Club Royalty’s resident spin maestro, DJ Willy makes it his personal mission to lure the crowds on to the dance floor every evening and keep them there all night!
A Bandra boy bred up on a staple diet of the Bee Gees, Bill Haley & His Comets, and Michael Jackson, DJ Willy drew inspiration from a neighbourhood full of musicians and embarked on his career fresh out of school at the age of 16. “I was never much of a book guy,” he says with a grin.
He has amazing memories of the early scene. “The 90’s was the decade people really knew how to party. They didn’t come out to be seen, they were thirsty for the music.”
The nascent years of struggle and playing R&B sets at small Bandra clubs (remember Illusions?) gave way to a break that changed his life. “DJ Ryan Beck introduced me to DJ Aqeel, the king of Bollywood mixes. From then on, things just went higher and higher for me.”
What followed were stints at Enigma at The Marriot and a residency at Poison, one of the most famous clubs in the city at that time, and finally Club Royalty, where he still wows crowds today.
DJ Willy’s strength lies in his versatility; his ability to kill it with any genre thrown at him. With 20 years of DJing under his belt, he’s played at every conceivable venue in the nation. From College fests and Afternoon Socials to Clubs across the country, Sunburn, VH1 Supersonic Goa, parties at the Khan’s (“Salman is a Retro freak!”), you name it and he’s been there.
He infuses his sets with live acts like singers, percussionists, saxophonists, always experimenting to bring something new to the turntable.
Now in his fourth year with Club Royalty, where does Willy see the scene headed? “Music is always cyclical. But I think perhaps EDM has run aground,” he says. Trap (a genre of music that uses multi-layered synthesizers, grimy and rhythmic snares; and heavy sub-bass lines) is the new thing, he feels.
But he staunchly believes that although we enjoy flirtations with other genres, every Mumbaikar will always be drawn back to his roots.
“At the end of the day, it will always be Bollywood”.