Imagine being a DJ, working on a remix for Sony Music, heading your own record label and playing festivals – all while studying medicine.
Sounds like a hell of a lot of work, but that is exactly what Kishan Bodalia – aka Bodalia – is doing.
At just 22-years-old, Kishan is winning at life with a promising career in both medicine and music.
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Kishan, who grew up in Coventry, is currently in his fourth year studying medicine at the University of Birmingham, but he says he has always held a passion for music.
He told UNILAD:
I’ve loved music since I was very young – I started off listening to my dad’s jazz CDs, which inspired me to learn the saxophone, piano and guitar.
From there I played in jazz bands throughout my school life, and then once at university, I naturally took to the house music scene when I started going out clubbing with my friends.
— Bodalia (@BodaliaDJ) April 30, 2017
The first boost to his music career came from BBC Introducing back in 2015, after uploading his first track to their website.
After my medical exams in 2016, I entered a global DJ contest with Mixcloud – definitely not expecting to win, but you have to be in it to win it!
A month later, I was flown out to Barcelona as a finalist. The Tomorrowland organisers were on the judging panel, selected me as the winner and gave me a prime daytime slot at the festival – I still can’t believe it.
This took my music career to a whole new level last summer, with bookings flying in from promoters across the UK, including the main stages at Pangaea Festival and Starfields, alongside the likes of Ella Eyre, Hannah Wants, Cheat Codes and many others.
Throughout the following year, Kishan played shows periodically while focusing on music production. He also headlined at Vale Festival in Birmingham earlier this year.
With my friend, Jean, we remixed a track called ‘Daylight’ by NDPC and after being supported first by BBC Introducing, this was picked up by Sony Music, Ministry of Sound and Ultra Music – for global release.
In early 2015, I was involved in the creation of the world’s first student-led record label, New Street Records. The concept was thought up by two final year business students who led the venture in the first couple of months, and then handed leadership over to my friend and me.
Both my co-director and I received an award from David Cameron, who was Prime Minister at the time, for our voluntary contribution to the label.
Our aim of the label was to give student artists a career springboard, as well as developing the entrepreneurial skillset of the team within the label. At that point, we were overseeing a team of 80 student volunteers in both our Birmingham and Manchester branches.
He told UNILAD the secret to his success is organisation:
I have a journal. I started it two years ago at the point where I decided to take my music career more seriously.
I wrote down key goals for me – some were so far-fetched – and broke them into smaller and smaller achievable goals. I honestly believe this can make anything possible to achieve.
I also put a timeline in place to work out when and how I’d do things. I haven’t actually achieved the specific things I’ve aimed for, but having this in place has given me a structure to stick to, keeping things moving, and what’s happened so far is much greater than I’d ever expected.
I also write and develop ideas in this book and reflect on good/bad experiences to learn from. Organisation is key.
With so much achieved already, what does Kishan see for his future?
He told UNILAD:
I honestly couldn’t tell you what the future holds for me. A year ago I’d never thought I would have played at Tomorrowland, released music on Sony or found myself regularly interviewed by the BBC.
The ultimate goal is to become a doctor, and I’m going to continue to push at my music career too.
I’ve got an incredibly supportive manager, and my friends and family are backing me all the way. The dream is to have sell-out shows across the world, and to help others with charity, through both music and medicine.