The technical and creative song selection side of DJing does take a while to master. However, with the advancement in technology and a wide variety of music available to DJ’s at their fingertips, the process has become easier over the years. Ryan Nogar, one of Goa’s prominent faces in the nightlife industry has spent the past 18 years entertaining people from around the world with his music. Rising to prominence with his versatile sets, Ryan quickly gained the attention of the dance music community. He is not only a DJ, but an entrepreneur as well, co-owning “Lumasonic” – a technical rental company, “Quantum” – an international artist booking agency, and “Hangover Inc.” – a nightlife event-curating brand in Dubai, UK, and here in Goa.

Ryan Nogar has always been an early adopter for something cool before everyone else is talking about it. At Goan Insider, we got to speak to the DJ about his journey so far.

Tell us a little about yourself

Apart from my obvious passion for music, I think I am pretty much someone who can have a long random conversation with anyone. Having to work from the age of 17, my take on life has now evolved and settled into doing what I love, taking one day at a time, and making the most out of my
strengths. Being a self-made artist and businessman has left me with a defined interest in learning and experimenting and a belief in pushing myself and taking chances.

When and why did you start DJing?

I played my first gig in 2002. As a young boy, I was fascinated with the whole idea of being able to perform before an audience. I was also extremely eager to learn how to operate a console.

What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

I owe my inclination towards music to my father’s traits and his general love for it. He was an excellent guitarist and the youngest member of “Billy Rangers” – a band also featuring Goa’s renowned artist Remo back in the 60’s.

What skills do you think DJs need to be successful?

Versatility, creativity, confidence, focus and obviously a very deep passion for music.

What are the genres of music that you specialize in? Why do you enjoy playing these genres?

I specifically enjoy listening to and performing Hip Hop and House music. The upbeat energy levels keep me up and going and it’s best to watch an audience vibe accordingly.

You have played alongside some big names in the industry. Could you name a few of them and what are your most memorable experiences from those gigs?

I’m honored to have played alongside some really talented Indian and international artists like Lost Stories, Anish Sood, Ivan, Nikhil Chinappa, Yves V, Dannic, Firebeatz, ESKEI83, and many more. I think every one of them has a memory of its own that’s thrilling enough to make it to my list of favorite gigs.

You started your career in the nightlife capital of India – Goa. How has your journey from the start been so far?

A rollercoaster! But I wouldn’t trade the ride for anything. The nightlife industry, in general, taught me more than what I could even imagine there is to know. I am very grateful to have had Goa as my base.

What were some of the main challenges and goals when starting out as a DJ and how have they changed over time?

I think every DJ can relate to the early anxiety that comes with performing for an audience. Being able to take center stage is more of a challenge than it looks. However, with time and experience, you build confidence and even begin to enjoy entertaining as an artist.

How do you stay up to date with the latest music trends?

My average day has to include a time slot fully dedicated to my music. Being a successful DJ also takes tons of research. It’s important to be able to understand crowd preferences and have versatility with different audiences or events. I also follow the global charts and radio playlists for fresh music, and of course social media assists in our knowledge of trending sounds.

How would you describe the relationship between your choices of music as a DJ and the expectations, desires, and feedback of the audience?

Thankfully although I have certain preferences, I am more than happy with the idea of playing and listening to music in general. As an artist, I appreciate all or at least most genres. As an entertainer, crowd-pleasing will always be at the top of my priority list. Positive feedback means everything to me hence, when it comes to certain aspects like specific client requirements, there are clearly no two ways about what you play. However, I enjoy doing what I do irrespective of what I am asked to include or exclude from my playlist.

What are some of the considerations that go into deciding which track to play next? What makes two tracks a good fit? How far do you tend to plan ahead during a set?

Deciding a set flow mainly involves what are in technical terms called Keys and BPM or Beats Per Minute. They basically classify tracks on the basis of pitch, tempo, and to some extent, genres. So mixing is usually with two tracks of the same or similar BPM. I love playing spontaneous sets, especially for bigger crowds. If it does involve planning, it will be only because there is a very specific set of dos and don’ts and I will probably get started on it a couple of hours prior to showtime.

hat was your first set-up as a DJ like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear
for you?

Music storage has taken a huge shift from my then case logic packed with CDs to now a simple hard disk or digitally stored data and all you need is a laptop. DJ gear has advanced from a simple mixer to the most intricate, detailed, high profile equipment like the newly launched Pioneer CDJ 3000 and the Pioneer PLX1000 Turntables, giving us artists every means to explore and create.

If you had a gig coming up tonight. What would your approach look like – from selecting the material and preparing for, opening, and then building a set?

Different gigs demand different approaches, for example, I love playing spontaneous sets at clubs, whereas special events like weddings and corporates need to be in adherence to client requirements so that will require pre-planning and specific set content.

Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work till you hit the sack? Do you have a fixed schedule?

Apart from being a DJ, I also co-own “Lumasonic” – a technical rental company, “Quantum” – an international artist booking agency, and “Hangover Inc.” – a nightlife event-curating brand in Dubai, UK, and here in Goa. I don’t have a fixed schedule. I can’t even if I wanted to because multitasking nights with DJing and days with company operations require you to be available at the most random hours. But through all of that, I
try to squeeze in time for my music, my family, and a newfound love for fitness.

What would you say is the most rewarding part of being a DJ?

The adrenaline while performing a live set, especially for larger audiences and positive feedback makes it all worth it. Most of all, it’s being able to do what you love every single day of your life.