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DJ VK brings dance beats to Northeast Texas

Vamsi Kalakuntla hosts "Friday Night with DJ VK" on KETR.
Mark Haslett
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Vamsi Kalakuntla hosts "Friday Night with DJ VK" on KETR.

Vamsi Kalakuntla hosts "Friday Night with DJ VK," which features dance music from India and around the world. Kalakuntla says that he enjoys hosting a program that helps people begin their weekend on a fun note. 

 Mark Haslett: When it comes to music from India, public radio listeners might be familiar with Ravi Shankar, the internationally renowned performer of Hindustani classical music. After that, Western audiences might not be particularly familiar with music from the Indian subcontinent. Here on KETR, we have a show on Friday nights where you can hear contemporary Indian sounds, along with other new music from the U.S. and around the world.

Vamsi Kalakuntla: Tune in every Friday from 9 to 11 - it's Friday Nights with DJ VK.

Haslett: That’s Vamsi Kalakuntla, KETR’s DJ VK. Kalakuntla has experience with both kinds of DJ-ing. Not only is he a radio host, but he also has experience in playing and mixing music for live audiences. He says that the high-energy, electronic dance music featured on the show is a perfect fit for Friday night.

Kalakuntla: Everyone will be in that mood to kick off their weekend on a high note. That's the kind of music which can inspire people and make sure that they enjoy that night and start their weekend on a very fresh basis. I play deep house, electronic, pop, Bollywood and country also. I like everything I play, everything, every music.  Everyone has that mental thing in their head that we have to party on a Friday night. It relaxes your mind and gives you the right mood to dance.

Vamski Kalakuntla, a native of Hyderabad, India, is a computer science student at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Credit provided photo
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Vamski Kalakuntla, a native of Hyderabad, India, is a computer science student at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Haslett: Even if Friday nights find you a bit too worn out to consider dancing to electronica, you can still enjoy the program. If you’re a movie person, you might have had a moment of recognition when you heard Kalakuntla mention that he played Bollywood music. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Bollywood refers to a genre of Hindi-language movies. The name comes from a combination of the word Hollywood and the word Bombay, the old name for the city now known as Mumbai. Bollywood had a golden age from the 1940s through the 1960s. Many of the films were musicals and featured dramatic presentations of pop music from the time, such as this clip popularized in the 2001 American movie Ghost World. The Bollywood music Kalakuntla plays on Friday nights is nothing like that. It's a bit more like this.

Kalakuntla: It's a medium with which you can connect to the crowd directly. A DJ not only represents himself, but he represents different artists together. Before I was a DJ, I was an MC. I used to host shows and all. I'm habituated to all those huge crowds. I used to handle crowds like around 5,000 to 6,000. So, that's what inspires me to become a DJ. And moreover, with the help of DJ-ing, you can get into the depth of music.

Haslett: You can hear DJ VK Friday nights from 9 to 11 on KETR.