Meet the man behind Indian hip-hop: Music producer and entrepreneur Sez on the Beat

By Debolina Biswas|5th Dec 2020
Sajeel Kapoor aka Sez on the Beat is the man behind the scenes of Gully Boy’s famous 'Mere Gully Mein'. He recently founded The MVMNT to promote hip-hop talent in the country.
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The hip-hop scene in India gained momentum after the popularity of Bollywood film Gully Boy, India’s official entry in the Oscar 2020. Though the film did not win an Oscar, it started a buzz in the country that refuses to fade.

What led to the revival of India’s forgotten ‘gully’ (street) rockstars was Divine’s Mere Gully Mein, a hip-hop number that was later used in the movie. Behind the scenes of this famous song is Sajeel Kapoor. 

26-year old Sajeel Kapoor or Sez on the Beat is a music producer and entrepreneur, is widely acknowledged as the man behind the sound of Indian hip-hop. He has collaborated with many artists like Divine, Naezy, Badshah, Zaeden, and Enkore, among others. 

In February this year, Sajeel partnered with music executive Faizan Khan to launch an independent hip-hop collective and record label called The MVMNT. The duo aims to curate fresh new sounds and promote the next generation of hip-hop talent from across every nook and corner of the country. 


Sez on the Beat talks about his journey:

Looking back

Growing up, Sajeel was one of those ‘geeky’ kids in the block. “I used to study a lot as getting good grades also meant getting whatever I wanted at home - like toys, of course!” he recalls. Music was never a primary part of his life. The only times he would listen to music was when he played his video games.

“The music made me feel cool,” Sajeel says, and he felt the same when his grandmother played devotional songs to put him to sleep. “I think those moments played an important role in connecting me to music,” he adds. 

Like most Indian children who are either directed towards engineering or medicine, Sajeel was inclined towards engineering as well. In fact, it was his love for computer software that landed him into the music production industry.


Sajeel was introduced to the software Virtual DJ by his friend. “It fascinated me and that was my entry point into music,” he says. He began by doing mashups and later began to create his own music for the mashups. Soon, what started as a hobby gained him great recognition.

Sez on the Beat

Sanjeel Kapoor aka Sez on the Beat | Image Source: Outdustry

Sajeel started participating in competitions and even winning some. His breakthrough was winning the second position at a South-Asian competition and that was his turning point of converting from Sajeel to ‘Sez on the Beat’. 


In an interview with YSWeekender, Sez on the Beat talks about his past collaborations, recent productions his challenges along the way and his future plans.


Edited excerpts from the interview:

YS Weekender (YSW): Explain the journey from Sajeel to Sez. Why did you call yourself, ‘Sez On The Beat’? 

Sajeel Kapoor (SK): Sajeel to Sez just happened. Sez just felt like it's cool and I kept it. Earlier it was "Prod. By Sez" and then later on when I did Jungli Sher with Divine, he said "Sez On The Beat" during the song, and that gave me the idea of turning Sez into ‘Sez On The Beat’. 

YSW: Were your parents supportive of this decision? 

SK: My mother is my biggest strength. My dad always used to say: ‘I am always there for you, do whatever you want to but think about everything practically and make sure you are able to look after yourself.’ And that helped me big time. I can definitely say that my mom is proud of me and what I am doing. 


YSW: Who were some of your early inspirations and who are they now? 

SK: My biggest inspiration has always been Noah "40" Shebib, who is the man behind the global superstar Drake. I was fascinated by the fact that there's another human being who's working tirelessly to make sure the main artist always stays number one. 40 is that guy. He introduced a global shift in sound with his beats and he's like a God to me. 


Other than him, to be very honest, music inspires me. If I like a song, it is the song that serves as my inspiration.

YSW: What does music mean to you? 

SK: Music is who I am. It is a part of me now. 
Sez on the Beat

Image Source: Outdustry

YSW: Talk about your past collaborations, and artists you want to work with in the future? Which project is the closest to your heart?

SK: I am in a fresh new phase, in terms of work. Faizan and I have started The MVMNT. It is a platform at the intersection of Hip-Hop and emerging culture.

I have always wanted to make a strong community and champion fresh artists, and The MVMNT lets us do exactly that. 

While our core focus is always music, we want to work with creators across music, gaming, lifestyle, sports, and knowledge. This is an exciting chapter which has only just begun, but it will allow me to really scale to a place where I will be able to work with and develop really awesome creators over the years to come.

YSW: Tell us about your recent production - Kahaani 2020. Was it pre-planned or something that happened spontaneously? 

SK: Kahaani 2020 was about exploring what else I was capable of doing, which could broaden the concept of Hip-Hop for me. It started as a completely different project, which unfortunately didn't work out but I am thankful that it didn't as we got Kahaani 2020 out of it. 


I loved every bit of the production phase. Every artist who is on the song is a perfect fit for me. It all came together so organically. 

YSW: How did you manage to bring all the artists together for Kahaani 2020? 

SK: Zaeden, Enkore, Lit Happu, Shayan and Yungsta had faith in me and allowed me to do my thing. It was all organic, and it was just a matter of reaching out and connecting with them. It was a blessing for me to do a song with such a wide array of artists. 

Sez on the Beat

Image Source: Outdustry

YSW: Talk about your past collaborations, and artists you want to work with in the future? Which project is the closest to your heart?

SK: I am in a fresh new phase, in terms of work. Faizan and I have started The MVMNT. It is a platform at the intersection of Hip-Hop and emerging culture.

I have always wanted to make a strong community and champion fresh artists, and The MVMNT lets us do exactly that. 

While our core focus is always music, we want to work with creators across music, gaming, lifestyle, sports, and knowledge. This is an exciting chapter which has only just begun, but it will allow me to really scale to a place where I will be able to work with and develop really awesome creators over the years to come.

YSW: Tell us about your recent production - Kahaani 2020. Was it pre-planned or something that happened spontaneously? 

SK: Kahaani 2020 was about exploring what else I was capable of doing, which could broaden the concept of Hip-Hop for me. It started as a completely different project, which unfortunately didn't work out but I am thankful that it didn't as we got Kahaani 2020 out of it. 


I loved every bit of the production phase. Every artist who is on the song is a perfect fit for me. It all came together so organically. 

YSW: How did you manage to bring all the artists together for Kahaani 2020? 

SK: Zaeden, Enkore, Lit Happu, Shayan and Yungsta had faith in me and allowed me to do my thing. It was all organic, and it was just a matter of reaching out and connecting with them. It was a blessing for me to do a song with such a wide array of artists. 


Edited by Asha Chowdary

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