Sanjay Kothari
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Sanjay Kothari

Band Alternative Acoustic


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Sight Unseen (w/ Sight Unseen) 1998
Power Play (w/ Sight Unseen) 2000
Antidote 2003



Life as a musician started for me as a child taking classical piano lessons – however, rather than being pushed or prodded, I was the one pushing my parents to pay for lessons. Probably the most important figure in my life was my piano teacher, an accomplished concert pianist named David Nash. And the most important lessons were in developing my ear and learning about dynamics. We both knew that while I didn’t have a future as a performing pianist, there was something in music that for me was worth pursuing.

I spent most of those same years playing in local bands – both metal and pop cover bands, as well as acoustic groups. I was, like most children of the 80s, heavily influenced by the pervading sound of the day – metal. This was also the era of the guitar hero – from Eddie Van Halen to Joe Satriani, but thankfully we were still heavily exposed to Led Zeppelin and the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. And college radio was teaching all of us that maybe the Connells and Toad the Wet Sprocket were a little bit better than Whitesnake and Poison. But there was an entirely different ingredient growing up as a musician in Georgia – the music of Atlanta and Athens. R.E.M., Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, Uncle Green, Dreams So Real, The Jody Grind, the Indigo Girls. The influence and the depth of quality of music from Georgia shaped an entire generation of young musicians, and I count myself among them.

Naturally, my college days would have to be spent in Athens. I arrived in Athens in 1992, the early to mid 90s being a period that I call (to editorialize) the last great musical era of Athens. The question every night when the drinking hour approached was never where do we want to go, but instead, who do we want to see! Soon thereafter, I began to play the odd acoustic show, playing a lot of original tunes, but also leaning heavily on slightly obscure covers. The acoustic singer-songwriters were plentiful at that time, and they were also generous. I was boosted and helped by many artists like Nathan Sheppard, Trey Boyer, Dodd Ferrelle, Rachel and Andy, and Ralph Roddenberry.

In the late 90s, I formed a band with my former high school drummer Doug Easterly and bassist Jason Pomar (now of the band Sun Domingo) and we named ourselves Sight Unseen. We were all deeply committed to musicianship and songwriting. We equally shared writing, arranging, and lead and background singing duties, and our sound was dominated by vocal harmonies and complex musical structures.

In 2001, I reluctantly left my home in Athens and moved to Atlanta, seeing that widespread enthusiasm for live music had tapered in Athens. I have become a regular performer at the staples of local music venues including Eddie’s Attic and Smith’s Olde Bar. In 2003, I released an EP entitled Antidote, and was chosen to play twice in the highly successful 99x Unplugged in the Park series at Piedmont Park. I was also a winner of the extremely competitive Open Mic Night at Eddie’s Attic, and participated in the semi-annual Open Mic Shootout.

My music revolves around personally meaningful lyric writing and challenging guitar and mandolin playing. I use clichés in my daily life constantly (another day another dollar, que sera sera), but I will not let them invade my songs, in the words or in the instrumentation. And while much of my subject matter deals in the more painful aspects of life, I am always determined to find the lesson or the virtue in that pain – both for the sake of the song as well as for my own need for answers and meaning.