Born in Bangladesh, Sajeeb Saha – the force behind the indie-electronic Jai Wolf project – bounced around quite a bit before finally settling in New York City. “I called Bangladesh, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York all my home before I turned 15.”
Regardless of his changing environments, he kept his music studies consistent. “I started violin at age 5 and continued to learn until the end of High School,” says Saha. However, once he had earned his spot in the New York All State Orchestra, he felt he had gone as far as he wanted to with the violin. He wanted something new. “Originally my parents didn’t want me to listen to anything except for traditional Bengali and classical music – they were afraid I’d lose my roots. But by the time I was a teenager, they became accepting of American music, and I began my exploration.”
In 2011, Saha started that exploration under the monicker No Pets Allowed. Within a few years, his mashups and bootleg remixes began to generate attention, quickly rising within the internet music community. However, at the top of 2014, Saha decided to part ways with the project and start something new. “I realized I wanted to make music forever, and I didn’t want to leave my legacy with a name like No Pets Allowed. I didn’t want to be boxed into making dubstep or EDM in general. I wanted to make authentic music that would last forever.”
With the momentum generated through his previous project, Saha dove head first into the Jai Wolf project. Within the first few months, the project began to land a string of official remix opportunities throughout 2014 for established artists including Melanie Martinez, Dirty South, Alesso and ODESZA – each remix landing the #1 spot on Hype Machine (an organic, internet version of Billboard’s Top 100). His biggest break came in late 2014 when Skrillex put the official stamp on one of Jai Wolf’s bootlegs. “Skrillex has always been one of my biggest inspirations. I had messaged him the remix, but I didn’t actually expect him to hear it. Next thing I know, someone tweets out that Skrillex dropped my remix at Glastonbury festival and soon after he signs it to Owsla.”
Soon after, Jai Wolf began to perform across the country with some consistency, including a debut festival performance at Coachella. In the summer of 2015, Jai Wolf released his debut single Indian Summer through ODESZA’s label Foreign Family Collective. “The success of Indian Summer has been so incredibly humbling. It’s the first time I’ve created a track where I was completely true to myself.”
As of July 2016, Indian Summer has sold over 70,000 singles, has gone #1 on Spotify’s US Viral Chart and #2 on iTunes’ Electronic Chart, earned a spot on Triple J’s Top 100 in Australia, and has received national sync placements including “American Idol”, “How To Get Away With Murder” and with the NBA. In May 2016, Jai Wolf released his follow up single, “Drive”, once again through Foreign Family Collective. In just a few weeks, the cinematic track collected over 1 million plays on both Soundcloud and Spotify.
Saha’s journey from classical music to electronic music, and from No Pets Allowed to Jai Wolf is a compelling example of growth and success. “It took me a while, but I finally feel comfortable making the music that I’ve always wanted to make. I feel like being my authentic self while creating music has been the reason for any of its success.”