Singer Ananya Birla opens up about releasing a new single during the lockdown
Photo: Ananya Birla

With a surname that could get her anywhere, Ananya doesn’t wish to fall back on it and instead she is keen on building her own legacy. At 25, Ananya is many things: intelligent, passionate, with a sharp entrepreneurial mind, forging her way into a music career, a dream she nursed while studying at college. Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about your new single ‘Let There Be Love’.

It’s my first release since going independent and coming out to LA. I’m so excited to share it with everyone. I wrote it during lockdown, I guess I missed home and was doing some self-reflecting being so far away from family. It was a reminder to myself of the things that really matter, people, connection and love. I have always believed that love is the strongest emotion.

So what does Love mean to you?

Love is the most powerful force in the world, it’s not just something you feel, it’s something you do. It comes about when you can be totally true to yourself and to other people.

How does it feel to have been featured on the pop radio show in the US Sirius XM Hits 1?

It’s an absolute honour to have my song played a week prior to its official release, especially being the first Indian artiste. I guess the radio station saw a lot of merit in my work and that’s how they selected the song.

What message are you trying to convey through the song?

It has been heartbreaking to see how much pain and suffering there has been across the world this year. At the same time, it is so inspiring to see the way that people have come together and responded to it. The song is all about the beautiful things that can blossom out of the darkest of times.

Tell us something about the music video you have made?

We have put together a lyric video, and I am overwhelmed at the amazing response to both the song and the video. The video is meant to make you feel love and depicts connections in different spectrums of life. It has a colourful, happy vibe to it that makes you want to dance along with the song. In a first for me, I also put together a short dance video to the hook of the song and we launched it on Roposo, before the song released. The response has been truly incredible, and it has been so heart-warming watching every one dance along.

How have you been using your time during the lockdown?

I used to feel uncomfortable unless I was really busy, so the last few months have been a strange adjustment. However, it’s given me a unique opportunity to take a step back, which I guess has been valuable. I have done a lot of yoga, spent more time speaking with my family and friends, rescued a puppy, and tried and failed to learn how to cook. I have also used this time to create without a desired outcome or timeline. I have written a new song almost every day through the course of the lockdown and I am super excited to share all the music with you in the coming months.

It’s been around four years since your debut, how has the journey been for you.

I started out doing this just because I loved making music. It makes me so happy people have enjoyed what I am doing. It still feels surreal to hear my songs on the radio, and I am so grateful to my amazing fans that have come with me on this journey. If you’d told me back then that I would where I am now, I don’t think I would have believed you. There have definitely been ups and downs, but it has all been worth it. I feel so lucky to do what I love every single day.

A year ago you worked on the ‘Day Goes By’ with Sean Kingston. Do you plan on collaborating with any other artist in the near future?

I love to experiment with different sounds and genres and to work with artists from all over the world, whether they are in Miami, Mumbai or Moscow. Working with people from different musical cultures is so exciting. You’re introduced to new ways of making music and different dynamics because you are trying to cater to different sets of fans. I always learn so much and it is an amazing reminder that music is the ultimate global language. We have some exciting things lined up with artists back home and in the USA too, but I can’t say anything just yet.

What next? Any tours planned?

Performing live is the best thing about what I do. For me, music is all about connecting with people and there’s no better way to do that than when you’re in the same room, there is such an amazing buzz. One of the highlights of last year was getting to tour India. I had hoped to do more this year back home and also in the US and UK. We had a load of gigs lined up, but unfortunately it is all on hold until venues start to reopen. It has given me more time to work on new songs and I have a few releases lined up and I’ll also be dropping my second EP before the end of the year. We are also putting together digital experiences which hopefully people will enjoy.

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