Today we're learning about Grant Saxena a.k.a. DJ Sax (Official)
Grant Mitchell Saxena, a.k.a. DJ Sax, was born in the USA in Denver, Colorado on November 28, 1983 to an American mother and an Indian immigrant father. Sax’s fascination with music and the possibilities of sound began in the early nineties after hearing Guns & Roses. Axl Rose’s high-octane vocals and Slash’s intricate guitar work sounded the death knell for the hair bands who were popular at the time, while also anticipating the angst-ridden wave of grunge.
Sax’s newly found fascination motivated him to learn to play guitar. He began studying under professional guitarist and instructor, Steve Shurack, at the age of twelve. Sax’s ear for electric sound led him to focus on lead electric guitar. He took artistic inspiration from other bands and legends, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Santana, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and Rage Against the Machine. While still in high school, he earned the role of lead electric guitarist for the Denver Police jazz band. He also interned at The DJ Guy, a professional DJ service in Denver.
Sax’s musical tastes transitioned from rock to electronic music in 2000. He became an eager participant in Colorado’s burgeoning rave scene. At first, he listened to Drum & Bass and Trance. In 2001, after being accepted into The United States Military Academy at West Point, Sax began experimenting with digital audio workstation (DAW) programs. The strict, regimented life of a West Pointer did not leave much room for guitar practice. Spending hours alone in a cramped barracks room, however, did allow him brief time to make music using computer programs. His favorite was Fruity Loops, a Belgian-made music production software program. With the help of the program he created what he now considers “basic beats,” which he later developed into forms that were sophisticated enough to play at house parties. Weekend trips to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC offered him opportunities to attend underground parties. The larger cities also offered him a new view of the electronic music scene. The huge venues, expensive sound systems, and world-class Artists who frequently played venues like Avalon, Exit, and Webster Hall proved that this profession was not merely about entertainment; electronic music shined as a serious business. Sax realized that a music career was within reach.
In 2006, however, he was forced to take a break from his work to serve in Iraq. Sax was deployed to Mosul and Baghdad as a Stryker Infantry platoon leader. During his downtime, he wrote songs. While on mid-tour leave in Denver, he attended a house party and played some of his tracks. His work impressed the partygoers and their reaction solidified his confidence. After a 12-month deployment, he returned to Fort Lewis in Washington state. He began working on house music demos which he passed out at local shows and clubs in Seattle and Denver. Ten months later, Sax got his first major gig headlining in Seattle’s Blue Room at Trinity Nightclub. During the subsequent year, his roster expanded to include Club Contour, Last Supper Club, Phase 3 Events, Tap-Tap Productions, and a year-long residency at Noc-Noc, the Emerald City’s most notorious after-hours club.
In 2008, Sax received orders to be promoted to Captain and Company Commander at Fort Benning, Georgia. Before his assignment, he spent a month in New Delhi, India where he headlined at an ultra-lounge called RPM. After returning to Georgia, Sax spent weekends in Atlanta where he continued to solicit gigs and pass out demos. Two notable events were spinning for Poplife Entertainment’s Haunted Hotel 2K9 at the Glenn Hotel in downtown Atlanta, as well as being featured on Defl0 Radio. Otherwise, he continued to focus on production and played several shows in Seattle and Denver.
In 2010, Sax left the army for good. He moved to Las Vegas, NV and took a job as a warehouse manager. He also began taking electronic dance music (EDM) production and engineering classes online through Point Blank, a London-based music academy. Sax soon achieved his first global track release, titled “Trajik,” through Televisionary Records in Seattle. Sax eventually gave up his day job to work full-time in nightclub promotions. While promoting for various clubs in Vegas, he secured slots to spin twice at Gold Boutique Nightclub & Lounge, created by Cirque du Soleil, inside ARIA Resort and Casino.
Sax returned to Denver in 2012 and accepted a DJ/Producer position with a local promotions company. He also gained management with Stellar Artist Management & Promotions LLC. Since his return, Sax has headlined and performed, most notably, at The Church Nightclub, NORAD Dance Bar, Club Vinyl, and The Lounge at Beta Nightclub (recently named the #1 nightclub in North America by Rolling Stone and DJ Mag’s Top 100).
In 2013, Sax won The Floorbangr's Digital Circus “In the Mix” DJ Battle. The grand prize included a slot to spin at Colorado's historic festival, Triad Dragons Entertainment & Floorbangr's present Caffeine: The Digital Circus. In the same year, Sax traveled to spin in Las Vegas at the Artisan and Rumor Boutique Hotels, also Wyoming for the outdoor music festival, Compound Sound. By the end of 2013, Sax aired three live mixes of separate genres, including brand new unreleased originals, on Digitally Imported Radio – the world’s largest EDM radio site.
Sax spent four years building a professional recording studio which he now uses to produce singers, songwriters, musicians and bands. He still manages to continuously hone his skills in the lab, shaping his sound, and releasing his own productions. In 2013 Sax remixed a progressive house track for an Ultra Records official contest on Beatport.com which was voted #12 out of 488 submissions. In 2014 Sax achieved two top 100 releases on Beatport.com Trance releases chart for Grant Saxena - Future Truth (Original Mix) #57 and Grant Saxena - Backblast (Original Mix) #11.
With his range of performances, a growing discography of remixes and original productions, and a new alliance with A.M.P. Management, Sax shows no signs of slowing his musical quest. The future looks bright as Sax continues to build momentum as a global up and coming Electronic Music Artist to watch.
Co-written with Mary Sutton