"I have definitely evolved as a person and a musician since I started out": An Interview with Ananya Birla

"I have definitely evolved as a person and a musician since I started out": An Interview with Ananya Birla

The last time we spoke with Indian electronic music starlet Ananya Birla, she was on the cusp of blowing up – Her singles made her the first artist in India to go platinum with an English song. Since then, Ananya has released her debut EP Fingerprint. Included in the EP is her hit collaboration with WurlD and Vector, 'Blackout', which has garnered over 24k plays on Spotify. 

We caught up with Ananya in the midst of her busy schedules as a musician and an entrepreneur to talk about her latest release. 

Congrats on your debut EP! How does it feel to have it out in the world?

Amazing! The last couple of weeks have been nerve-wracking, but today I feel so much lighter! It’s a really personal piece, and releasing it feels pretty cathartic. 

What, on any level, would you say, sets Fingerprint apart from your prior work?

It has more of me in it, for sure. As an artist, it is imperative to be authentic, it means the music can connect with listeners so much better.

I have definitely evolved as a person and a musician since I started out, and I think the music definitely reflects that.  The EP is in the pop space for sure, but it plays with some hip-hop vibes in ‘Blackout’ and more alternative sounds with ‘Love Suicide’. I love to experiment with different genres and styles and I’m so happy with the result on the EP. I was very apprehensive while writing ‘Blackout’ about whether I would be able to do justice to the song. I guess it is true what they say that getting out of your comfort zone does make you grow and find parts of yourself you didn’t know existed. I think it took me a couple of singles to find a voice that was authentically mine. But putting these tracks together, surrounded by the right people, I’ve felt so much more at home. 

How did you come to link up with WurID and Vector on ‘Blackout’?

My two labels, Universal and Island Records UK, have been amazing at linking me up with collaborators. I’ve been wanting to work on a track that was more explicitly hip-hop for a little while now, and when UMG introduced me to Vector and WurlD, who are two of the biggest rappers in Nigeria, we vibed right away. 

Take us through the sociopolitical commentary you offer on ‘Blackout’.

'Blackout' is about the need to disconnect from the modern world. We spend so much of our time anxious and overwhelmed: bombarded with information, pumped full of advertising, unable to connect to anything on a deeper level. This track is about the need to have a break from the onslaught, so that we can get some perspective on the important things.

Can we expect you in Singapore sometime soon?

I’m announcing a whole load of live dates in the next couple of months, so stay tuned! I love Singapore, so will definitely be there soon.

Check out Ananya Birla's debut EP Fingerprint below: