Raised in New Delhi, India, Raghav Sehajpaull doesn’t just love music, he lives it everyday. We don’t forget our first love, now do we? Raghav fell hard for music at the age of 11, while picking up on percussion instruments. He attended the London School of Music and Rock School Trinity to study his art and graduated as a grade 7 classical guitarist.
Raghav describes his sets as poignant filled with heavy baselines, soul-scaping melodies and unexpected drops (cause who doesn’t like a little bit of surprise element).
Read our interview below where Raghav talks about his latest single, ‘DA BANG’, his journey in the Indian dance music scene and plenty more!
Valarie – Hello, Raghav Sehajpaull. Thank you for taking time out for this interview. It’s a delight to have you here. Welcome!
Raghav Sehajpaull – Thank you so much for having me here.
Valarie – As a recent newcomer on the music scene, can you please tell us about yourself, for those not familiar with who you are as an artist?
Raghav Sehajpaull – So I’m basically from New Delhi, India. Back in the school days I used to play a lot of percussions and stringed instruments and I had always had this thing for music you know be it classical or western .So while growing up and exploring music and technological advancements happening so rapidly I never realised when I shifted from rock to electronic and now when I’m actually making music I tend to use a lot of organic elements you know probably because I’ve been a hard-core fan of rock music and electronic music both. There was this one instance back in 2006 or 2005 when the Great Indian rock festivals used to take place and I was like only 12 or 13 I wasn’t allowed to go in the venue because of the age limits and then I had to sneak in and I didn’t realise that I had sneaked in the back side of the stage and so eventually I went to the side of the stage where I got caught by the bouncers and I got kicked out but I had just managed to have glimpse and I must tell you it was worth it at that time you know 1000 2000 people back in 2005 head banging, that really changed me as a musician and then eventually the first dance music festival happened and it all changed for me there. And I was like this is it, this is what I want to do.
Valarie – You are from India. The music scene (especially electronic music) has exploded, becoming more socially acceptable. What are your thoughts?
Raghav Sehajpaull – It sure is. I see kids listening to electronic music and understanding that music I mean that’s simply wonderful what technology has given us. Today the fans are well connected to the artists, artists from various parts of the world are collaborating and specially that our local talent is making its mark around the globe and that’s pretty awesome. And now that India rising to be one of the most partied at destinations, we’ve come a long way.
Valarie – These past few years have been incredible for you. How has your experience been so far?
Raghav Sehajpaull – Yes, the past few years have been really wonderful and it has changed me for good. I’ve had up’s and down’s but I think that’s how we learn right? I was born in Delhi and then I was constantly changing schools in different cities because my dad was in the corporate world and then I finally landed back in Delhi when I was in 5th grade and not knowing anyone, no kids to play with; Then I had to repeat a year when I was in grade 11 and eventually took a semester break in college. I mean what I’m trying to say here is the experiences make who you are because you know you start thinking in such a way that you know you’d want to change stuff you know change things. Eventually I cleared my 12 with a decent aggregate and eventually completing graduation and then diploma and here I am talking to you. I think failures teach a very important lesson they teach you how to succeed.
Valarie – Do you find it hard as an artist? If there was something you could change, what would you?
Raghav Sehajpaull – When I started DJing back in 2012 for friends and small house parties,at that time to play at festival or even a club used to be a dream. You know finding promoters, labels, management everything was difficult at that time and then taking your tracks outside clubs and handing out to various local artists I mean at that time I was doing only mashups and all but the point is getting yourself heard was quite a task. Now that we are so well connected globally I’d like to tell this to all upcoming producers that just believe in yourself and keep doing what you love to do and just follow your dream and it’ll eventually happen, don’t back off and lose hope. People have only seen me in 2016 but they don’t know the fact that I’ve been DJing since 5 years now and playing instruments since I was 8. There’s an old saying the grass always looks green on the other side.
Valarie – Your recent release “DA-BANG” is such a massive track. What was the inspiration behind the track & how did that song come about?
Raghav Sehajpaull – So 4 months ago I was in my studio and I was fiddling around with different stuff trying to mix different sub genres and then eventually while experimenting the idea for the track started to develop. Once the track got completed and I tested it in different festivals and the response was great. Eventually the Da bang happened.
Valarie – As a fellow music lover, it’s safe to say that you are very passionate about music, but especially more so since it’s your chosen profession? Is it because you have expectations or feel a certain responsibility when it comes to your music or in general?
Raghav Sehajpaull – I’ve always been passionate about music. Not just music but every form of art. I do feel a responsibility towards it but not in a sense that I’m an activist and I will change the world with the music I produce, but for the love for creativity. Art is something that everyone should do be it any form of art. I feel it enriches you, your soul. Art is beautiful it makes life more beautiful and exciting.
Valarie – Your music (especially your sound) has evolved over the years, especially after your transition from rock to electronic music? What was that process like?
Raghav Sehajpaull – Yes, and it happened back in 2011 or 2012, the first EDM concert Delhi witnessed and it was David Guetta headlining ; probably at 17 or 18 and I was like completely blown off. I mean there’s so much positivity in a festival and everybody is dancing and love is everywhere and everybody is doing what they’re being told to do by the DJ and at that time I was like I want to be there you know up on the stage one day and narrate tales through music and spread love and unity. And you know when you’re 17 or 18 you’re exploring so much ; I was struck by dance music and I was lucky enough that my parents supported me and you know got me equipment’s to learn on and got me a musical education.
Valarie – Who are some artists that you look up to?
Raghav Sehajpaull – I look up to all the artists in the industry. There’s always something to learn from someone but if you ask me my inspirations they would be Above & Beyond, Tiesto, Deadmau5, Hardwell, David Guetta, DJ Snake, Marshmello, Excision, Moonbeam and many more, the list doesn’t stop.
Valarie – What’s next for you? Any projects, releases, a tour perhaps?
Raghav Sehajpaull – Yes, many collaborations many releases are happening soon, let it be a surprise and as far as a tour goes that’s just around the corner and details should be out soon too.
Valarie – Thank you so very much, Raghav for taking time out to talk to us here at T.H.E – Music Essentials. It’s been an absolute pleasure!
Raghav Sehajpaull – Same here , the pleasure is all mine. Thanks a lot!