One of the most sought after artists in India’s underground music scene today, HEMAIKO has embedded his name in the raving hearts of the country. He operates with the methodical precision of the automated devices beneath his fingers, devices he unscrupulously manipulates to behave as he desires. His thoughtfully curated sets ensure a dance floor full of cheers and happy faces every time he takes to the decks. His never ending passion for music resonates through his DJ sets which string together hypnotic, deep melodic and atmospheric symphonies. HEMAIKO has performed at some of India’s leading techno stages and also made a mark overseas at prestigious stages like Amsterdam Dance Event in Europe.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and doing this interview for Melody Insider. What would you be doing today if not for this interview?
Social distancing is a need of the hour and we should all be practicing the same. I am utilizing this time to explore more about myself by reading books, watching some documentaries related to History & Art etc. An important and practical lesson which this current scenario has taught us is how tough it is managing a home and helping my lovely mother in managing certain household chores.
What music are you producing or DJing
I'm just focusing more on synths and atmospheric sounds, ofcourse its a 4 by 4 beat, very melodic and hypnotic stuff. I'm trying to produce my own music and have been playing in my DJ sets as well.
What got you into this genre?
My passion for music has given me a reason to explore multiple genres then start. I was a psytrance boy in the beginning, Although, my musical journey began with hip-hop/R&B. But later as i grew up, I got introduced to tech house and therefore i got very fascinated by those 4 by 4 beats. I slowly started digging more into it and as the years passed by I evolved myself into underground music and more electronic sound.
What are the various equipment and gear you have in your studio to facilitate production?
I work with just a midi keyboard and my apple pro machine which are my true source to create, understand, learn and experiment music. Once I have cracked a piece I take it forward to a professional sound studio or at my friends to make it more sharper which I then play forth and use them in my DJ sets.
Tell us, what does a typical day in the studio mean to you? What inspires your productions?
Well once I understand the beat and a rough scratch is ready, I take my project to a legit studio where I invest a lot of time in developing and making it ready. So a typical day for me would start a day prior - usually me being a 3 AM guy where my ideas and thoughts just start flowing in once I conceptualize the base. Next day i take it to the studio and start experiencing and living my music. For me my true source of inspiration would ‘Breathing my own music and spacing it out’
How has the struggle been so far to your current stand?
Struggles are part and parcel of a musicians life. We have to keep learning and unlearning, creating and re-creating to keep inventing our relevance in this stand. I also wouldn’t call them struggles, but more like stepping stones which only makes me better as an artist & keeps my soul alive everyday.
Not necessarily monetary, how have the rewards been so far in this career?
I started my journey 6 years ago. Money has never been the only motivational factor when I started my journey. My good work and passion gives me happiness and i strive to perform better. My biggest reward is the stage where my audience and more importantly me, understands love and appreciate the kind of space I take them too and get carried away. From playing national to international grounds, my journey speaks a lot about my work. Reward on other hand (laughs) is important as well but we always hope for the best. They should eventually follow along with hard work, dedication and determination. Rest is all destiny!
Why did you choose this career? Do you think there are other reasons to choose too?
As an individual, creativity has always been on my mind. For me it always has more weightage than a regular 9-5 scenario. Passion towards music is something beyond expression, so I suppose these two are the primary reasons for me to choose this career.
And how is the support from industry peer's?
I have always been grateful to a lot of people who have supported me to enter this industry. Especially my idol, who inspires me the most in this country. He is one of the finest artist and a heavyweight in our underground community, Ankit Kocher (Ankytrixx). Would like to sum up by saying that my peers have given this artist wings to fly.
How easy/difficult it is to release music in your genre?
Nothing comes easy in this life. It’s your crazy dedication which makes music. My passion has always given me a boost to try to release good content. We do struggle a lot sometimes because perfection always drives me, so sometimes I do struggle to present the kind of music that should connect with me first.. My music is my sound of soul so it’s not always easy to do soul searching.
Who according to you are top 5 labels in your genre?
- Lost & Found
Who is your inspiration?
My beautiful Mother is my greatest inspiration in life - i suppose she is the driving factor personally and professionally in both ways. If it wasn't for her support I can't imagine my true aspirations for music would have taken flight. In this journey there have been others too, like mentioned earlier this wonderful soul Ankit Kocher, who is also a family to me has inspired me since the very beginning and continues to do so every single day.
What is your methodology behind a set you play when you open for artists at clubs? What is the creative process behind your sets?
Well firstly to be honest, i don’t really prepare my sets in advance, i just play whatever comes to my mind and string my feelings. As far as opening for international headliners is concerned I play according to their sound and try to match up to their vibe of music. No specific method but i play with lots of effects and EQ. That's all about it.
As an upcoming artist with tough competition, what struggles and challenges do you face?
There are two answers to these questions since u rightly said competition is immense and as a budding artist i need to compete with different artists. Challenges are what artists thrive on to perform. Firstly, I need to keep innovating with trends and need to better my last piece with new pieces so utmost competition would be myself. The second thing I would like to comment is that today I believe that every artist does have his own space. I just need to be better at what I do.
Which is your dream label?
Labels just hold you back, that's what I believe. I would like to fly solo and make my own mark so that i can get desired by Labels in the coming future. But Maceo Plex’s "Ellum" and Guy J’s "Lost & Found" are one of the few labels I look upto.
What’s coming up for You down the road?
A lot of interesting stuff was lined up in this area just to name a few tours which were planned. I was supposed to play 8 diff cities in the month of April. Also, I was performing at 3 showcases at Amsterdam Dance Event for the 2nd time in a row this year. But looking at the current scenario that the world is into I just hope we come out of this crisis soon & hope for the best.
Would like to end by saying which i always believe & preached ‘’When going gets tough, the tough gets going’’. Hemant Wadhwani aka HEMAIKO - signing off
Well, thank you once again for spending time with us, giving us valuable insight into your career. We wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavours. See you soon at a club.