The multi-facted career of Vytas Nagisetty includes work as a bassist, singer-songwriter, composer, producer, computer programmer, and screenwriter. Born in India, raised in Toledo, Ohio, Vytas began playing music at the age of 5. By the age of 14 he was playing electric bass in a cover band (The Plunge) and writing songs on the guitar. At 17 he released a tape of original songs (called Life (on the Acoustic)) which he recorded in his parents' attic on a 4-track recorder, and sold at local record stores. A year later he graduated from high school and left Ohio to attend the Universtiy of California, Berkeley.
While at Berkeley, Vytas double-majored in music and French literature. Musically, his focus shifted from song-writing to developing his technique as a bassist. Until that point he had only played electric bass. In the summer of 1990 he bought his first double bass and soon was playing with the University Orchestra and jazz ensembles. He studied classical double bass with Steve Tramontozzi, the assistant principal bassist of the San Francisco Symphony, and learned jazz while playing in San Francisco night clubs. During his fourth year of study he lived in Paris, France and played bass with many local groups including Big Booty Contact, a pop funk collaboration with Melvil Poupaud and Hopi Lebel. Meanwhile jazz performances took him throughout France as well as Morocco and Turkey. At that time he began writing music for film. His first film, "Godard disait que. . ." is viewable at the Centre Pompidou, a museum of contemporary art in Paris. After returning to the Bay Area, he finished his last year at Berkeley and began working full-time as a bassist.
Soon after graduating he acquired his Sidney Orpwood bass (the bass he still plays today) from legendary jazz bassist Wyatt "Bull" Ruther (who had worked with among others, Dave Brubeck and Errol Garner).
Vytas spent the next few years playing with up and coming musicians like Brad Hargreaves (Third Eye Blind), Andrew Borger (Norah Jones, Tom Waits), Aaron Johnston (Brazilian Girls, Harry Belafonte), and Vijay Iyer, as well as jazz greats such as Pharoah Sanders. As a sideman he recorded with many Bay Area notables including Beth Lisick, Larry Gallagher, Steven Emerson, Calder Spanier, and as a co-leader with his own group, Fatty Boom Boom. During this time he also composed the score for numerous short films including "Boom" which won the award for best soundtrack from the NYU graduate film school. Later, he moved from San Francisco to New York City with the decision to focus on composing music for independent films. In his first 4 years there he composed the score for 4 feature films, most notably "Desert Blue", directed by Morgan J. Freeman, and starring Kate Hudson, Brendan Sexton III, Christina Ricci, and Casey Affleck. In most of the feature films that he worked on he not only composed the score, but also contributed original songs to their soundtracks. The "Desert Blue" soundtrack album (Razor and Tie records) features two of his songs: Perfect Sunset and Nothin'.
With a repertoire of new original songs in hand, he returned to performing as a singer. In 1999 he performed at Austin's South by Southwest headlining for Rilo Kiley and Catpower. From 2000 through 2002 he performed regularly at Bar-B in Manhattan's lower east side.
While living in New York Vytas spent his free time studying computer programming. When not playing music he would moonlight developing computer games and e-learning.
In 2003 he returned to Ohio and attended the University of Toledo studying math and computer science. He also studied jazz vocalese with Jon Hendricks. A year later he formed the group, Vytas and his Electric Outfit. They performed weekly at Manhattan's restaurant in Toledo for three years. Their first record, a 5 song EP, is called Space Cadet (available for listening on this site here, or for sale at the iTunes store and CDBaby.com). The record features the contributions of Jason Quick playing bass and lead guitar, and John "Bubba" Baker playing drums and singing harmonies. Todd Ovall took over the bass duties during 2007-2009. The new formation recorded an 18 song double album called Sunny available for free download here.
In 2010 the band was again reformed. The new "Eclectic Outfit" features an unsual instrumentation of acoustic instruments with Steve Knurek on double bass, Joe Sneider on vibraphone, Sean Lapan on mandolin, Bubba Baker returning on drums, and Vytas playing acoustic guitar.
While back in Toledo, Vytas has been busy with an array of projects. He worked for four years as a senior programmer with Root Learning, Inc., an e-learning company. He also has continued to work on films including most recently the score for Glass City, a feature shot and produced in Toledo in 2008. In 2009, his screenwriting was published in a textbook, Screenwriting 101, by Jane Bradley. He can be heard as a sideman bassist with various groups in the Toledo area when he's not leading his own band. He also has been busy producing local artists like Justin Dumas, Nick Baker, and A Million Engines in Neutral out of his home studio, the Man Cave. In 2009 he completed a Bachelor of Science in math with a concentration in computer science from the University of Toledo. In the summer of 2010 he returned to the orchestral pit, taking on the bass duties for The Toledo Repertoire Theatre's production of Victor Victoria.
Currently Vytas is exploring the possibility of graduate studies in music technology or a related field.