On the Radar: stereoGO
by Annette Lucero

Long over-due for an interview, stereoGO is a Minneapolis local that’s been grinding to make his mark. The Chi-town native isn’t afraid to flex on the decks; he’s got years of experience and sits in good company. What’s more, stereoGO will be opening up for Kennedy Jones and Helena Legend this Friday night at REV! SIMshows was recently able to snag Sagar Jha for an interview, and we’re excited to shine some light on this rising local. 

How did you get introduced to DJing?

I’ve been DJing since 2010 – seven years now. Honestly, a kid I lived near in college had a set of Denon turntables; I would go over to his place after class and mess around. I finally bought my own controller and started messing around myself. Since then, I’ve owned Numark CD players and CDJ 800s; right now, I don’t have any equipment. As far as learning how to DJ, Brotinez from The Trap House in Chicago helped me out a ton, with regards to multi-genre DJing. Brotinez from The Trap House is definitely one of the best open format DJs I know; he really pushed me early on to learn how to DJ different genres of music. Between him and George Rizzio (also from The Trap House), they both introduced me to the Chicago club scene.

What has been one of your largest obstacles to overcome as a local in Minneapolis?

The biggest obstacle so far has been moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. In Chicago, I had a great network of friends, promoters, and club managers who consistently booked me and had me out for shows..Actually, just a couple months before I moved to Minneapolis, I opened for Bro Safari at Concord Music Hall in Chicago, and at like 22 years old, that was one of the biggest shows I had ever played. At that point in time, I was probably playing one-two times a week minimum.

I took a job in Minneapolis, and when I moved out here didn’t know anyone in the general music scene, or anyone who would trust me enough to book me. I basically had to start from scratch when I moved to Minneapolis. It was crazy; I went from playing a show with 2-3,000 people a matter of months ago, to not having a single show on my calendar lined up. Even with all of that, Minneapolis has literally been an amazing experience for me. As far as networking and working with different promoters goes, there has been so much love and support from everyone. Whether it be SIMshows, TC Presents, Skyway Theater, and beyond, everyone seems to be a lot more open, and encouraging of supporting local talent than in Chicago.

What pulled you into producing music, and how long have you been producing for?

I’ve been producing since 2013; I actually got into DJing first. After DJing for a couple of years, I really decided that I wanted to try and create some of my own music. I started out with very, very simple edits, a mashup and stuff like that. Since then, I have progressed into producing more original music and playing around with several genres.

What genre do you lean towards when producing?

My primarily experience has been in trap and big room. I’m currently focusing most of my production efforts on hybrid trap music, dubstep and trying to work more into future bass. I haven’t yet produced a song in future bass, but I’ve been playing around with a few ideas.

Did you get schooled in production, or are you self-taught?

I did not go to school for production, but I wouldn’t say I’m totally self taught. I’ve had a lot of help from some of my friends in Chicago. One of my best friends in college, Vermosa (also goes by Cafe Disko and Konglomerate) has taught me SO much about production. He’s honestly been the best teacher I’ve had to date. Vermosa and I are also in a side project together called Klenson. Klenson is mostly a dubstep/trap combination, it’s very similar to the style of music I make myself! I also feel like it’s important to have people you can go to for help. Individuals like MVNIV, a Minneapolis local, have also been helpful. We’re all learning along the way, so it’s nice to help each other out when we can.

What is your production software of choice, and do you have any experience with instruments?

I currently use Ableton. I started on Logic, but after hearing some advice from several other producers, I made the switch. I actually played piano and trumpet growing up; my parents forced me to play piano, which definitely helps out when producing music. Trumpet…I took that on myself.  I was super interested in brass instruments growing up; this led me to learning how to play trumpet. I actually got pretty good at it when I was younger! JK, I wasn’t that good…

Do you have a manager working to keep you organized? And how do you balance work, networking and producing music on the side?

I do not have a manager. I used to have a manager, but he lived in Chicago, and it didn’t work once I moved to Minneapolis. As far as my schedule, I try to allocate time each week to work on music. It can get super difficult with work and social activities, but I try to stay consistent. As far as networking, I still have a large network in Chicago that I’ve been able to utilize. I constantly play shows in Chicago, even though I live here. The Trap House guys help me out a lot; they get my name around and keep me in the loop with bookings. I’ve also had some good opportunities to meet other promoters in different states. I’ve been totally thankful to have played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota , Mankato, MN, Fargo, North Dakota and soon, Madison, Wisconsin!

Has it been difficult for you to get your material out there?

It hasn’t been that difficult honestly. I have a pretty decent Soundcloud network, and I work a lot with Electrostep Network Records. They’re based out of Los Angeles, and they also do a lot of PR for me.

What has been one of your favorite moments as a local?

Probably one of my favorite moments was opening up for Borgore and Ookay in 2014. That was a HUGE show, and I had such a great time playing my set. I think it was during my set, specifically during the middle when the crowd was really into it, that I realized I could actually make a home for myself in MN, as far as producing music and playing shows goes. That show took a while to lock down for me, so when it did, I was super happy for the opportunity. Also, recently it was really cool to have Boaz Van De Beatz message me and say he liked my track “Shark Tank”.

What’s one of your next goals that you’re working towards?

I REALLY want to put out a future bass song, so I’ve been working on doing that. I also want to try to put out a song every month or every other month in 2017. This goal would include collabs.

Have you released any music recently, and what do you plan on releasing soon?

Most recently, I released a track with my good friends from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It’s called “Plummet.” So far it’s been supported by a bunch of big soundcloud networks and producers, such as Candyland, BARE, and Benasis. I have a new track with MVNIV coming soon, and I also have one with The Trap House in the works. I’m currently working on two solo originals; they’re my top priority at the moment, and I hope to have them out soon.

Have you played in the festival circuit recently?

I haven’t played anything super recently; I played Sonic Fusion festival last summer, which was really fun. They year before that I played 515 Alive, which was awesome. I’m hoping to get invited to play some other festivals this year.

What is something you hope never changes about yourself as you become more successful?

Probably my style, as far as playing shows. I really like playing several genres in my sets, and I REALLY like playing hip hop in my sets. I really like modern trap/hip hop and moombahton. I generally like to play each of these in my sets just because I feel like it offers a different vibe than what most people are used to in the dance music scene!

We’ll be on the lookout for stereoGO this coming week as he opens for Kennedy Jones and Helena Legend. Interested in checking him out before then, or keeping up to date after the show? Look no further, we’ve got you covered:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/stereogo

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/stereogomusic

Twitter: @stereogomusic

Tickets are still available for Kennedy Jones and Helena Legend; buy your tickets here.