Home Icy Tales Exclusive DJ Varun Khullar: A Life-Changing Journey of Strength and Music

DJ Varun Khullar: A Life-Changing Journey of Strength and Music

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Varun Khullar popularly known as ‘DJAamish’ India’s First Differently-Abled DJ has a very motivational journey. Every individual needs to overcome obstacles at some point in their life.

People normally lose hope during adversities, while some exceptionally inspire people in this world constantly with their hard work, adaptability, and a positive attitude and turn all life challenges into the greatest advantages.

Overcoming obstacles is something that everyone must learn how to do, and Varun Khullar is encouraging many with his journey as an example of success.

Varun Khullar went on a road trip with some friends to Manali back in 2014, when he faced a fatal accident. His car toppled from a hill and some army men rescued them. The next thing he remembers waking up in the hospital. He had suffered an acute spinal cord injury. The doctors told him that he will never be able to sit or walk and he has to live with it. For some months Varun Khullar had become very reluctant to the situation.

The DJ had lost hope and was into depression. However, he did not let his thoughts win over him and decided to be strong for his mother and himself. Varun Khullar turned his misery into the biggest turning point in his life and came back as a survivor and became India’s first differently-abled DJ and the world’s second to open a music festival.

He opened the multi-genre music festival ‘Time Out 72’ in the presence of international figures like Jason Derulo, Wiz Khalifa, and Martin Garrix in December 2017. Varun Khullar is a resident DJ at Kitty Su, Delhi. He has performed at various other clubs and pubs and music festivals.

Icy Tales is in conversation with the inspiring Varun Khullar, a music producer and disc jockey.

Q) What is the idea behind the name DJ Aamish? 

Varun Khullar – The name “Aamish” came from my parent’s name. My father’s name is ‘Amit’ and my mother’s name is ‘Shashi’. That was the idea behind the name. When I got into this injury, I thought I have got a new life. Then I thought that whatever my artist name would be, it will represent me as a different person. Nothing else came to my mind except taking it from my parent’s name.

Q) What was your ambition as a child? Were you always interested in music?

Varun Khullar – I have grown up listening to a lot of different kinds of music, also because my father was a music lover. I was inclined towards music since my childhood. I eventually started realizing that I want to get into this field.

During my schooling days, I realized that I want to become a music producer no matter what, specifically in electronic dance music. I started working in that direction, but my family wanted me to complete my education first as they wanted to make sure that I have a plan B.

Then I completed my graduation. Later, I was doing my M.Com along with which I was pursuing DJing and music production but then I got into this injury, and after that, I had ample amount of time to do things I wanted to do a little bit earlier.

Q) What do you enjoy the most about being a Disc Jockey? 

Varun Khullar – It’s totally a different kind of feeling for me. I think I forget everything when I am on the stage and that is the beauty about it. I think it’s more of a journey when you are on the stage. It’s something like you try to get other people to get into that journey of yours.
So that is something DJing and music production is for me. If I am getting my songs out, it’s more of storytelling for me. I feel that is how I can connect to people. For me, it’s storytelling and getting people to join me on a journey.

Q) Every journey has its ups and downs. We know yours started with a lot of courage and determination. But as you choose your path, did you encounter any roadblocks along the way, and how did you overcome them?

Varun Khullar – I faced numerous amounts of roadblocks like getting rejection from the DJ schools, trying to make people understand that even I can do it in the wheelchair, even going to the venues, and making them understand that this is not something abnormal. I wanted to make people believe that this is something normal and I want to live my life normally.

I have always believed that there is nothing different between what a normal person can do and what I can do. I just have a particular capacity of my body through which I live my day

I had many difficulties, and I still go through a lot of them. But I always believed that getting into difficult situations will always make you learn new things, so that is the beauty of it. It’s just that you have to learn from them and move ahead in life.

Q) What is the one thing you wish more people knew about you? 

Varun Khullar – I think people should connect to me while I am performing. While I am on stage and trying to tell a story with my music, they should just be able to connect with that.

Q) What is your idea of success? What has been the most significant milestone in your journey so far? 

Varun Khullar – First of all, accepting my situation, accepting that I am into such kind of an injury where I will not be able to walk for a certain period of time. Still, there are a lot of milestones that I have to achieve.
I will say that getting into kittysu as a resident DJ was one of the biggest ones that I have achieved. Because that was the place I use to go before my injury and listen to music. I get encouraged by the music they use to play at that time and also till now. This is one of the milestones, but I believe you cross a milestone every day in your life. The biggest one was accepting my injury because if I didn’t accept it, I would have been nowhere.

Q) What is the one thing that can instantly light up your mood?

Varun Khullar – Music and food. I am a very foodie person, so music and food can make me happy anytime.

Q) Who has been your constant support and pillar during all this time? Is there someone you look up to as an inspiration?

Varun Khullar – If I talk about the support, it has to be my mother who never gave up on me in any way. I tried to get strong seeing her into a situation where she lost her husband only one and half years back and after, that she was seeing her son on the bed.
So that use to give me a lot of strength, that I don’t have to cry and be with her. She always motivated and told me that I should do what I want to do. The situation she was in made me strong so that gave me a lot of courage that I have to be strong for her.
DJ Varun Khullar with his mother
And the person I use to look up to during my injury was Sir Paul Johnson. He was the first DJ all over the world to be using a wheelchair and playing music. I was very lucky to have a conversation with him on Facebook. He also encouraged me in the same way, that just keep doing it, that’s the only way to do it.
I also believe that I have received a lot of motivation from the people in the venues I have played in. Whenever I visit different cities and venues I have seen that people won’t judge that you are sitting in a wheelchair. They will always treat you like a normal person and will encourage you if you are doing something good.
That is not only for my profession but for every profession, if you are good at something people are there to encourage you and take you to places. Whatever I am today is because of the people who have supported me.

Q) Any two things that you have learned through all the experiences in life?

Varun Khullar – The very first thing that I have realized with time is that if any problem is coming into your life, it is coming for good, it has something good in it. We always start thinking negatively when we are in problematic situations. It is nothing like that, everything happens for good in life.

This is a blessing in disguise to me, I have learned so much in my life after getting into this injury. Maybe I could not have learned if this was not the situation. Problems come in your life to teach you something. Even a heartbeat is full of ups and downs, the moment it gets straight you lose your life. The same is with life, if everything is just straight in your life then you are not living it.

The second thing is that, that there is nothing impossible in life if you want to do it. You may have hundreds of reasons not to do something, but if you have even one reason to do it you can achieve anything in life. In my case it was music. It made me overcome every single situation I was living in at that moment.
We should live life in a normal way without taking everything on our mind and overthinking it. Even if we get into problematic situations, we need to understand that it is life, everything is not going to be easy. If you get into difficult situations and you make mistakes, that is when you learn. That is something that I learned with time.
If I have to tell my story a thousand times I will tell it, if I have to tell it ten thousand times, I will still do it. If this helps in giving some motivation, it changes someone’s life then I will think that I have succeeded. I got into the situation and I got out of it and I know the way out.
That’s the only thing I am trying to convey to people, that doesn’t take life in such a way that everything comes to an end after a difficult phase in life. Till the time you are breathing, you are living your life and you should live it every single day. I never say that I am a disabled person, I only say that I am a person with a certain capacity in which I am living.
I know that I will be walking one day and nothing can stop me from doing that. So it’s just the mental perspective towards life, how you take your life and see things in life. So if I can change someone’s perspective towards the life I will think I have succeeded.
Varun Khullar believes he has still to complete many milestones in his career. He always feels that people should connect with him and his music and if he can change someone’s perspective towards life he will think that he has succeeded.

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