Interview: No Pets Allowed

Sajeeb Saha, an NYC based producer and mash up artist, loves talking and listening to music. He learned to play the violin at the age of 5 and has been playing classical music for 18 years of his life. In the past year, he has gained quite a following from across the world because of his (melodic) dubstep remixes. 

PS: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

N: I started writing about 5 years ago in 2008. I used to write songs on my guitar so it was completely different, kind of like punk rock, indie. I was always interested in electronic music so in my songs I would always add synthesizers and stuff like that. Slowly the music became electronic base, it wasn’t dance-y but electronica like postal service, owl city and then at some point I couldn’t write any lyrics, I hit kind of a writer’s block. So what I did was (in 2010),I found acapellas and I created new music around that (that’s basically a remix). I would also take acapellas and put it out on other instruments (and that’s a mash up). I started making mash ups- it was kind of a joke. My first mash up was a Kanye West track on a Ke$ha track and it was really silly and wasn’t too serious about it. My first house remix was of Kid Cudi, which was really cheesy sounded like 90s house music. This was before Avicii and Skrillex -before they became a thing. My roommate in college showed me dubstep, and I was like this is so weird. I started making it also like a joke but then got serious about it because it sounded really cool. So since the last 3 years I’ve been making dubstep. Just EDM in general and getting better at it. It wasn’t until this year, that I started getting a lot of listeners to the stuff I was making.

PS: Ever thought that you would go from a guitar player to a dubstep producer?

N: Not at all. I knew that whatever music I would play would have electronic influences and when I started playing the guitar when I was 16 I didn’t know what dubstep was. What I know is that a lot of dubstep artists, come from a rock background, for example Skrillex used to be in a band, Adventure Club had a guitar background, so does Krewella where rain man has a guitar background and so does Modestep. It’s interesting because the style isn’t too different, if you look at it from music theory and rhythm theory stand point, dubstep is the punk rock of electronic music.

PS: No Pets Allowed, quite a unique name, isn’t it?

N: When I started making dubstep, there were so many aggressive sounding names and at the time since I was messing around I thought I would pick something harmless that doesn’t mean anything and when I was younger I used to write down potential names for my band on the phone. Like inside jokes or signs I would see on the street. When I was younger I saw the no pets allowed sign and when I saw it written down on the phone I decided on it because I didn’t want anything too cheesy but now I think it’s starting to sound cheesy. I’m actually thinking of changing it, it’s not too early since I don’t have any originals out as yet.

PS: Name the track that motivated you the most to become a DJ?

N: I guess the first thing I heard was “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” of Skrillex, which is normally everyone’s first dubstep track that they hear, but also Flux Pavilion’s remix like “Cracks” and “Goldust”. But those are more on the aggressive side, but what really got my attention was Adventure Club because they were doing were melodies and stuff, that’s when I realized that dubstep doesn’t have to be aggressive as far as it has that heavy bass and tempo. 

PS: Which is that one track that you’ve remixed which is your personal favourite?

N: The Lana Del Rey one. It was pretty emotional because in June I got hit by a car, and went to the hospital and it was kind of scary. I am a young person- just got done with college and got hit by car..You’ve seen the movie great Gatsby, and the scene where the song is played right? I felt that emotional after the accident. The Krewella one that I just put out is pretty good too but that one is heavy.

PS: Has living in the city influenced your style of music?

N: It definitely has. NYC is really cool because it’s so big and there are so many people and if you are walking on the street everyone is trying to get from point A to point B in the fastest way possible. Like everyone is always in a rush, no one is paying attention to their surroundings and they’re in their own small bubble. So I always thought that in NYC, though being really populated you can feel loneliness at any time. So a lot of this stuff plays into my music, I put a lot of emotion in the music. It‘s interesting because there are not too many DJs in the city, not too many big ones except for The Chainsmokers and Cash Cash from New Jersey and even Synchronice. Since it’s a big city, the scene here it’s pretty saturated and there’s not a dominant artist coming out of New York. The good thing is I don’t know any dubstep artist in NYC and I might be the only one who has a small following to rep New York.

PS: What are your dreams and goals for 2014?

N: I’m working on some originals right now and since you want to stay relevant you have to keep putting out stuff to keep people listening. Releasing a couple of EPs next year and doing more shows because it’s so much fun. I think the biggest show that I have done was the one where I opened for Sound Remedy.

PS: If you had an opportunity to open for a DJ, who would it be?

N: Definitely, Adventure Club, Skrillex and Flux Pavilion.

PS:What’s the first word that comes to your mind when we say the following DJs?

Deadmau5 – Mau5head

Porter Robinson- Kawai (Japanese word for cute)

3LAU – Mashup master

Carnage – Chipotle

Madeon- Prodigy, a genius

Above & Beyond- Trance masters, floating in the air kind

Zedd- Why are you my clarity?

Swedish House Mafia- Really cheesy, but I like their music

Adventure Club- Super chill

PS: Have you heard about the party scene in India?

N: Not really, since I’m from Bangladesh but I have a lot Indian friends and I didn’t know it was big in India. I know it was big in USA and big in Europe. It wasn’t until I saw Zedd’s tweet about India. The scene there seems pretty big, and it’s really cool. Dance music is really interesting because it doesn’t have  a lot of words so it doesn’t matter what language you speak as far as you can dance to it, music is like sort of a universal language which makes dance music really interesting.

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