Dj gambian keeps mumbai club goers on their toes
Abdoulie Stellingwerff Beintema, better known as DJ ASB is a global wanderer. The <g data-gr-id="64">5’</g> 8", <g data-gr-id="63">22 year old</g> Gambian born, Dutch bred artist grew up addicted to music, often revelling in the Afro rhythms West Africa is known for. He had to grow up fast, helping his babysit his siblings after his parents divorced. In his teenage, he moved to Holland to live with his father in Enschede. <g data-gr-id="59">However</g> it wasn’t until 2007 during the Queen’s Day celebration when he saw top Dutch DJ Tiesto in action that he found his
calling. From then on, he did everything he could to plunge into DJing. His dad soon took note of his passion and bought him his first sound system. Then in 2011, his father was posted to India and Abdoulie came along for what was to be a vacation before returning to pursue his dreams in Europe.
Coming to India was an eye opener for him. He’d never been to a place where there were so few black people and the constant stares were a constant reminder in case he got carried away and forgot that he was in a foreign land. He soon got used to the uninvited attention, but the racial slurs were too much to bear. To avoid fights, he became reclusive. Although he made some local friends, nothing seemed worth going out for unnecessarily, especially in the daytime. However, his DJing passion survived. He joined a local institute for formal DJ <g data-gr-id="66">training,</g> but realised too late it was a mistake as the instructor was barely more knowledgeable than him. After the course, he began shopping for gigs in Mumbai. His first break was with an event company that offered him a profit sharing deal. The association was good for a start he says, but only lasted until when one of the partners convinced him to invest in a big event which flopped then the man vanished without a trace after the show.
Still undeterred, ASB started freelancing. At first it was a struggle to break into the city’s <g data-gr-id="54">tight knit</g> DJing circles, but as soon as club managers and event organisers got to know him personally they opened doors for him. He was soon spinning at premier spots in the city, with gigs at Taj Hotel, Olives, China House and Boveda just to name a few.
He is now a recognisable face in the city’s club scene. He has a convincing profile with notable clients like Bollywood star John Abraham and The U.S. Navy which hired him to entertain the soldiers during their stopover in Mumbai. His next step naturally like most DJs is music production. His DJing
staple has been variants of house music, but his unreleased compositions have as expected, a rich Afro twist to them, bringing perhaps a new flavour of electronic music or augmenting those that already exist. To Abdoulie, Mumbai is now home and his plans of settling in Europe are shelved for now. He realised how attached he’s grown to the city recently when on a holiday in the Mediterranean vacation Mecca of Ibiza.
Although it was paradise for him, a town where everything is built around club culture, he still wound up nostalgic after a few days and renewed his Visa then came back home. Looking back, one of the most memorable gigs he’s ever played was for the Ganesha Festival. Revellers were surprised to see a black man at the event, but that only made his work easier as they were eager to see what sound he'd bring to the festivities.
ASB concludes his narration of his Indian sojourn saying: “All said and done, there is no other place I’d rather be right now”.