Why you should support your local DJ
Photos provided by Sasha Troy
Sasha Troy is originally from the Upper West Side of New York City and is an electronic musician, DJ, and producer. Involved with music for over 15 years, Troy encapsulates a truly authentic and talented emerging artist in the contemporary music scene today. His talent shines in his musical ability, creating many of his songs completely from scratch, as well as creating remixes of various popular songs.

What stood out most when I spoke with him was not just his skills and musical ability, but his humble demeanor, and genuine motives for creating music. "My favorite part has to be when you look in the crowd and everyone is just having a good time," he shared in his Composium interview.

For Troy, it has never been about money, fame, or self-indulgence, and rather, he provides an example of an artist who is focused solely on the innocence and joy of music itself. He offers a uniquely refreshing attitude within the contemporary music scene and is an up-and-coming artist that offers much more than just a good setlist.
Growing up in a musical family, Sasha's mother was a Broadway performer and urged him to play an instrument from a young age. When Sasha was around eight or nine, he tried out his first instrument: the piano. Sasha couldn't seem to get himself to practice, and this happened once again when he tried to take up guitar. A few years later, however, Sasha finally found his rhythm playing drums.
"With drums, practicing didn't feel like practicing anymore."
He soon joined the band in high school, but, with time, however, realized that he was taking up drumming during a time where it was losing momentum in popular culture, or as he would put it — the band was going out of fashion. He soon concluded that drumming might not offer him a lifelong career.

Sasha's true inspiration to make electronic music started when he heard someone playing an original song outside of his high school. He says he vividly remembers hearing the track and realized he too could make music like this - without a professional studio. And so from there, Troy began playing around with Logic software, and soon enough, he was producing his own music. His first single, "Bad as Ever" took off his senior year, and now has over half a million streams on SoundCloud. "I really didn't expect it to take off like it did," Sasha shared.

While Sasha took drum lessons for much of his life and can read music from his time in the band, his true sense of music and talent is done by ear- meaning he does not need sheet music or cues to create his songs. This is one of Sasha's many remarkable talents: he can create music often from scratch, using intuition and rhythm rather than reading from a page. This is truly what adds to the innocent nature of his music.

Sasha attended Tulane University for college and studied Entrepreneurship and Business while also continuing to pursue his passions in music. He produced several tracks while at school, such as "You Got Me," "Drinks in the Morning," and "Magic Hands." Since graduation, Troy has emerged within the NYC club scene, booking out some of the hottest venues such as Nebula, Paradise Club, Above It All, Writing on the Wall, The Delancey, and many more. Sasha shared with me that while he is booking tons of shows now, this did not come easy, and, in fact, it was a bit of a struggle in the beginning.
This is a similar struggle that many musicians entering the industry face, whether it be electronic artists, acoustic solos, or even four-plus piece bands. "I was the one reaching out to clubs at first," Sasha shared.

When Sasha realized he wasn't immediately going to be able to book the clubs he wanted, he decided to take matters into his own hands and created a show by renting out NuBlu (pictured above), a venue in East NYC in September along with a friend and fellow DJ Clandestino. Sasha created hype around this show using his social network, especially through Instagram, promoting tickets and selling them through Eventbrite.

This show completely took off, and he sold out all tickets for the venue, gaining Troy well deserved recognition within the NYC music scene. Since then, he has been booking shows weekly and making a bigger name for himself within the music industry. "It's funny, now I'm booking too many shows that I can't come to all of them. Which is a good problem to have - because now I can recommend my friends to take my place."

He remains particularly intrigued by the event side to music performance and stated that being involved in the process of events has allowed him to apply his business degree within the music world. In addition to the business side, the social aspect of music is also of particular interest to him. He shared with me that through meeting other musicians and venue owners, it is funny to learn that some people within the industry forget that music is "really just an innocent thing," and become fixated on their ego, and all of the ways music can benefit them.

For Sasha Troy, however, it's all about the audience. "The most rewarding part of making music is the thought of making something that people remember and love."

As an avid music-lover and concert-goer himself, he can relate to that feeling when you hear a song in a crowd and relate it to a specific moment in time with your friends or loved ones. This is what Sasha Troy hopes to create in his music.
Sasha currently creates music in the "Tech House" genre, which represents artists such as Fisher and Chris Lake. While Troy looks up to these artists, he also mentions John Summit, Lee Foss, and Cloone as some of his biggest inspirations. While he resides in this musical niche now, Sasha shared that it was really only about a year ago that he determined this as his current favorite genre to create and perform.

I asked Sasha if he had any advice for young musicians trying to find their way in the music industry, and he humbly responded, "this is something I'm still learning how to do myself." Of course, he still had a few tips…

  1. "Have the confidence to back what you're making, and just put it out there." Embracing yourself and your work is truly the key to getting others to understand and enjoy it, too.
  2. "If a small group of people like your music, that probably means that there are more people out there that do too — you just have to find a way to reach them.
  3. "Get a friend (or a couple of friends) of which you value their opinion. Show your work to them, and get their straight up and honest take on it." Sasha says that this is something that has really helped him make moves in his career.

Some of Sasha's most recent shows include his show with Deeproot Records at the Soho Grand, Nebula, and Make Believe in NYC, where he performed with Tukker from popular electronic music duo Sofi Tukker, and Callie Reif, a well-known female DJ, and musician. He also performed in Miami for New Years' weekend, spending the 30th at MAD Club in Wynwood and then at The Mondrian Hotel for New Year's Eve.

I look forward to seeing what Sasha creates within the next few years - while he currently resides within the House genre, he states that he wants to explore his style more and play around with other genres while he continues to put out music and establish his brand as a young professional within the music industry.
Anna Kuelling is a Composium Music Ambassador who is currently expanding her knowledge of film music by studying Music Supervision through UCLA.
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