Akash Majumdar is a sophomore from Calcutta, India whose favorite Pokemon is Zaptos.

How are you involved with performing arts and music at Vanderbilt? 

I’m treasurer of Bhangradores, President of Vandy Taal, a member of Jugal Vandy, and Seasonal Showcase Co-chair of VPAC. I came to Vanderbilt, and Nashville, for this level of music. I’ve also been taking classes at Blair, and right now I’m taking Jazz Voice and Jazz Improv. It’s a completely new genre that I’m playing, other than a little bit of Alto sax that I played. I’m learning a lot of the technicalities and structures, and I’m seeing a lot of parallels between Jazz and Indian Classical. There’s a lot of similarities between the two even though they’re radically different music genres.

What do you want to do with music in the future? 

This past summer, we took a trip to Calcutta, and there were a lot of musical traditions that I came across. As we were traveling in rural Calcutta, I realized that there’s so much untapped musical potential and talent in rural India. The people had no access to mainstream media to propagate their style of music. That really upset me, because what we hear is the same sort of music with the same sort of people in the spotlight. There’s no space for new entry in the music market, especially with genres that aren’t popular because they haven’t been exposed. So, I decided my life’s goal was to open a small sized non-profit that would purely publish music on the basis of talent. I want to give people a platform to express their music based on raw skill, not their social capital or network.

You were the highest scorer on the GMAT this year in India. Tell me about that. 

Do I really have to? Ok, so after my Calcutta trip, I decided I wasn’t the kind of person who could stay cooped up in an office all day. I had to something with music and use my academic background to support it. To open and sustain the non-profit, I need to have a certain amount of business acumen, economic knowledge and management skills. So, my aim right now is to graduate Vanderbilt in three years and go to business school as soon as possible to gain those skills.  To facilitate that, I needed to take the GMAT, and it was a really spur of the moment decision because I wasn’t doing an internship. I was like, let’s study for a couple hours a day, for about a month, and see what happens. The scariest part is the score comes up right after you finish the test. When I saw the 770, I was short of a breath for a good 10 or 15 minutes.

How much sleep do you get? 

I make sure to sleep about 6 to 7 hours a day because I can’t function otherwise. I’ve cut down half an hour of sleep to get up early and do mediation in the morning. My mom has been pestering me about it for a while, but its really added to my life. I put in 20 minutes in the morning, and it somehow opens a solid 1 or 1.5 hours later in the day because I’m that much more productive. I don’t know it works, but that investment of time in the morning really changes the rest of my day.

A message from you to the entire world? 

Mitesh is my bae. I call him baelani. Cause his last name is Balani. That can be on record, you can write that. Take it to the bank.