Introducing Sanjay Krishnamurthy Artist Behind Purple Arizona
Introducing Sanjay Krishnamurthy Artist Behind Purple Arizona. Introducing Sanjay Krishnamurthy. He is born and raised in Ohio and Arizona is a self-taught Pianist, Singer, Writer, Composer, Guitarist, SpongeBob Impersonator. His latest work Purple Arizona is a real piece of art.
Growing up you have been singing and playing music…. What sort of music you actually grew up on? Tell us more about your childhood…
I spent hours learning how to play every Rahman, Mozart, and Motown song on the piano. I was fortunate to have dozens of tapes and CDs and would play them on repeat on my walkman, memorizing every word, every note to every instrument, and transcribing them all to sheet music. So many patterns arose, across genres, across countries, across timelines. It became my heroin (without the side effects) and I’ve been addicted since.
Where do you think your passion for music came from?
Music is a way for me to connect with strangers and be understood.
Admittedly, during high school and college, it was a fun way to impress people and be considered “talented” by my peers. But that faded very quickly. After college, I started writing my own music, and it brought so many wonderful people and opportunities into my life. It continues to open my eyes, my heart, and my wallet to niche interests, unheard stories, and quaint pockets of the culture around the world. I enjoy spending hours in my room, alone, writing melodies, poems, and curating songs into albums. I love rehearsing with my band and orchestra and recording together in the studio. After I release online and perform on stage, some people find it to be boring, some people think it’s perfect. I thrive on all the feedback across the gambit and use it as inspiration for my next album.
Tell us about your day time job… How did you make a transition towards your passion?
I am lucky to have found a way to keep my job as a product lead at Google while continuing to build my audience as a musician.
I enjoy negotiating global digital media deals during the day and performing my music at night. Outside income gives me the freedom to create whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t intend to make the transition into music full time until I can maintain this creative autonomy and output afterward.
What did you do when life gave you lemons? Share a story…
It’s a good sign when you have to think hard about this question. I’ve had my fair share of shortcomings and rejections, but in every city, I’ve lived in, I’ve had a loving group of friends to support me in those moments. And my family in Phoenix is always a call away. I have auditioned for hundreds of gigs singing backup, collaborating on YouTube videos, and performing at venues, and have been rejected from over 98% of them. Almost every meeting with A&R reps starts with a discussion around truncating my name, commercializing my brand, and boosting social media numbers. And I don’t blame them for that. There is a reality about being in entertainment today: Bob Dylan didn’t need to worry about Instagram followers, but I do. It’s been tricky preserving my idealism and pitching myself as an artist in a low margin, high cost, advertiser driven entertainment industry. But I’m still winning 2% of the time! Sometimes I do receive and even taste life’s lemons, but my response is usually to get back out there and keep inspiring that 2%.
How many hours do you devote towards practicing? What is a regular day for you?
I have a bit of a bizarre schedule:
Wake up at 4 am
Practice until 6/6:30am
Sleep again until 8 am
Get to work by 8:30 am
The gym at 4:30 pm
Home by 6 pm
Practice until 8 pm
If no urgent Google work: eat and hang out with friends/watch something/read a book until 11:30ish
Bed before midnight
I drink one cup of coffee in the afternoon and eat four meals a day.
I sleep 6-7 hours during the weekdays and 8-10 hours on weekends, including naps.
I only write during the weekends, not during the weekdays, as I need an extended period of time to focus, usually 4+ hours per session. I often meet up with friends at nearby restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, but rarely have more than two drinks to mitigate hangovers (I’m a lightweight). Every day is full of opportunity, and I try to seize it while still having fun!
Art is a form of love…. Is there someone who inspires you each day?
I am inspired by people who are masters in their craft and still maintain their desire to communicate to the masses.
People like Zakir Hussin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Greta Gerwig, Yuval Noah Harari, Tina Fey, Elon Musk, Jacob Collier, Marcus Samuelsson, J.K. Rowling, A.R. Rahman, and Hans Zimmer, just to name a few. Being smart helps no one. Being talented isn’t enough. And blaming others got me nowhere. I’d rather be the worst artist than the best critic. It’s something I believe the aforementioned people have succeeded in doing, and I’d love to join them one day.
Tell us about your next project…
I’ve released two albums in the last six months, so I’m going to tour these around once we better understand the coronavirus situation. I plan on playing at a handful of 200-500 person venues around the world by the end of the year. And around September/October time, I’ll probably start writing my next album. I started learning guitar a few months ago and I’m having a blast, so it’ll probably revolve around semi-hollow electric guitars and upbeat jazz. I don’t have an exact idea yet, but the blank canvas is my favorite part, excited to get started!
Talk about your first concert and tell us how was your experience?
My first solo show was at Adobe’s multicultural performance center called MACLA in San Jose. I was working with an incredible producer named Ivan Reyes, who now heads up Templo Audio. Although I was still finding my way, making an eclectic string of songs, I felt at home the moment I got on stage. It was an amazing moment with my incredible team and all my friends. Good times.
Is there someone you would like to collaborate in the near future?
I really like some of the new Indian diaspora artists: Riz Ahmed, Prateek Kuhad, Raja Kumari, and Shubh Saran to name a few.
I enjoy Leon Bridges, Hozier, Snarky Puppy, and H.E.R.’s albums edge to edge. A collaboration with any of the above would be an honor. And we’d crush.
Few words for your fans…..
Find something you’re good at and make you smile. Then, never let it go.