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BS People: Devraj Sanyal

Rockstar MD of Universal Music is living his passion

Varada Bhat  |  Mumbai 

Devraj Sanyal

There are very few people who are able to make their passion their profession. Devraj Sanyal, who heads a music label by day and is a metalhead by night, is one of them.

At 36, Sanyal is the new Managing Director of He is also the vocalist and guitar player of India’s most popular progressive heavy metal band “Brahma” which he formed along with a few friends in 1992.

“So far, I have run successful organisations and businesses, and also been a serious musician. I now intend to use this combined knowledge and understanding to take to its next level. I am here to change the game at Universal, when the dynamics of the entire industry are changing,” says Sanyal.

The company’s leading artists includes, Lady Gaga, Bryan Adams, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Abba, Queen, Rolling Stones to name a few & top sellers like Mohit Chauhan, Punjabi MC & Josh from its domestic roster.

Sanyal comes to Universal Music after two decades of being in the media & entertainment business, the last seven years being at Percept. Most recently, he was Group CEO of Percept Sports & Entertainment, which includes Music, Events, Television & Intellectual properties, Branded content & entertainment and talent management divisions.

While at Percept, he co-founded Sunburn, the prominent Asian electronic music festival held in Goa every year, along with colleague

The festival in its third year, according to the organisers, had around 18,000-plus people on site — and another 150,000 worldwide, courtesy of streaming video on the Internet. The festival, devised along the lines of the Glastonbury festival, has had popular international artists like Paul van Dyk, BT, Albin Myers, Nadia Ali, Ferry Corsten, and B.R.E.E.D perform.

Sanyal says he has been interested in music for as long as he can remember. He started strumming the guitar in college and counts Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden among his favourite bands, while retro music like that of the Bee Gees is also at the top of his list. Jazz is another genre which he tunes into from time to time.

First Published: Tue, July 26 2011. 00:54 IST