Through the Lens: DJ Amrit
July 10, 2017
DJ Amrit Sidhu’s life might look, from the vantage point of a screen, like a fairytale—most scenes are set at parties or sun-soaked travelscapes—but it actually plays out more like a diary you happened to stumble upon. Is she Instagramming for the world at large? Is she just off doing herself, and you happen to stumble upon it?
Amrit’s Instagram handle is more authoritative of a declaration than an identifier. “It’s Amrit” says something entirely different than “Amrit,” you know? Amrit’s posts are too witty and happy to be anything else. Her DJ extraordinaire status proves that authenticity’s going to win out over something contrived.
We had a conversation with Amrit about this very thing. What resonates and why? Is a Personal Brand still a thing? We’ll let her explain.
Part of our Through the Lens series.
#djamrit #femaledj #globalmusic
Surround yourself with external inspiration.
What was happening in your life when you decided to start DJing?
I’ve always had a love for music, that came from a very young age but the DJing came when I went to music school for Jazz. I was living in a share house with guys I studied with—all musicians–and we had a music room with literally every instrument and… CDJs! That’s how I started.
Continuity? No. It’s about authenticity.
What’s the value of continuity in a person or brand’s Instagram? Is it important to define a visual style that becomes familiar?
I don’t think continuity is as important as authenticity. If what you post is who you are, you’ll find people who resonate with what you do because it’s genuine and that goes far beyond creating a feed that is aesthetically pleasing or aligned to whatever creative you had in mind.
Never apologize for being specific.
We have to ask—who takes all your photos? Is it as simple as grabbing anyone around and posing? It’s got to take a little bit of guts, no?
Friends, strangers! My full time gig is managing the talent services at an agency, and part of that involves a lot of editorial work. So I’m always orchestrating behind the scenes of shoots and sets. It’s funny because now when I ask people to take a picture, I go into this mode saying things like, “OK, you see this frame. Now you see this light..try and catch this exactly from this angle.” I’m so specific. People must think I’m crazy!
Doubt yourself. Then keep going.
Your music and lyrics are unapologetic. How do you try to mirror that in your Instagram? Do you think it’s important to be “the same person” everywhere?
100%, and thank you! I think that there’s nothing you can do better then be yourself. That way of thinking definitely transpires in my work, my life, and everything I do. When I put out my EP, I had few “can I do this, can I actually say that?” moments but you know I stuck to my guns. I’m happy I did!
Social media can help you find your idols.
Is there a signature song (or a few) that you play at events?
I love T-pain. I’m a huge fan, and I always play his music out. Earlier this year, I actually got to play with him at a fashion week event which was very surreal. This photo was taken in between sets.
Fall in love with the world and talk about it.
What are some new musical discoveries from traveling? Anything from Morocco?
It’s not a musical discovery, but I fell in love with argan oil in Morocco. I use that on everything now. I also had a really special experience in that I stumbled upon this all female non profit natural pharmacy where all the money went to villages to support education for women. One woman made me a special blend with essential oil scents that I liked.
Read the energy of the room.
What do you think the role of a DJ is now? So many people want to queue up a playlist, and that’s great. It’s hard to architect a feel or experience. What’s YOUR approach?
I love that phrasing “architect an experience” I watched this lecture recently on the artistry of DJing and how that translates today with all the technological advances that we have. The speaker used that same reference, of reading the energy of the room and “building” something around that. It’s such a beautiful thing. A playlist could never do that. The human interaction is so, so crucial. It could never be replaced.