Striking a Harmonious Chord: How Sanjeeta Khullar is Shaping the Future of the Music IndustryPosted by Mike Schumacher
In a world where talent abounds but true influencers are few and far between, Sanjeeta Khullar’s story stands out as a testament to grit, relentless passion, and an unerring sense of purpose. With a psychology degree in her pocket and a heart full of dreams, Sanjeeta set out to traverse the winding roads of the music industry—an industry that today serves as the pulsating heart of modern culture. In a digital age characterized by streaming wars, genre fluidity, and instant global connectivity, the music industry has evolved to become more than just a marketplace for songs; it is a complex landscape where art meets commerce, and where talent alone is no guarantee of success.
A multidimensional professional with a background that spans psychology and a specialized degree in Music Business, Sanjeeta Khullar is a maestro in navigating this intricate industry. Her journey began with facing adversities and struggles as an immigrant, battling her way through unfamiliar territories to find her place in the world of music. The fire that fueled her perseverance led her to remarkable opportunities, including coveted A&R roles at several record labels and publishing companies. As a testament to her distinguished academic pursuit, Sanjeeta was also honored with a Leadership Award for her exceptional contributions in her field.
Sanjeeta’s career has been a series of crescendos, each more impressive than the last. Her work experience reveals a dedication not just to finding and nurturing musical talent but to the holistic process of building artists’ careers. This takes more than just an ear for a hit single; it requires a profound understanding of the complexities of artist management, contracts, and the volatile trends that shape the music world. It’s no wonder then that she has collaborated with industry luminaries like Nolan Lambroza, Nael Atweh, Sabrina Claudio, and Kaveh Rastegar. Working with such high-caliber professionals has further sharpened her skills and broadened her perspectives.
In a recent interview, Sanjeeta shared invaluable insights into her experiences working with these influential figures. From Lambroza, she learned the nuances of hard work and meticulous craftsmanship; Atweh inspired her with his passion for collaboration and nurturing talent; and Claudio’s unwavering commitment to authenticity became a cornerstone of Sanjeeta’s own approach to her work. These lessons have coalesced into a balanced blend of passion, precision, collaboration, and authenticity, guiding Sanjeeta as she continues to make her indelible mark on the industry.
Today, Sanjeeta Khullar is not merely a survivor but a trailblazer in a world that often grapples with the tension between creativity and commercial viability. Her story is a melody of resilience, aspiration, and unyielding commitment to excellence—a symphony that resonates with everyone who believes in the transformative power of music. And as she looks forward to potential collaborations with artists and creators ranging from Hans Zimmer to Kendrick Lamar, one thing is abundantly clear: Sanjeeta Khullar is just getting started, and the industry can’t wait to hear what she orchestrates next.
It’s great to have you here, Sanjeeta! What was your first experience like working with a major artist in the music industry, and how did it shape your future career goals?
My initial encounter with a major artist in the music industry was truly transformative. Collaborating closely with someone of such caliber offered me unique insights into the intricate dynamics of artist management and the broader musical landscape. Witnessing the artist’s dedication, creativity, and collaborative spirit was incredibly inspiring.
This experience profoundly shaped my career aspirations, reaffirming my passion for nurturing talent and playing a role in an artist’s journey to success. My first-hand exposure to the artist’s world ignited a desire to continually seek opportunities to work with exceptional talent. This set me on a path to further hone my skills, broaden my industry connections, and ultimately contribute to the growth and impact of artists within the music industry.
You’ve worked with a number of influential people in the industry, including Nolan Lambroza, Nael Atweh, and Sabrina Claudio. What have you learned from these artists that you’ve applied to your own work?
From Nolan Lambroza, I’ve learned the importance of hard work and dedication. His commitment to refining every aspect of his craft, from production to songwriting, has taught me that excellence lies in the details. He’s shown me that one should never grow too comfortable but should always strive for excellence, regardless of one’s status.
Nael Atweh has imparted the power of collaboration and passion. His enthusiasm for working with artists began when he signed Sabrina as his first client. He has nurtured her growth, helping her blossom into the artist she is today. Nael invests his all—200%, to be exact—because he believes in people and is fueled by his passion.
Sabrina Claudio’s dedication to authenticity has deeply resonated with me. Witnessing her unwavering commitment to maintaining her artistic vision has emphasized the importance of preserving one’s genuine identity, even when faced with industry pressures. She charts her own course, and today she stands as an incredible independent artist known for her beautiful voice and captivating presence.
Overall, these experiences have underscored the need for a balanced blend of passion, precision, collaboration, and authenticity in everything I do. Each artist has contributed unique lessons that continue to shape my approach, and I’m grateful for the invaluable insights they’ve provided.
What has been the biggest challenge in working with established artists, producers, and songwriters?
Undoubtedly, the most significant challenge in working with established artists, producers, and songwriters is balancing their creative visions and expectations against the practical realities of the industry. These individuals often bring a wealth of experience, strong preferences, and a clear artistic direction to the table. While this is certainly a strength, it can also create challenges when trying to align their vision with market trends, audience demands, and business considerations.
Navigating this delicate balance requires skillful communication and a deep understanding of their needs, all while ensuring that the final product appeals to a broad audience and aligns with industry standards. This involves striking a nuanced balance between pushing creative boundaries and maintaining commercial viability.
Ultimately, overcoming these challenges demands a blend of open communication, adaptability, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to excellence—all while preserving the artist’s integrity.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the music industry and wants to build relationships with influential people in the field?
The best advice I can offer is to always remain true to yourself. Authenticity resonates with people and lays the foundation for lasting relationships. Pretending to be someone you’re not is unlikely to serve you well in the long run. If you find yourself losing touch with your authentic self, perhaps this industry isn’t the right fit for you. Always treat everyone, no matter their role, with courtesy and respect, and take the opportunity to attend industry events to forge genuine connections.
Constantly research and learn about the people you’re interested in connecting with. Familiarize yourself with their work, achievements, and contributions. This not only demonstrates your genuine interest but also allows for more meaningful interactions. Finally, seek out mentors or advisors who can offer guidance and open doors for you. Mentorship can be incredibly valuable in the music industry, helping you grow either as an executive or an artist.
How have your experiences working with artists from different genres impacted your own musical tastes and preferences?
Collaborating with artists and producers across various genres has been a transformative experience that I deeply treasure. This journey has expanded my musical horizons, introducing me to genres I didn’t even know existed. In today’s dynamic music landscape, I’ve realized that pushing creative boundaries often means stepping outside conventional norms. Artists who forge their own paths and defy genre conventions are the ones who leave an indelible mark on the industry. This belief underscores the notion that true innovation emerges when we challenge ourselves to create something wholly unique.
In your opinion, what are some of the most important qualities that someone needs to have in order to succeed in the music industry?
Some of the most important qualities needed to succeed in the music industry are being personable and passionate. People can sense your enthusiasm, whether it’s communicated over the phone or through Zoom. Make sure you’re in this field because you genuinely love it, not just because it seems like a fun industry to be a part of. Creativity and adaptability are also crucial; challenges will inevitably arise, but if you can find innovative solutions, you’re on the right track. Mental strength and open-mindedness might not be discussed as often as other traits, but possessing these qualities will take you far in this industry.
You’ve mentioned that music has been your savior and your friend for a long time now. How has your own personal relationship with music influenced your work with artists and in the industry more broadly?
Growing up as an only child and moving across the world was no easy journey, but music always made it more bearable. Whether through headphones or speakers, I was constantly immersed in my music, feeling every lyric, chord progression, and beat. Music exists to evoke emotion, and it brings me comfort to know that it transcends the boundaries that exist in the rest of our world today. My genuine love for music, along with my passion, dedication, and a relentless curiosity to learn and grow, has profoundly influenced my work in the industry.
Looking forward, what are some of the artists, producers, or songwriters that you would love to work with, and why?
Oh, this is a tough question because there are so many creatives I’d love to work with, and new ones are emerging every day who inspire me. However, some at the top of my list include Hans Zimmer, Ludwig Göransson, Mike Sabath, Raye, 070 Shake, Kendrick Lamar, Mike Dean, Sting, Mac DeMarco, Earl Sweatshirt, Ashnikko, and many more!
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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