Aneesha is a singer-songwriter and music producer from Delhi. She quit her job as a school psychologist three years ago and decided to take the plunge into her passion for music. This profession challenges her to live in the arena and focus on creating without hesitation. She has learned music production 2 years ago, and She feels she has just scratched the surface! She is now on a journey to find her sound, express myself through her lyrics and melodies that are an extension of her. Apart from singing, creating and listening to music which actually fills up a large part of her day, She likes traveling, hanging out with friends, playing sports, being active and being with her family!
She thinks psychology will always hold a very important place in her heart; her own journey with mental health and her expression through music are closely linked and the more she discovers myself in a therapeutic space, the more she can extend into her lyrical exploration. Apart from being a deeply feeling person and having a highly emotive side, she also considers myself to be a person who likes having fun! Lockdowns got her creative juices flowing and it’s been a time of high creative output for her. She has had time to shut out distractions and just play around with music and expression. She has partly tried her hand at cooking, painting, and She had enough time to live a highly active life playing football, badminton and running!
Here is Aneesha in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
My kindergarten teacher mentioned that I loved to sing in my report card, so if you consider that as the beginning then it would be when I was 4 years old! But officially, it began in 2018, when I quit my job as a school counselor and joined Kamp1 school of music to learn music production. I also restarted vocal lessons, although I’ve been singing through School and then got into LSR through the ECA quota for music and theatre. I ended up joining the Western Music Society where I had some of the best days of my life! In terms of performing, I only professionally began performing live shows in 2019.
2) Which was your first song?
The first song I put out was a cover of a song called Still Miss You by one of my favourite R&B artists Sinead Harnett. I discovered her when she was just new on the scene and I produced, mixed and mastered (with a little help) my own version of her song. At first I did it as an assignment during my time at Kamp1 and had no intention to release it, but my mentors said I should put it out so I did! But in terms of my original music, my most recent release would be counted as my first.
3) Why did you quit your job as psychologist?
Psychology and mental health will always be close to my heart. I to date tell people that the profession humbles you; I learned many lessons through my stint as a psychologist and still am on my own journey of self-discovery through a professional therapeutic space. I quit because I felt like being in the arts; exploring creativity and singing was something that I always repressed as a professional option because I was scared, and I have a strong saboteur that would convince me that a consistent nine to five kind of profession is safer than singing for your supper! But I had an epiphany over time that I wanted to live in the arena; I wanted to take the plunge and do something courageous and not have regrets that I didn’t try. I was also well aware that I was privileged enough (with support from my family) to be able to take this decision.
4) How do you manage investment for your music productions?
This is a tough one! Pre Covid 19, Live performances/gigs were my main sources of revenue through music. Unfortunately, the music industry as we all know isn’t a highly or consistently paying one. I also work on the side for a theatre and art space called the Little Theatre Group. This work pays the bills. Post-Covid though, it’s been a real struggle as both those avenues have suffered and so it’s a tough time for me and I’m sure other musicians. I’ve also realized the hard way that to make music takes a whole lotta resources! Especially if you have to delegate steps to others along the way (mixing, mastering, recording, etc) so I’ve learned to curb my impatience and do this slowly. Especially for my original music; save money, take it slow, do it the right way through proper channels even if they cost money, and make sure the final product is of quality. But I’m really hoping we can put this pandemic behind us shortly and resume live entertainment!
5) Who has been your inspiration?
I’ve had many inspirations and I don’t really have to look out- my own family provides it to me first! My grandparents; each one of them were quiet achievers in their chosen fields and I grew up around brilliance and passion. From my maternal grandparents who devoted their lives to the Civil Services and reached the highest ranks, to my paternal grandma who was a leading name in gynaecology or my grandfather who’s passion for the arts led to the founding of the Little Theatre Group! In terms of music, I’m inspired by so many; from my friends (kamakshi, kavya, abhilasha) from the Western Music Society who are now achieving greatness in music and paving the way for homegrown artists, to other friends and mentors who are trailblazing in their respective fields, to masters of the music craft like Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, JayZ, Mac Miller, Prince, Pink Floyd, John Mayer- the greats.. I can go on. I think I get inspired by having courage, making mistakes, starting from ground zero and moving up because of perseverance and hard work. And I aspire to use these foundations as the building blocks of my own journey. My motto as I grow is that the journey provides contentment, not the end product.
6) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Performing and producing music! And hopefully being able to sustain myself financially through that!
7) Tell us about your latest track.
Uncertainty was born out of mutual Instagram admiration! Producers Kenzani and Tech Panda have been emerging as trailblazers in bringing fresh sounds to the table in the Indian electronic scene. I personally love their stuff and so when we mutually reached out to one another, a couple of back and forth messages later we found ourselves working on a new song together all through lockdown! I had worked on Uncertainty as a melodic composition previously, and lyrically it came out of my own mixed feelings during the lockdown. Feelings of anxiety and dread but also surrender, humility and philosophical ideas of restoring the balance of nature. I do believe the whole record was created by fate; neither kenzani, tech or I thought that we would come up with a finished product as seamlessly as we did! We still haven’t even met in person!! It just goes to show that music can provide outlets to be creative with people who you may not really know and this song is a beautiful coming together of creative play and collaboration!
8) How is your life on the other side of music?
It’s great! I make music, work on marketing, partnerships and programming for the Little Theatre Group, stay active by playing a lot of sports, have the BEST support system in my friends and family; I’m truly blessed and there’s no complaints 🙂
9) How was life in quarantine?
It was strangely restful. I’m an extroverted, outgoing person and I found myself being able to rest, take breaks, create slowly (which hasn’t happened In a while) and spend quality time with my family (and we are obsessed with each other and don’t kill each other so that helps). It ended up being a very very productive time for me. I might quarantine myself regularly from people when I want to work on new music! But for now there’s a lot of new music up my sleeve! I can’t wait to get it finished and share it.
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