EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Sanjoy
We had the pleasure of getting to interview the extremely talented producer – Sanjoy. He’s on the heels of his latest hit Him You Want, featuring vocals by Arjun. We arrived at West Coast Customs where owner and CEO Ryan Friedlinghaus has converted two rooms into state of the art recording studios. Walking into West Coast Customs felt like a bit of a blast from the past. We were immediately taken back to fond memories of watching the 2000’s hit MTV show, Pimp My Ride hosted by Xzibit. The lobby had some dope cars and some cute fun one’s too like a Smurf’s inspired car. Sanjoy was a burst of energy greeting us with big hugs. We immediately felt the positive vibes he so effortlessly exudes. You would never know he was only running on 3 hours of sleep. He had finished a recording session at 6am, drove home, slept for 3 hours and drove back to the studio to meet with us, prep for a session he had in the afternoon and then plans to hit the road to visit his family in the Bay area.
Sanjoy’s passion for music started at the age of 3 while he was living in Bangladesh. His mom was a singer and had him learn to play the tabla. He eventually taught himself the keyboard too. He recalls, “My cousins used to send me European dance music cassettes when I was a kid in Bangladesh.” Music has been an outlet for him all of his life. When he moved from Bangladesh to the US he didn’t speak a word of English. “Music is the way I connected. I listened to hip hop. I didn’t know what the words meant, but I was attracted to the beats and the way the production was done. Timbaland's drum pattern - that’s what I would listen to and try to recreate it on the tabla.”
Creating his own music was a natural progression. “On my 12th birthday I got a laptop gifted to me and started using software like Reason to create music. When I was 14, I started DJing Sweet Sixteen parties to make money to buy programs and equipment to produce music with. I was remixing Bollywood music with European dance music and started putting it up on YouTube in 2010.”
How did your parents feel about you pursuing a creative career rather than taking the traditional desi route - doctor, lawyer, engineer?
“I’ve always been business minded, like even hustling through high school. I wanted to dive into art completely, but saw it was also important to get a bigger picture and got my degree in Business. I also finished my four years of college because I didn’t want it to be like my parents made the sacrifice of moving to another country and their first born didn’t even go to college. I showed them I would be fine. My parents and my brother are super supportive of my music.”
When did you start to realize you could really build a career and life out of producing music?
"I was at my first corporate job right out of college doing Project Management in accounting.
I got calls from India to come and produce music there. And I was like peace out I’m going to India. I knew I needed to do it.”
What was the experience like going to India and producing music there?
“It was cool. I worked with Pritam, Salim–Sulaiman, Vishal–Shekhar. Basically I got to work with everyone I grew up listening to from the Bollywood side. That’s where I really learned work ethic, being in the studio and crazy work hours in the music industry. It’s different than any other corporate job. Like there’s no 9-5. I learned to wake up at 2am and send stems to the director so they can make the shoot for the next morning. Like Shahid Kapoor is coming to film and there’s last minute edits. I was in India for a year and worked on 6 films.”
“I want to push myself as an artist – The Sanjoy artist project is first, but I also have a passion for helping other artists achieve their vision. That’s a big thing for me. I want to be Calvin Harris and Timbaland at the same time. There’s so many people that are right there that need another force to come in and help take them to the next level and I want to be a part of that. I didn’t have anyone like that growing up and nobody taught me how to produce. So if I see another kid that has brilliant ideas and just needs some technical help or help with executing their vision I want to help.”
What was it like collaborating with K-Pop star, Youngjae?
“The K-Pop community is fascinating and amazing! We as Indians need to get our community there. We can learn from K-Pop fans. That’s why I pushed so hard to make that song happen. I had to go through a lot. I had a record deal with Sony and I had to cut myself out of that deal because they wouldn’t let me release a song with Youngjae who’s signed to Sony Japan."
"I got out of my record deal just so I could connect two cultures together."
What can we look forward to next?
“I want to produce at least one song a month. I want to work with a variety of vocalist. They’re the only people I really get to collab with because I’m producing, writing, doing the sound design and mixing all of my own material. My next project is with Christian DelGrossoo –he’s an actor & vlogger.”
Do you think you’ll stay in the House/Dance genre of music?
“I’m going to jump around. The next few tracks I’m working on are going to be more hip-hop. I’ve honed in on finding my own sound while being versatile with different genres. You’ll hear the Sanjoy footprint on anything I do. It’s important for longevity.”
What artists would you want to work with?
“Skrillex – I think our styles together would be dope, DJ Snake, Rihanna – her vocals man, Post Malone and Dua Lipa is really dope her voice is amazing.”
We’re looking forward to all of Sanjoy’s future projects! He's definitely a bright light in our community and a force to be reckoned with. We have no doubt his talent, drive and positive energy will take him far!
Check out some of Sanjoy's recent hits below!
Sanjoy - Him You Want ft. Arjun
Sanjoy - obvi ft. Elliott Yamin
Sanjoy - Shangri-La ft. Kat Nestel
Sanjoy - Zindagi ft. Macy Kate