Best friends-cum-soul sisters, Nina Shah and Malika Haydon found their true passion for underground music while globetrotting exotic party destinations. Performing a style that is a fusion of deep baselines and techno beats infused with tribal percussions, the girls are now India’s leading female DJ duo.
Nina Shah and Malika Haydon
The duo performs under the moniker ‘Elektrovertz’ and is the first-of-its-kind to get signed on Spinnin Records in the country. While Lisa Haydon made it big in Bollywood, her soul sister Malika opted for a short stint in ‘Agent Vinod’ alongside Saif Ali Khan. But, music has always had a pull on her and the rest is history.
The duo performed in the city recently and true to their name they delivered an electrifying performance. In a freewheeling chat, the DJs shared their journey and collaboration with The Hans India.
Tell us about your experience in Hyderabad?
It was lots of fun. The show was all things good; people, food and of course, music. Hyderabad is always a great city to play.
Why did you think of collaborating?
We both wanted to learn how to DJ for fun and then it kind of just snowballed into a career. Plus, we have a great dynamic with each other so that works out well when we're performing.
Tell us the idea behind 'Elektrovertz'.
Isn’t it obvious? Electronic music extroverted! That’s what it is. But we go by the name ‘Nina & Malika’ now as we feel that's more personal.
Can you share the challenges you faced while entering this field?
Actually, it was quite easy for us. There were no women DJs in India at the time. So, it wasn’t really about competition. Only Pearl was in the scene. Even now, not too many women are well-known in the DJing industry and we really want to change that. There are a lot of talented girls out there, who needs to be explored.
Who is your inspiration?
There's not one person per say. We draw inspiration from different people. Sometimes certain DJs and producers inspire us with the way they experiment with music. It's so colourful! Sometimes we get inspiration from different artistes and motivational speakers, who have really dared to be different and go against all odds.
What is your favourite part about performing?
Making people smile and groove to our music. It's great to see that we're a part of the system, where we can play at a club and have people jumping to our tunes. You can judge what the audience will like and play according to them as each time it's different.
Tell us about your current projects.
Currently, we're celebrating our “Never Let You Go” success. That was a really big project with Zaeden. We have some ideas in mind which we'll start working on post-Diwali.
What do you do when not working?
Sleep! We like to read a lot too. Since shows can get hectic, we prefer to relax and chill out.
Where do you see yourself in the competition?
Truth be told, we don't see anyone as competition. Each person brings something unique to the table. Like we said, there aren't too many female DJs at the top so we're really only trying to make a niche for ourselves in the industry.