Aayush Thukral
Aayush Thukral is a Dubai real estate agent by day and a disc jockey by night. Juggling two very demanding yet thriving careers takes work, he says. Image Credit: Supplied

Aayush Thukral is a man in a hurry. A Dubai real estate agent by day and a disc jockey or DJ by night, he’s rarely in a place for 20 minutes. The Indian expat is always on the move.

During much of the day, Thukral will be showing luxury apartments to his high-profile clients or closing a multi-million-dirham real estate deal. As twilight gathers, you can find him spinning decks at the most happening nightlife venues or overseeing the sound set-up for large-scale parties.

Having explored various music genres, such as Bollywood, RnB, and Hip Hop, Thukral, a Dubai resident of over 25 years, has found his calling within techno, house, and progressive house music. He routinely performs alongside international artists and with members of a musical collective he co-founded – Sounds Like.

On a typical day, Thukral starts his real estate work at 9am, followed by an event in the evening, sometimes lasting until 3 to 4am. Normally his realty work goes till about 7pm, but he leaves at around 1pm on the days when there’s a DJ-ing job. “In one instance, I arrived at the office at 7.30am to finish tasks before everyone else came in. I then went home to change for an evening event, which required my attention due to its size and complexity. Despite finishing the event at 5am, I had to return to the office for a morning photoshoot with the [real estate office] team,” the Manipal University Dubai alumnus says.

Juggling two very demanding yet thriving careers takes work. “I started DJ-ing at 16 and have been in the media and entertainment industry for 10-12 years. I stepped into real estate four years ago. Juggling both the passions isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he says.

For Thukral, it’s all about time management. “While I don't have events every day, the days I do are chaotic. Balancing both worlds can be challenging, but it ultimately depends on how badly I want what I want. I pursue my day job and passion willingly because I genuinely love what I do,” he adds.

Aayush Thukral

Life as a realtor

A Homeland Realty Real Estate consultant, Thukral focuses on off-plan properties. “I handle a portfolio of roughly Dh50-60 million, and my clients are located worldwide. Some of them are in India, some in Singapore, some in the UK, and some are based here as well,” Thukral, who is in his twenties, says.

The Dubai resident’s strength as a real estate agent is his after-sales services. “I’m a real estate agent with a twist. After-sales services are an area where most brokers are careless,” he says.

“But real estate agents must realise that our work is not just about that one sale. Buying a house or committing to an investment is a lot of money for many people. There is a lot of emotional value attached to it. I want to bring that emotional element for my clients and make sure that the deal goes through as smoothly as possible,” Thukral says.

‘Music is everything’

Music is a passion that has stayed with him for over 14 years. “I was 16 when I first started DJ-ing,” Thukral says, adding that he was amused to see a “DJ” in action for the first time.

Before complex music mixing equipment became a mainstay, Thukral’s first tryst with DJ-ing happened when a family friend connected two speakers to a laptop through an Aux wire and used software called Atomics MP3 to mix the songs.

“This was before the era of Virtual DJs. I saw this friend effortlessly mixing tracks, making the crowd dance with just a laptop and some mousepad movements. It was mesmerising. I wondered, ‘What magic is this person creating?’ I was fascinated,” he says.

Thukral spent years experimenting with various sounds. “Initially, I played a lot of Bollywood music in the Dubai nightlife scene but eventually transitioned to house and techno music,” the Indian expat says.

Aayush Thukral
Aayush Thukral co-founded the creative venture Sounds Like in partnership with friends, who also juggle their musical careers with full-time jobs. Image Credit: Supplied

From Bollywood to Sounds Like

About two years ago, Thukral co-founded the creative venture Sounds Like in partnership with friends Rahul Sai, Shyam Vipin, Fuad Azeez, and Antara Choudhury. Like Thukral, the rest of the Sounds Like crew juggle their musical careers with full-time jobs.

“Sounds Like is a collective focused on creating an Indian-based techno-centric community. We identified a gap in the Indian techno market and aimed to bring together like-minded individuals,” Thukral says. The collective regularly organises musical events featuring top DJs in Dubai.

Sometimes work intrudes into his passion, which happens frequently during busy seasons. “I work a day job in an office, and sometimes I have to leave midway to set up for an event. I've closed deals over the phone during a soundcheck at a venue,” Thukral says. “Despite the challenges, both real estate and music bring me joy,” he adds.

Real estate is a slow game that requires patience. “It took me three years to get to where I wanted. Meanwhile, I continued my DJ-ing and organising events. Today, I have a team that helps balance the workload, yet there are moments when I have to be in two places at the same time,” Thukral says with a laugh.