My name is Sankarsh Rajeev and I am popularly known by my artist name Vontell. I am a music producer and DJ based out of India and L.A. As a music producer, my instrument is my laptop. I’ve always wanted to be an independent musician and it’s been amazing how a computer can recreate any instrument available in today’s world. It tends to give me a lot of freedom and sense of understanding of all instruments.
My artist life has been a roller coaster filled with ups and downs. But producing music, collaborating with various artists from around the world and finally releasing my music worldwide has been the driving force to me not giving up in tough times. My biggest struggle has been surviving and growing in the music industry with no one backing me. Being an independent electronic music producer , I’ve had to produce, mix, master and market each of my tracks from scratch. It’s really tough to do everything by yourself. But I’m really happy the way things turned out for me.
With tough times and no backing, comes situations of low self-esteem and giving up. There was this specific point in my life when I was a DJ. Though I wouldn’t say that I almost gave up but this incident was hurtful and insulting to me. My friends had organised a show for my birthday in 2016, along with one of Bangalore’s finest house music acts and while I was opening for them the crowd started shouting “Bollywood” though it was termed as a house music night . This was a very hurtful stage in my life. But perseverance has always been an important factor in my career. I didn't let this incident for too long, and chose to believe in my potential. I realised that just like other successful producers, I too can release music which I am interested in. And eventually, if my music does get recognised, people will come to listen to what I have to play and not expect anything else. And what I believed in actually happened with me playing at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles which till date has been my best performance and experience. The dream though is to perform at Coachella and EDC. Fingers crossed this happens soon.
I can confidently identify two specific moments in my life that influenced my as an artist The first would be flying out to Los Angeles to join the Icon Collective, a vey well renowned music school for producers and the second would be when I taught myself to merge electronics and music together. When I sit with production, I get so involved in my passion that I lose track of time. In a way, I am happy about this fact since I am dedicating time towards building something that I want to be, a successful music producer.
I loose myself in my art and dedicate at-least 9-10 hours a day on sound design and production. It’s not easy but it’s what I love doing. This has lead to the release of my tracks which I am very proud of, What about me?, Back to me, I Love U Anyway and I'm Sorry. They have received a very good response from my listeners and I couldn't be happier. You can find them on almost all music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and many more. I also have two music videos coming out which I am very excited about. I hope that some day I get to work with Nino Lucarelli and Dylan Mathew, who are both brilliant vocalists in their own niche. In terms of successful producers, my biggest dream is to work with Illenium.
Music has now become an integral part of my life and has helped me battle very rough phases. There was a time when I was battling depression for brief period of time. I had a constant push from my parents to pursue my education in music and kept pushing no matter how I fell. I started pouring out my emotions into my songwriting, and along with some brilliant musicians that I met along my journey, things fell into place. I believe that every artist grows from inspiration, and to me, my dad has been my biggest. I have seen him grow over 25 years and I am more than just proud of him. He was never a typical Indian parent who forced me to pursue technical education. He heard me our, learned what interests me and the pushed me to pursue my passion. I owe what I am today to him.
I have seen something very interesting happening in India over the recent years. The evolution of local audience towards new and unique genres of music has been phenomenal. Indian crowd is very unique and their interests keep changing over the years. My close friends family and fans have always stayed loyal to me and my music and I keep getting new people who support me. This is also due to exposure of the Indian audience to various music streamy platforms with incredible music libraries. People in India are listening and experimenting which is good to see as compared to how they were in the past.
I absolutely adore what I do. The part where creativity takes it's course and there are endless possibilities to it, just gives me a high. It’s also entertaining when I have to learn something new everyday. The fact that all it takes is one breakthrough track, keeps me working harder and harder everyday. When it comes to playing as a DJ, I just want to entertain and educate people with respect to unique music and of course my music. If I do inspire other artists on my journey, that would be one of my biggest achievements. At the end of the day I enjoy what I do, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
“ The grind never stops.” This is what I’ve been following in every aspect of my life. I started as a young boy when electronic music had just started to make noise in India, and it was something I was always interested in. I started as a young DJ and worked my way up the ladder. I eventually started exploring production and moved out to Los Angeles to further my education in Electronic Music. Under the guidance of one of the most prestigious school “Icon Collective” I’ve been making music to attract everyone. I don’t intend to stop anytime soon and hope to keep growing as an artist.