10 Questions with ... Sujit Kundu
April 26, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
It all started at the age of 16 when I began promoting clubs and producing concerts in Southern California. I then got into radio while attending UCSanta Barbara by starting a mix show and street promotion company.
After college, the mix-show promotions escalated into independent/retainer radio promotions. At the same time, myself, Damion Young and Emmis Communications created Baby Ree Productions, a joint venture production company which produced tracks for the likes of Mariah Carey, Ja Rule, Nate Dogg, Warren G, and Shade Sheist, among others.
When the joint venture dissolved, I was hired by the regional promotions department of MCA/Geffen. I proceeded to go on to Tour and Road Manage artists including Frankie J, Baby Bash, Nate Dogg, Warren G, and TQ. I was then hired by Universal Records to work National Crossover radio promotions. Nine months later I was promoted to VP of Crossover Promotions and am currently Sr. VP of Crossover Promotions for Universal Motown.
1. What was your first job in the music business?
Club promoter at age 16 (well, more like flyer boy). My first official label job was at MCA.
2. You've been living in New York now for several years after moving from Los Angeles. Do you feel like a New Yorker now?
Yes...made the switch. I love New York! It's way more suitable for my lifestyle.
3. Lil Wayne is on Universal Motown and you work closely with him. What do you think the public would be most surprised to know about Lil Wayne as a businessman and person?
He knows exactly what he wants and is very focused and works extremely hard to get it. I think people would be surprised at the personal life sacrifices he has made to achieve the success he has.
4. So you're in college in Santa Barbara...did you imagine running a company like Skam Artist and a promotion department at a label like Universal Motown?
Never. All good Indian kids are supposed to be doctors or lawyers. The music biz wasn't even a consideration.
5. Who is the most competitive promotion executive you know?
6. You're a ridiculously busy guy. What's on your bucket list?
Married with kids? LOL. I'm not sure. I take everything one day at a time.
7. Describe your favorite Nicki Minaj moment?
Her album street date. It's her first album and I started working with her long before she even had a single. It was great to be working with her on the day her first album came out and everything came full circle.
8. Did Nicki's acting on SNL surprise you?
Not at all. At some point I'm sure she'll be acting fulltime. She's a star!!!! I was definitely proud of what a great job she did.
9. After a long day in the office what do you do to relax?
Judge Judy. I watch lots of TV. Corny reality shows...love 'em. Celebrity Apprentice, Amazing Race, Survivor...don't laugh!
10. What's on the way from Universal Motown?
Akon, Drake, Kelly Rowland, Pac Div, Lil Wayne (album)...Hopefully a big summer!
Let's play word association. What's the first thing that comes to mind when I say, "Las Vegas"?
If a young radio newcomer asked you who they should network with about programming Rhythm Crossover radio, who would you suggest?
Everyone! From assistants, to interns to VPs and Sr. VPs at both the label and the radio worlds. You never know who will end up where. It's best to meet as many people as possible.