One of India’s youngest disc jockeys, Shania Tashya speaks on her journey as a DJ and the idea of following her passion
Shania Mascarenhas, more famously known as Shania Tashya, is India’s youngest DJ, and entered the music scene at the tender age of 15, with the aim of making a difference in portraying music’s massive potential in Goa.
She has worked with some of the biggest names like Oktoberfest Goa, Vh1, Toast, Converse, Sinq Beach Club, Showbar, Kittysu and Timeout, to name a few. Through her versatility and ability to get any space to move, she has carved a niche for herself in the nightlife sector in India.
Speaking about herself, Shania says that since she was a toddler, she has been a jack of all trades but master of none, which made her recognise her passions in life. “I have studied business through the years, but have always been inclined towards the arts – music, poetry, art and yoga being my favorites. I enjoy socialising and a good meal with friends and loved ones, beach days, adventures, and new experiences! However, I also value my solitude and embrace ‘me’ time.”
She mentions that music has power that is often underrated. “It has the ability to change moods, to help you feel and recognise emotions, to make you dance and cheer you up. I have always been passionate about it – it runs through generations. My father was in a band before he was married, and so was my granddad.” This passion for music led her to take up DJing as a career choice and since then, Shania has not looked back. “Since music runs through our veins, it was something that always excited me. After going to an event back in 2013 and seeing the control that a DJ has over a big crowd, I instantly knew that I wanted to be the reason behind people moving. It doesn’t just feel empowering, but the energy you feel from the crowd is the most beautiful feeling in the world.”
Having started DJing at the age of 15, Shania is the youngest DJ in the country and completes 7 years of DJing this month. She expresses her gratitude to all those who have supported her in her journey so far. “I am so grateful to have received support from all across-DJs, event promoters, attendees, club managers and owners because their support has helped me get to where I am today. There is still a long way to go but it is these people who help me go further. I am quite humbled to have had an effortless journey compared to so many others. I am not saying there were no lows, but the highs made it all worth it!
Like all other career choices, being a DJ also requires a set of skills to be successful. Shania jokes that one needs to be able to drink like a fish. “On a more serious note, a good taste in music and sense of rhythm, the ability to network and have a good sense of creativity is important. Secondly, you got to be able to understand your crowd as soon as you are up on stage – that may be hard at first but comes easy over time. Also, I see versatility and flexibility as rather important because through the years, the music trends keep changing and evolving and we need to constantly stay up with it”.
Staying up to date with the latest music trends has come easy for Shania. “The internet and technology has allowed these two ends to meet perfectly. Browsing through music has never been this easy and since we are fed with so much data, I can just go look up on the internet what is trending and I have it right in front of me. I have a list of websites that help me pick my favourite tunes though and they are pretty up to date with what they have.
Following one’s passions and turning it into a career choice is always rewarding and it is no different for this young woman. “The feeling when you are on stage and the crowd supports you and vibes with you. For some sets I have had goose bumps; the happiness and adrenaline that rushed through me has been insane. I am certain that most DJ’s live for these moments, and I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words the feeling. I do hope at least once in life, people are able to feel what we feel- only then will they know what we are talking about,” she adds.
Apart from her DJing, Shania has her own brand called Liquid Melody. She goes on to explain the concept behind it all. “Liquid Melody stemmed out from the need to create experiences at venues which weren’t just focused around music. I realised that most restaurants, pubs and clubs just got DJs and played music but there was so much that could be done. So with the brand, I tried to create more holistic and engaging events which had interactions through different elements which created a vibe together. We did bar takeovers, cocktail making workshops, beer pong, cornhole, giant jengas, and live artists with DJs and so on. And since underground music (techno, indie dance, organic, funk, house etc) is so close to my heart, this is the music that was played at events.”
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Shania and she has had her own set of struggles.
“The struggles will always be there – how to get gigs and grow your network, how to position and market yourself and how to get into the big league of the industry.
But every opportunity and gig answers the question for you in bits and pieces. Probably over time, we learn to solve that puzzle.”
Regarding her future plans, Shania plans on just doing gigs. “I just want to do gigs. Make people happy. Bring about a positive change. Keep DJing and see where the road takes me. I am not a person with big dreams, but I love creating small impacts in a big way- making people dance like they have never before, or getting them to be happy when they are low. Apart from music, I also plan to invest a lot of time into studying further, learning more and doing new things- in hope to have a well rounded personality. I believe these couple of years will determine my future and so I want to make the most of it,” she adds with a smile. Shania signs off with a message to aspiring musicians and DJs. “If you do something from your heart, it is never wasted. The road may seem or even be rocky, the destination far, but your dreams can always be achieved through consistency and perseverance. And maybe not today, but tomorrow your talents will be appreciated. So always give your all, and always do you!”