We had the good fortune of connecting with Aman Sagar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aman, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in a quaint little town in the North of India called Haldwani. I had the blessing and curse of growing up right around the time the Internet was socially exploding and suddenly I had direct access to a plethora of ideas and perspectives which were very different from my experiences in my hometown. So while on the one hand I had a traditional Indian upbringing in my family, I also had room to explore and expand my interests. Being in a small town is also isolating in the sense that it gives you less exposure to the outside world and more time and freedom to formulate your own perspective on things. I believe that really helped me target my focus on music and my endless curiosity drove me to learn everything that I could about it. I also thrive in non conformity which only strengthened my attraction to certain musical genres like Jazz and R&B, of which there exist extremely small communities in India. I was fortunate enough to receive a full tuition scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in 2016 where I went through a lot of personal and professional growth. Getting first hand exposure to the music-culture and musicians that I always admired from afar was eye-opening in a lot of ways. While there’s many people I could name who played an important role in my upbringing, I believe it was this sort of innate drive to always explore and make things happen for myself that led me to where I am today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I see much similarity between Indian music and contemporary African-American music forms. With my own music and the artists of Indian Diaspora that I work with, I try to find a sonic link to connect the two seemingly different cultures in a way that hasn’t been done before. And as intense as that sounds, the most important thing for me is to have my music be relatable. I have a lot of releases lined up for 2022 and I am extremely excited about it.
The journey wasn’t easy at all. It’s very hard to break through the culture barriers in the first place and Indian independent artists are only recently picking up. I believe you just have to keep at it with a lot of patience and be open to trying out things which are out of your comfort zone. Also there’s so much to learn from things you dislike. With my music, I wish to expand the reach of contemporary Indian Independent music and elevate it to a truly global scale.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have a lot of people to credit for all my little victories but I believe my family was extremely supportive of me pursuing music, which is a big deal in a country like India. The opportunity that Berklee College of Music afforded me is the greatest thing that happened to me. Also huge shoutout to communities like Splice and DONTOVERTHINKSHIT, who are extremely generous to upcoming artists like myself.
Grant LaButte Anurag Sharma