Like many young deejays, Nirav Chande, aka Chande, aka DJ I’m More of a Ketchup Kind of Guy aka The Hot Chocolate started mixing when he downloaded Virtual DJ onto his laptop and started messing around with it just before his A-Levels. However, this one went on to become a mustard connoisseur, and now, Funraising’s music editor. Born in Bavaria to the ruby-skinned shapeshifting mutant known as Tomatoes Kurt, Nirav was shunned at birth due to his having red skin, pointed ears, fangs, and a long pointed tail. Kurt was taken in by his natural father, the enigmatic being known as Colonel Mustard, and given into the care of Celine DiJon, a sorceress and condiment queen who taught him how to get a crowd going. Now he prepares for the 17th of November, the biggest day of his life, where he is set to play for the crowd that he was born to get going. That crowd is that of Funraising’s Easy on the Dijon 2.0 (tickets here).
Regarding the art of mixing tunes to his first ever crowd at a sixth form house party, Chande said, ‘It’s one of the best feelings when you kind of have the crowd in the palm of your hands, which is what happened then. Especially because it’s really the first time I had really offered myself in that manner in front of people. It still feels like that, except now I feel a lot more comfortable playing stuff that’s a bit more personal to me and perhaps not what the crowd might expect’. He offered up his special recipe for getting a crowd going, ‘If you want to be a good DJ, it should be a form of self-expression. You can’t ever forget about the crowd and your aim is to give them a good time at the end of the day, but also you are the one in control. You’re the one who gets to decide what the hear and whether they are gonna go hard or perhaps take it a bit easy, so the act itself is very much you expressing yourself’. Then, of course, you are showing them what you think they should hear and what you like, so really you’ve got to think about what it is for you that you want to give them from your own taste’.
Nirav expressed that mixing was an exercise of communication. ‘Of course everyone is there together and having a good time but music can be something really powerful as a medium for connecting with people. The best sets are the ones when you feel you have that connection with the crowd, which in itself can feel like a conversation in a way.’ It’s not always a flowing conversation though, the DJ explained, ‘Where you might have a dialogue between you and the crowd, and they go “yeah this is cool, we like this” and you go okay well then here’s a bit of this’ but, it’s not always an Or it can go the other way where they are like … “no thanks!”. I’ve definitely had moments where it feels like I’ve been left on ‘message read’ without a reply haha’.
Nirav’s moniker for Brazilian Wax was DJ Fast Five. ‘It didn’t take me much time to come up with, but I was really reaching to figure out what it is that I would choose since my relationship with Brazil is mostly down to music (which I should really go about changing!). But anyone that’s a close friend of mine, knows that I have a particular affinity for the Fast and Furious movies, and of course Fast Five was set in Brazil. It was really a no-brainer. And he opened his set in style: ‘Of course, there’s a famous scene in the movie where Vin Diesel and The Rock are squaring off and The Rock has caught Vin Diesel and is going to take him in. He is then of course reminded by Vin Diesel that they aren’t on their home turf anymore. Which then leads to the sample that I started my set off with where Vin Diesel shouts “THIS IS BRASIL”, which I was quite chuffed about’.
Here’s the song he played straight after:
‘Man like Marcos Valle!! Get to know!’
With such bold creative choices, it’s unsurprising that Chande holds creativity in high regard: ‘Yeah I think really it’s kind of essential these days, since y’know… “everyone’s a dj these days”. But really it’s not something I kind of go about in that much of a conscious manner, it’s just kind of how I tend to go about things. Not to mention as well, my creativity as a DJ kind of came out of the manner in which you lot do your Funraising events and do creative things like get us to do themed DJ monikers for the night and having your cheeky branding for the nights. Which I guess gets us to go about it in a similar way and bring it on our side. I really enjoy that about the nights I’ve done with you guys’.
Flattery will get you everywhere, but it’s clear that Nirav fits in with us well… Well enough to be our new Music Editor in fact! Of his reasons for taking on the new role, Nirav said, ‘Well, I was really hyped on how you lot had gone about doing that first event I played, which was ‘Easy On The Dijon’, so I knew that I’d always love to be involved with Funraising in one way or another. But when I saw you announce that you guys were looking for someone for this role, it kind of dawned on me that it’s something I should do… because I wanted to reconnect with my passion for writing and journalism I guess. It’s something that I have always found myself involved with on an extra-curricular level, and it’s definitely something I could envision myself continuing professionally perhaps. To then mould that with my passion for music seemed like a no-brainer really’.
Another spoonful of dijon is soon to emerge from the depths of the jar with another episode of Easy on the Dijon this Saturday at Night People. The event is in aid of The Mustard Tree, a homeless charity right here in Manchester. ‘I quite enjoy the idea of it all, since it’s kind of a perfect metaphor for the whole party for a purpose idea that’s really been taking off recently in the scene. The Acid House phase in the UK became most understood for its hedonism and associations with drugs, a view that’s of course far too simplistic. Parties like this are taking that on and saying look we can do something more. And that’s not just a gimmick, I think really it does feel like the crowd does come together around this idea and it creates a really uplifting atmosphere.’ The DJ continued in order to point out a socially conscious movement, ‘[This is] because it comes down to the fact that we are simply disturbed by the sheer number of people that have been driven to the streets and how people are living in these conditions and we feel like we have no power in making this situation any better. I think anyone who lives in Manchester finds the levels of homelessness quite concerning… So then this is our rebellion of saying that these parties don’t have to be purely about having a good time or growing a brand, it can and should be something more.’
Nirav addressed a number of other subjects close to his heart. The first was mental health: ‘I think Mental Health and the disorders that are associated with it are quite important to me since I feel that there is so much to be done on that front. Especially I feel it’s important now that we move past simply ‘spreading awareness’ or ‘ending stigma’, really I think we need to be making actual change structurally and making it a part of our system. We need to be providing for those that are dealing with these things’. Both a skateboarder and kid at heart perhaps, Nirav also professed his support for SkatePal, ‘Also I have to give a shoutout to SkatePal for getting out to Palestine and building skateparks in these areas where kids don’t have much going on or things to do. Play is such an important part of personal growth in that stage of your life’.
And play Nirav shall, this Saturday. He certainly deserves to, given that he really knows his acid. ‘Basslines are something I feel are what I generally quite drawn to in the songs I play, so that is probably what draws me in about acidy tracks. As well since I feel like a lot of the parties I’ve been booked for have been quite
disco-heavy, acid has been the gateway for me to showcase my harder and darker tastes’. He gave a succinct preview of his set to come: ‘Although I lent into the lighter side of my tastes for the last one, I really just want to go all in with some hard and fast slammers this time around’.
Finally, Nirav celebrated the madness of his fellow mustardteers/DJions, ‘I think it’s a pretty esteemed lineup of nutters really, am really looking forward to hearing what people go for and as well now that we are opening it up to the more general rave sounds in the second room it should be pretty interesting all around’. And maybe slipping into madness himself, he dived into an odd rhyming spree in order to tell all you readers to come down… ‘Look at this bear. Do you want to end up like a square? Because that’s what will happen if you aren’t there. You too will be a sad square bear. Nobody likes sad square bears who aren’t there’.
Get in the mood for tomorrow night with Mr Worldwide Chande’s worldwide acid promo mix: