By Joy Ramirez
Nikhil Seetharam Raises The Game
Success can mean different things to different people. But for Canadian producer, songwriter and composer Nikhil Seetharam, the more life changes, the more it remains the same.
Known professionally as Nikhil, the talented young producer has worked with Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Drake and most recently on T.I.’s upcoming album. In a short time, his work earned him three Grammy nods, three SESAC Pop Music Awards and over 6 million singles sold. In 2010 he produced Nicki Minaj’s hit “Moment 4 Life” for her Pink Friday album, and in 2011 he helped produce DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One” featuring Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil’ Wayne. He’s nominated for a Grammy again this year for a song he worked on with Drake. He also just finished scoring his first feature-length film, Searching for Angels, starring Vivica A. Fox.
Through this professional whirlwind Nikhil has stayed true to his passion, working hard making music in his studio while still living with his family in Ajax, Ontario. “I try not to change too much,” he said, referring to his personal life. He acknowledges that his family has been an important part of his success: “My parents have been very supportive (of my career). My home base is secure. I couldn’t have done it otherwise.” His older brother, an engineer, was influential in his musical tastes growing up, and his twin brother Guarav, while not in the music business himself, acts as an advisor.
“I’ve been making music since I was 12 or 13,” says the self-taught musician. Growing up, he listened to a lot of orchestral music, in addition to rap and rock. And although the hip-hop producing came naturally to him, Nikhil has always wanted to score films. The work in the studio sustains him and he’s grateful for the chance to break into the music business, which happened a few years ago when he met fellow hip-hop producer and Canadian, T. Minus, whom he considers his mentor. He will continue producing, but says he’s branching off in his own direction to work on film scoring and composing for television and video games.
And if his full-time music job were not enough, the over-achiever is simultaneously finishing his university degree in Political Science. “I wanted to finish the degree for myself. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I’m on the last lap,” he said.