Originally one half of hip-hop production duo The Cataracs, whose track Like a G6 with Far East Movement was a global hit, Indian-American musician, record producer and DJ Niles Hollowell-Dhar — better known by his stage name KSHMR — has used the global pandemic as a chance to embark on his most personal musical project to date. Here, we discuss how he’s immersed himself in the world of dance music, his creative process when it comes to production, and what to expect from his new album of truly galactic proportions…
Catching up with Headliner on a Zoom call from Studio City in L.A., which he has called home for the last 10 years, KSHMR reflects on the busy start he’s had to 2021, having released two fresh singles in anticipation of his new album, Harmonica Andromeda.
Originally from Berkeley, California, KSHMR is known for producing big room electro-house heavily influenced by his Indian heritage, and clearly plans to stay on everyone’s radars for a lot longer with this latest endeavour. In fact, it could just be the most pivotal moment in his musical
career so far.
“Thanks to the quarantine, there have of course been no shows, which are the biggest obstacle for a DJ in making new music,” he begins. “I love playing them, but to me it feels like a hearty meal is in my stomach when I know I’ve made a bunch of new material. During this time I’ve been able to experiment and explore, and really get myself to another level because I had no fear about time.”
KSHMR admits that his two latest singles, Around The World and The World We Left Behind (which features the hypnotic vocals of acclaimed vocal producer Karra), are perhaps his favourite songs that he’s ever made.
With the latter especially, he sought to capture his love for cinema and epic movie music (one of his best-loved is Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator score), in terms of conveying a sense of warmth and togetherness in a digestible dance format, with a drop that also captures that powerful feeling.