Music Talk: Exclusive Interview with Sujit Kundu

Sujit Kundu
Sujit Kundu, the founder of SKAM with SKAM Artist
and television personality, Nick Cannon.
Sujit Kundu is an artist and major "behind-the-scenes" music executive. Located in the heart of Las Vegas, Sujit is the current owner of SKAM Artist, Inc. He has worked with (and still continues to work with) everyone from Lil Jon, Drake, Lil Wayne, Jermaine Dupri, Nicki Minaj, Havana Brown, and more. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Sujit about SKAM (which stands for "Sujit Kundu Artist Management"), the music, and Justin Timberlake. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Hey Sujit. How are you? Tell me a little more about you...

I am 38 years old, as well as, Indian. I am also the owner of SKAM. I also work at Epic Records, where I am senior VP of Rhythm Promotions where I do radio promotion. 

(Q) You sound like such an exciting person, who is so full of life. This is what the world needs. 

Wow, thank you.

(Q) What inspired you to get involved with music? It's obvious that you are such a talented person. You do a lot with music and entertainment. Just really curious, what inspired you to get involved in this industry?

You know, it was kind of by chance. It wasn't really anything that inspired me. It was more of like a bet with my friends when I was 16. Then I started throwing parties and it just developed with time. It wasn't like I had a 10 year plan. It just kind of happened. I ended up in with that circle of people and friends, etc. To me, it isn't really work. It's more like friends making money with other friends. 

(Q) It's pretty much such a lifestyle now, that you don't even think about it as a job. To me, that is amazing because it shows how much you love your job. 

I don't think of it as a job. It's funny you mention that because everyone is always telling me "Sujit, you work so hard. When are you going to take a break?" or "When are you going to take a vacation?" and I'm like I don't know what you guys are talking about, Lol. Then, they are like "you are going to get old and are going to miss out on life" and I'm like I don't know what you guys are talking about, I am living life. 

(Q) It is amazing that you love your job that much. As a result, it shows in your work. Now, I want to talk about SKAM. Tell me a little more about SKAM...

SKAM started as a DJ agency and now it is slowly evolving into a music agency. SKAM is different from other agencies because we are kind of like a family who work together. We all get along great. As rosters grow, people tend to get disconnected in a sense where relationships begin to decline. Here at SKAM we always work together. I try to have several big events a year. The talent knows each other. You know, there is that comradery that makes this place amazing. SKAM consists of 12 employees including myself. It's based in Los Angeles. We currently have over 50 talented clients. 

(Q) You mentioned the SKAM events. I am curious to know about the upcoming events. What are some of SKAM's upcoming events? Tell me a little more about this...

We do my birthday once a year, which is how often you do birthdays. Although my birthday is August 24th, the party this year will be on August 18th 2014 (Monday). Then, we do a Christmas party in December, every year. I don't have a set date for that just yet. Those are the only two parties that SKAM does. We normally don't do our own events, but this year I did a 10-year Anniversary party. 

(Q) I am sure that the 10-year Anniversary was an amazing event. 

It was. It was very good.

(Q) I have to ask Sujit, who are some of your influences? Who inspired you to get into music? Tell me a little more about the inspiration behind it all...

I don't really think it was so much a person. I was inspired by big events such as concerts and festivals more than anything. The production was really intriguing to me. I feel like that was what inspired me most. I don't necessarily feel like it was a person though. It was more like me seeing something and thinking "I wish I was doing that" more than anything. 

(Q) You are like one of the first people to ever be influenced and inspired by the music and the job rather than a specific person. It's amazing, I think. I have to ask, I know there are certain genres that you love and are a huge fan of. What are some of your favorite artists and bands that you listen to?

I listen to the radio. I don't listen to any particular bands or groups. I do radio promotion for a record company, so I like to hear what is playing. I also listen to see if any of the songs I am promoting are on the radio. I am always listening to the radio to see what they are playing. 

While at work, I listen to iHeart because you can listen to different things. When I am off, I don't listen to music because I do it all day long. So, I like to watch TV. 

(Q) What do you like to watch on television?

I love reality shows. I like Survivor, Judge Judy, the People's Court, the Apprentice, etc. I also like Homeland, 24, or like...

(Q) Breaking Bad?

You know Sarah, I never watched that. 

(Q) It is such a wonderful show. The storyline was so epic. It is my personal favorite. It's ashame the story had to end. 

I watch the Blacklist, the Good Wife, etc. I watch a lot of TV.  

(Q) I have to ask you, if you could work with any current artist today, who would you choose? 

I would have to say Justin Timberlake. In hip hop, I have worked with just about everyone. 

(Q) If you had to choose a favorite genre of music, what would it be? 

Right now, hip hop.

(Q) Who are your favorite hip hop artists? 

I like Drake, Future, etc. I love the acts I have worked with. I like Nicki Minaj. I have worked with her. I like Lil Wayne. I worked with him while I was at Universal. At epic I like Snootie Wild, Keith, etc. I am really invested in the stuff that I am working on. I tend to be so busy, so I cannot help but get invested in the projects that I am working on. 

(Q) You definitely know your music. I have to ask, what was it like working with the talented and fabulous Nicki Minaj?

I worked with her when she first signed to the label. It was amazing to see her having a street and mixed tape buzz to transforming into a pop star. It was great to be there and to witness her transformation as an artist. It's always fun to work with artists when they first start because you get to know them before they have layers and layers and layers protecting them. When she came to Cash Money Universal, she already had a huge underground buzz, but it was great to be putting it on the radio and making it commercial. It was fun to be a part of that. To go from nothing to something. She's very super talented. 

(Q) Most definitely. I just adore her. I think she's amazing. I wanted to ask, for all of those music enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next? 

My goal right now is to make SKAM a recognizable name in entertainment. I want it to have a commercial appeal, as well. Like a brand like NIKE or Pepsi, etc. For me, the talent is the reason we are here because without the talent there is no agency. Those guys are the driving force for me. I want to also make it clear that the talent is what makes SKAM what it is and the talent always comes first for me. It is an honor to work with such amazing talent. We have a lot coming up, as we have a lot of stuff coming out. Everything from headphones with Monster to a free iPhone app and more. Definitely check out the SKAM store too. Keep an eye out for us! Look for us in a nightclub near you! 

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Anonymous said…
He seems like a good guy, a real class act. Great interview Sarah!