, I was the complete package with the long hair and all of that. My parents were flabbergasted when I told them that I wanted to be a DJ. Both of them are doctors. I reasoned with them a lot, tried all the tricks in the book. My mother played the emotional card. She made me promise that I would get a degree, so I took up sound engineering. It was all technical stuff, then on my own time, I would make mix tapes and practise my skills as a DJ at house parties,” says Patil.
He adds, “But then my parents separated and I realised the magnitude of the situation I was in. I knew that I had to take up a job to earn our bread and butter and I did. You can’t make fast money becoming a DJ,” says Patil.
Though it’s been a fun journey, it has been far from easy. With clubs refusing to pay DJs and asking them to be grateful for the sheer chance of performing in front of people, life was tough for him. So much so that to make ends meet and support his mother, he started moonlighting as a BPO employee.
“We generally have night shifts in the places I’ve worked. If I have a slot of playing at a club from 9 to 10 pm, I would take a break from work, go perform and come back to finish the rest of my work. I mostly have the weekends off, which gives me the freedom to freak out when I’m playing on a Saturday. I love to dance, though I’m not a great dancer as such. I love to freak out and have a good time. One time, I was supposed to be playing in Mumbai on a Sunday night. So I did, and came in to work in Pune at 6 next morning too,” says Patil, who believes that even after spending a decade pursuing his passion, he has a long way to go to find himself.
“Money is important. But having said that, I never thought of not doing a gig because I wouldn’t make money out of it. The only thing that matters to me when I’m handling the console is that the people have to go home with memories of a fantastic party they had. Whether there are 10 people in the club, or 1000, it doesn’t affect my performance, I always put in my best,” says Patil, who has plans of performing in Dubai and Singapore in the next few months. “I will travel over the weekend and join work back on Monday. Dubai and Singapore are not all that far away, you can make a return trip over the weekend,” says Patil, who certainly has everything figured out.