Sophomore Finds Himself in Songwriting


Satrohan realized his passion for songwriting during his freshman year. (Courtesy of Anthony Satrohan for The Fordham Ram)

Anthony Satrohan, GSB ’25, just hasn’t been able to escape music. As a child, his mother had him play the piano. This sparked him to play other instruments like the trombone, tuba and, most recently, the guitar. What started as an innocent enough desire to learn the guitar has blossomed into a full-on passion.

“If I’m being honest, the guitar was the first instrument I ever wanted to play, but my mother said no. She made me play the piano first. I probably wasn’t thrilled about it at the time, but looking back, it’s what got me into music,” said Satrohan. 

Satrohan didn’t begin to learn the guitar until the summer before his freshman year. The strides he’s taken since then are monumental. Without any lessons, he’s transformed himself from a beginner to a musician capable of stringing together bar chords and complex licks.  

“I just tried to play songs that I liked. That’s how I learned. ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ and ‘But, Honestly’ are two of the first ones I remember learning. It’s pretty much all beginner chords, but that was the best way for me to get a feel for the guitar. I started to get more comfortable with transitioning between chords and creating a rhythm and I kinda just picked everything else up along the way.” 

For the first half of his freshman year, he played the guitar in the comfort of his Tierney Hall dorm room. When he saw that RHA was setting up an open mic program, he offered to play a few songs on his guitar. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

“Ant stole the show,” said fellow Tierney resident Visnu Selvan, GSB ’25. “It was the first time any of us had seen him play the guitar and sing. It just blew us all away.” 

For Satrohan, it was his first time playing in front of a large group, but it would certainly not be the last. Satrohan began playing the guitar for his friends regularly. He even started to take song requests. “It’s really fun to play songs that people love to sing along to. You can see them get into it, and it just makes the whole experience more fun. ‘Cigarette Daydreams’ is a big hit. I also love ‘Wonderwall.’ People don’t ask me to play ‘Wonderwall,’ but I do it anyway.”

All of this was the kick Satrohan needed to take his guitar playing in a new direction. Namely, songwriting. 

“To see people react like that to me playing was pretty surreal. I started to go, ‘Hey, maybe I should do this more often.’ It’s fun to play music people know, but I started to think about writing some of my own stuff.”

By the end of his freshman year, Satrohan had written five songs. This continued over the summer and into his sophomore year. The songs vary in tempo and tone, but all typically fall under the umbrella of indie pop. 

“One of my favorite things about playing the guitar was also getting to sing the songs. I don’t really think I’m a great singer, but I enjoy doing it. I’ll even beatbox sometimes. The idea of singing lyrics that I actually wrote was something that really interested me, and I think I drew a lot of motivation from that early on.”  He starts by experimenting with chord combinations: “If I can find a sound that I like, the lyrics just come.” The process became more rewarding than he expected. 

“Songwriting became therapeutic. I was feeling a little down at that point in my life, and music really helped me get through all of that,” said Satrohan. 

While this is not to say that all of his songs are autobiographical, many of the lyrics and overarching themes in his songs reflect his mindset and emotions. “My main priority is making sure the lyrics match with the tone of the song,” Satrohan continued. “But I think ultimately, whatever my mood is at the time ends up seeping into what I’m writing.”

Satrohan sees a correlation between mental health and songwriting. “It’s not an easy conversation to have, but I can definitely say that it’s helped me get to a better point in my life. Something about incorporating my emotions into something creative has done wonders for me.”

The sophomore continues to write songs from his dorm room in O’Hare Hall. Depending on how loud he plays or if he forgets that the deadbolt on his door is open, you can hear him from the hallway. 

“I’m never going to be a famous young guitar player. I can and will blame my mother for that. But songwriting has become a part of who I am, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”