She’s a popstar, mental health campaigner, entrepreneur and the first female artist to go platinum singing in English in India. I’m talking about Ananya Birla, who got the chance to chat with Electro Wow blog about her latest collaborative single with Sean Kingston, “Day Goes By” + much more. Scroll down to read this exclusive interview.
1 – What do you miss most about open-mic nights in London?
I really loved those little shows. I guess sometimes I miss their anonymity. No-one knowing who I was, no hype, no real expectation. I was also having a tough time back then at college and those nights around London, when it was just me up on stage, was something I used to look forward to the entire week..
2 – Apart from open-mic nights, in what other ways did you promote your music at the early stage of your career?
I’ve always loved performing, but back at that start of it all I kept pretty quiet about it. I was still full of self-doubt, and unsure whether I had what it took to make it work as a career. It wasn’t until I signed on with Universal back in India that I really believed I could do it and started the whole self-promotion thing. I was lucky that one of my first tracks was remixed by Afrojack, which threw me into everything pretty quickly.
3 – Do you consider yourself a natural-born singer?
Music has always been a massive part of my life – nothing in the world makes me happier. I grew up in an incredibly musical household, and was always performing, whether it was playing classical Indian music on the santoor or playing my friends songs I’d written, strumming along on my guitar. It’s a part of me, for sure.
It was unreal to be able to share the stage with such a talented artist like Wiz. To do what he does, and make it look effortless – now that’s talent.
5 – What type of listeners would be interested in your new tune “Day Goes By”?
It is upbeat reggae/pop vibes… you can dance with it or chill to it. We had a lot of fun making the track and you can definitely hear that in the final product.
6 – Is there any message you want to share through the lyrics?
I write or co-write all of my lyrics, and they’re all based on my own personal experience. While the topics are universal – love, lust, heartbreak– the feelings in the tracks are all authentic. I want my audience to connect with my music emotionally, nothing makes me happier than when I read DMs from fans saying one of my songs helped them to feel better about something they were going through.
7 – How did your collaboration with Sean Kingston come about?
I met Sean last year when I opened for his tour in India. We got on immediately – he’s such a level-headed, grounded guy. He really vibed with my sound, and we agreed we’d jam together next time I was in LA. So, when I was over, I hit him up and pretty soon after we were making Day Goes By.
8 – Can you share with us any funny anecdote while you were recording the music video?
I gave one of my friends back in India a call on their birthday, and I had told Sean she was a massive fan. Next thing I know, he grabs the phone and is singing Beautiful Girl down the line. She loved it!
9 – Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
So many people, all over the world. Collaborations with artists from different places really help elevate a song to another level because everyone has such a unique way of working and drawing inspiration. Khalid has been doing some amazing stuff recently, I would absolutely love to collaborate with him. Post Malone, I am also loving at the moment. Since I was a kid, I dreamed of working with Eminem.
There is a lot of evidence to say so. Music has the power to act as a tool for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—and it can also be a great way for dealing with anxiety. I also recently read that heavy metal is particularly good for combatting depression. Personally, music has helped me through some of the most difficult periods of my life.
Music has also given me and many others an amazing platform to speak about an issue that is still not really openly discussed. The more we talk about it, the more likely we are to get rid of the stigma that prevents so many people from reaching out and getting help, and also to make sure these people feel less alone.