Exclusive: Ananya Birla talks about her musical inspiration and new single “Meant to Be”

When it’s tough to take out time for even our hobbies, Ananya Birla manages her two dream jobs without any “ifs” or “buts”. She is a creative being with great business acumen, the evidence of which can be seen in her works. Let’s discuss in brief her two avatars.

Avatar 1- An Entrepreneur

Ananya was only 17 years old when she started Svatantra, a micro finance organization that helps empower rural women in India. But she did not stop at it. Later, she went on to start Mpower, a mental health initiative that works towards destigmatizing mental illness.

Avatar 2- An Artist

Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, Ananya Birla is a talented artist who started her musical journey with the single “Livin the Life”, a track that was later remixed by “Ten Feet Tall” hitmaker Afrojack.

When Coldplay and Demi Lovato came to India as a part of Global Citizen Festival, she showcased her musical talent to the global audience.

On July 28th, the singer released her second single “Meant to Be”. The song has already surpassed 5 million views on YouTube. CelebMix got a chance to catch up with her via an email interview where she talked about her musical inspiration, new songs and much more. Check out the complete interview below:

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your musical journey so far.

I’m a singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur who is following her passion and aiming to encourage others to do the same.  For me, music and business are the strongest forces in the world to reach out to people and I want to use my talents and continue to grow as an artist so that I can continue to touch people’s hearts.

Music has always been central to my life. When I was growing, I learned the santoor (a traditional Indian instrument) which helped me to teach myself to play the guitar. By the time I was at university in the UK, I was writing my own music and performing on a regular basis.

What does music mean to you? Especially when entrepreneurial ventures hold such a special place for you.

Music is part of my soul and a driving force in my life. It is a constant companion which has supported and uplifted me through a number difficult stages in my life as well as enhanced so many happy experiences. I have always been in awe of music’s ability to engage people on a deeper level. It is something that I aspire to do when I write my songs – to stimulate people’s emotions and hopefully to make them happy. 

We know that Ananya Birla is a songwriter but we would like to know more about your songwriting process. What aspects inspire you when you write a song?

I think that making music is a journey of self-discovery. My music comes from a very personal space and my songs are based on my own life experiences or experiences of the people close to me, or stories that have inspired me.  When I write songs, they are always authentic and emotionally driven. I then work out a way to deliver this personal story in a way that is relatable and engaging for the people who listen to my music. 

I literally just start with a paper and a pen and I write down a couple of keywords, I have an experience in my mind that I want to write about and then it may take five minutes or five days or five months but eventually it all comes together. The challenge for me is to express an entire experience in just a few words.

Who is your musical inspiration?

Eminem is my musical inspiration,  I listen to him all the time. His style of rap is like poetry. He sings from deep within his heart and he makes himself vulnerable to the world,   which is a very special quality. Mockingbird, Not Afraid and Beautiful are amazingly personal yet relatable songs.

Your debut single was remixed by Afrojack. How did it come about and what was your reaction?

I was so delighted when Nick (Afrojack) heard Livin’ The Life and was keen to develop the remix. I have always been a huge fan of his and working with him was such a surreal experience! I hope to work with him in the future again.

Recently, your single “Meant to Be” was released. How has been the response so far? Please tell us a bit about the single.

From “Livin’ the Life” to “Meant to Be” I think I’ve grown as an artist and as a person. I know I’ve found my sound, which is a great feeling.

Working on “Meant to Be” with Mood Melodies was amazing – I am so happy that the song has been well received and people are connecting with it. It has done really well in the charts in India, and now it is amazing to see that slowly and steadily it is reaching people across the world – it has started to get attention in the UK, US and Middle East which is a little overwhelming. I can’t wait to see where the song travels and how many people it reaches since it was only released a couple of weeks ago.

“Meant to Be” is about an experience that I went through. It is about two people who think that they are meant to be with each other but life takes them their own ways for whatever reasons. We may go through many relationships but that one relationship always feels like it was meant to be. On a different note, sometimes things happen and we don’t have a reason at that time and retrospectively you’re like, “Oh that was meant to be!”. So I truly think that certain things in life are just magical and they may not have a reason to the human eye but they’re meant to be for a higher purpose.

We are quite intrigued, what is the meaning behind the plus symbol in the music video? Does it symbolize something significant?

The plus symbol signifies the love that these two characters have. The plus sign means that they come together and create a positive impact on each other’s lives and the bracket symbolizes that their love is being protected.

What is in store for Ananya for rest of the year 2017?

Very exciting things are coming up. A new single is in the pipeline and then I’ll be on the road, doing opening acts and performing live – which I love to do. I gigged in London for a while and loved it! I’ll be releasing an EP by early next year, so it’s going to be a busy few months.  

I am proud to be Indian, but I believe music is a universal language which hopefully I can use to positively connect with people all around the world.

Did you like her single? Share your views via tweet @CelebMix.

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Written by Ayushi

Hi! I am Ayushi from India. The only thing that is consistent about me is my passion for writing and reading. Weaving words to form a story is the best thing I know and the only thing I want to do.
"Writer by nature is a dreamer, a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

If you want, you can follow me on Twitter using the handle @ayushidelhi1996