S.K.A.M. Artist founder, Sujit Kundu has been actively working in the music industry for all of his adult life, starting as an event producer as a teen. Now, having already had his 40th birthday, he enjoys success as the founder and CEO of S.K.A.M. Artist, the leading full-service agency, boasting a roster of over 100 deejays and music personalities who specialize in genres across Pop, Hip-hop, EDM, Crossover, and more, both on the DJ landscape and with their own concerts and performances. Kundu’s company also has a sister company, SKAM Division, an arm that focuses on radio programming, where they coordinate putting the hottest new music tracks on radio airwaves. The Good Men Project had the opportunity to ask Sujit a few questions about his company.
Good Men Project: What exactly is the business of your company S.K.A.M. Artist? Who is your ideal client and why?
Sujit Kundu: S.K.A.M. Artist is a full-service booking agency and the name is an acronym that sounds like “scam” and stands for Sujit Kundu Artist Management. An ideal client has a demand that I can cultivate. It is much harder to start with an artist that is starting from scratch as you have to spend the time to develop them, one that already has business and is making money just needs a change and path adjustment or fresh eyes in the equation. So those scenarios are definitely ideal for me.
You started in the music industry as an event promoter when you were just 21 years old, and evolved your role in the industry in the 21 years since. How did you actively participate in this evolution, and what factors helped you to achieve success a little more passively?
I actually started at 16, and I have grown with it as technology has changed, as the music industry has changed, and as the artists I’ve known have gone from a ‘no-name’ to being huge a-list stars. When you are involved in an artist’s career from its infancy, as they become successful, you build a trust that is not easily broken. I do that by being honest and telling the truth always.
How did you develop your passion for entrepreneurship? Who were your mentors, and why? Are you mentoring others now?
In my younger years when I was starting out, I definitely looked up to Diddy. His whole movement was so impressive: “producer, rapper, CEO.” I don’t mentor, per se right, now but I have employees I train and show the business to, and I can only hope they are learning from my teachings and actions. I also work with a lot of new artists and managers when they are developing, so indirectly you can call it mentoring.
In your interviews with each Zark Life and DJ City, you mentioned that signing with S.K.A.M. Artist is not a magic bullet, that the DJ must do the work. What exactly does S.K.A.M. do for the artist, and what must the artist do for themselves that S.K.A.M. does not do for them?
We are not managers – we are the agents. We go through offers, work on fees, and will give the talent direction on what deals we believe are good for them. We handle all of the paperwork, contracts, invoices, etc. and help advance shows. Artists need to make themselves hot. they need to create and continue to have a demand, work on their brand, their skills, their music.
Who are your synergistic partners?
Anything in music – record labels, nightclubs, promoters, bookers, event planners, etc.
I loved the forward-thinking you demonstrated in branding S.K.A.M. when you gave your friends’ newborns a onesie that says “Future S.K.A.M. Artists.” How much of what you do for S.K.A.M. and its clients is marketing-focused?
The stronger the platform S.K.A.M. is the more credible are words are, and the more credible we are, the easier it is for the DJs to get work.. and for me to secure them offers at new clubs and venues.
What charities do you support and why? Anything about your personal life you’d like to share?
I support all of my clients’ charities. Many of them do important work so I want to be able to help wherever I can in their causes.