Naanak Sodhi is young, but he’s already got a fair amount of credentials in his back pocket.
The University of Calgary mechanical engineering student is an artist and producer who goes by the name of Sodhivine.
He has composed music for various films and TV shows, as well as created his own music that’s been featured on the likes of BBC radio.
Sodhi, who was born in India and moved to Canada when he was eight, said he’s inspired by his Indian heritage when he creates his songs.
“I do have a lot of influence from Indian music,” Sodhi explained in a recent interview.
“I grew up listening to Indian music and I still listen to Indian music.
“But I wouldn’t necessarily use their sounds in my music. For example, I would never use an Indian dhol in my songs but I would use the feel of it in a song.”
Sodhi describes his music as Western pop music, but says he’s sampled a range of other genres, from country to alternative rock.
The student has never had any formal training in producing, but says it was the Apple computer application Garage Band that got him started.
“When I was in the seventh grade, my school got these new computers that had Garage Band on them. I played around with it a bit at school and then I eventually got similar software at home.”
He said his big break came a little later on, when two friends decided to make a low-budget movie for a youth film festival. He offered to do the music score for it.
“That movie went on to some festivals and it kind of grew from there.”
Sodhi now makes his own music in his studio at home, as well as starring in the music videos, easily distinguished by his Sikh dastar, the turban many practicing Sikhs wear.
He says he notices how his turban sets him apart from other artists but uses it to his advantage.
“Artists usually want a logo or a symbol that sets them apart and this is my symbol.” says Sodhi. “I feel like my branding is already done.”
He uses a turban graphic as his logo for Sodhivine.
Sodhi, who is on a full scholarship in his engineering program, says he wants to eventually work in music but says he hasn’t closed the door on engineering.
“Artists usually want a logo or a symbol that sets them apart and this is my symbol.” “I feel like my branding is already done.” – Naanak Sodhi
“Right now, I don’t make a living off music. It’s just something I love to do and if it grows into an actual job – perfect.” “If it doesn’t, that’s what engineering is for.”
The student says he’s expanding his talents. He’s started by creating more lyric videos and taking charge of directing and editing some of his own music videos, wanting to make them stand out.
“In any media related field, you have to bring something new to the table,” he says.
“You have to think, what can I do that will make people want to copy me?”
Sodhi is currently working on scoring two movies, both untitled for now, and says one might be going up to the Sundance film festival.