One of India’s youngest EDM artistes, Zaeden talks about India being a hot destination for the genre and how the time to take to music is now.
He’s only 21 and already one of India’s most popular EDM artists, earning millions of hits on his singles online and only getting better. Zaeden’s latest single, a remix of Maroon 5’s hit track Don’t Wanna Know, was released recently, to great response.
The Delhi-based producer says, “I was really scared to actually do it at first, because it’s such a big band to remix! But, I tried to keep it simple, and played around with the elements of the song itself making it a little cooler (according to me!).”
His rising popularity isn’t too surprising considering how EDM has grown to become the one of the most popular genres of music in the country recently. “We’ve seen EDC, Sensation and so many other festivals happening here too. And, even Sunburn is a domestic festival that does really well. I think this shows that we’re a potential market and I think it’s here to stay,” Zaeden says, adding, “Plus, there are so many domestic DJs killing it internationally. You have Nucleya, Lost Stories and many other artists doing well with their music, having international collaborations and playing for music festivals outside India as well.”
Zaeden, whose real name is Sahil Sharma, himself collaborates frequently with international artistes. This includes one of his first hits, Yesterday, that was released along with American house DJ Borgeous in 2015. “He was touring India and my management, who was affiliated with his tour, played him my song. And he really liked it. He told me to send it to him so he could work on it, and it finally was released on Spinnin’ Records,” Zaeden remembers, and adds that it premiered live in front of 50,000 people at Tomorrowland in Amsterdam, when he was just 19.
Starting out at the age of 14, Zaeden took to music by learning to play the tabla and the guitar, but there was one pivotal moment when he knew it was what he wanted to take up as a career. “I was (and still am) a big fan of Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz and a few other guys. Once, I had the opportunity to go for a show by Markus in Noida (I was 16), and that’s when I knew that music is what I wanted to do,” Zaeden says.
With years more to go, he adds that a lot of younger producers ask how he’s managed to build himself so early on. Zaeden says, “I tell them to get their basic degree, but keep learning music every day. And, when you graduate, you can take it up full time. There’s so much to do, you can try your luck in Bollywood, you can form a band... you can do whatever you want. That’s the beauty of music.”