Sujit Kundu didn’t grow up dreaming of being a major behind the scenes music executive, but that is in fact what happened. If it had not have been for some of his high school boys he might be a doctor or an accountant instead of the CEO of thriving management company, SKAM Artist. As life would have it though, in the early nineties, his Orange County California buddies were throwing some unsuccessfully attended rave parties, and he thought he could do better.
His own parties started small, but before graduation rolled around his raves were drawing crowds of up to 4000. That success grew into him promoting parties and performances that featured some of hip-hop and R&B’s biggest acts at the time. “I had Warren G, Cypress Hill, KRS-One, Mobb Deep’s first California show,” he says, then adds, “And I would of have Biggie too, but he canceled on me.” After high school, Sujit attended University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he majored in Economics and Accounting. Although he considered abandoning promotion in favor focusing exclusively on academics, three weeks after classes began he was out scouting venues. “I went to this young guy who owned a little bar and explained my concept to him,” Sujit remembers. “And he was down.”
By the time he graduated from UCSB, Sujit had expanded his party promotion business into radio promotions and mix shows. He also teamed with the then music director of LA’s Power 106 to form a production and DJ management company. As a production company they landed a top ten radio hit with Shade Sheist’s “Where I Wanna Be.” Meanwhile, Sujit took a radio promotions job at MCA Records. That position didn’t last long, but it did give him his first experience working for a major record label. A few years later when his production / management company disbanded, his partner kept the production arm and Sujit kept the DJ management side, renaming it SKAM (Sujit Kundu Artist Management).
At first—the initial jobs paid in the hundreds—his management business wasn’t a big source of revenue. But since the advent of the mash up DJ as a celebrity times have changed. Sujit’s clients now command fees in the five figures. “These guys are getting five, ten, fifteen thousand a night. And for something special like a new years party they can get up to fifty grand, two first class tickets, and a four star hotel stay,” he explains. “They got assistants, publicists; they are businesses unto themselves.” Now SKAM employs 11 employees, with offices in both LA and New York managing a roster of fifty plus DJ’s including DJ Vice, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, Sky Nellor, Nick Cannon, Samantha Ronson and D-Nice just to name a few. “I got to keep it all in perspective,” Sujit says. “There’s people out here who have to wash dishes for a living. Someone told me if find what you love to do then you’re never working. I love what I do.”
Get to know more about Sujit:
Take us through your day, starting from when you wake up.
I wake up around 5:45am….no alarm clock..that’s just when I naturally wake up. The first thing I do is grab my computer and look at Mediabase. Around 6:15am I like to see how the record airplay charts are looking, then I jump in the shower and am usually on my way to work [EPIC Records] by 7:15/7:30am.
Best part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing an artist I work with [on either the SKAM or EPIC roster] at a sold out show killin’ it for the crowd! There is so much work that goes into a record - from the recording process all the way to when it hits the streets and fans get to hear it - so there’s nothing better than being a part of seeing that come to life
Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
Doing the same thing! SKAM, working with incredible DJs and artists...putting great music out there for fans and in the clubs.