From bedroom karaoke to taking center stage, pop artist Ananya is raw and honest in her debut album, i woke up one night. Free-spirited, vibrant, and candid, electro-pop artist Ananya is a force of nature. Her album is a celebration of young adulthood, heartbreak, and growth. The London-based singer-songwriter truly embraces every emotion and experience thrown her way. Creating bass-heavy, dreamy pop, the singer-songwriter sat down with Intersect Magazine to discuss identity in music, emotional catharsis, and growth.
How would you define your sound?
Heartfelt, youthful, empowering, and honest.
Are there any artists in particular that inspired you?
I hold deep admiration for Taylor Swift. Through her music, she taught me how to song write. Her role as a woman in the music industry is a continual source of inspiration for me, and I value her unwavering dedication to her craft.
How did you begin getting into music?
My mom bought me a karaoke set when I was 5 or 6, and it quickly became my favorite hobby. I must have sung "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt at least 15 times a day. That's where my inspiration took root, and I started to learn to play musical instruments, largely inspired by Taylor Swift.
What artists shaped your musical style?
Joni Mitchell, Taylor Swift, Gracie Abrams.
As a Londoner and Zimbabwean artist how do those two musical landscapes inform or impact your own music?
Zimbabwe has consistently impacted my creativity, and I carry its essence with me always because homesickness is a frequent companion. London shapes my work differently, and I'm gradually acclimating to its pace, which has been a great learning experience.
You took a year break or so before releasing your first single for this album; how do you feel you and your music styling has changed since you last released?
The process of writing from the ground up in the studio has been especially fulfilling. My music style has shifted more towards a pop sensibility, and it's become increasingly realistic and honest. I think the transition in my music style has been really natural. My artistic growth, life experiences, and sources of inspiration are continually changing too, and I'm conscious that these changes are reflected in both my music and my creative process.
Your music is very candid and honest: documenting heart breaks and self-growth, what about music coaxes that honesty out of you?
Writing has always provided me with a safe space to pour out my emotions. Similar to journaling, writing is a sacred part of my routine, consistently offering its support as a friend and a reliable confidant. Whether it begins with just me and an emotion or me and a melody, it cultivates honesty and vulnerability. Realizing that my experiences of growing up and self-discovery are not unique has made writing such personal music really fun.
Congrats on your debut album. “i woke up one night” is stellar! What was your favorite memory when creating this album?
Thank you! I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with exceptionally talented, compassionate, and hard-working individuals throughout the process of creating this EP. I've learned the significance of collaboration, and each collaboration has been incredibly unique and fulfilling. I'm really grateful.
What do you hope listeners take away from this project?
My hope is that those who listen to my music feel empowered, inspired, and above all, find a song they can relate to. Relatable music has been a constant source of support for me, and my greatest wish is that someone out there can connect with this EP in the same way.
What’s your favorite track and why?
“October” is my favorite track because it was written from a viewpoint saturated with regret. It's almost painfully honest but delves into deep and beautiful emotions. I also love the acoustic production, it’s special.
What would you tell listeners to expect for this album?
There’s a mix of dynamic, empowering tracks, along with heartfelt ballads and vulnerable acoustic tracks. It takes you on a journey through my world at nighttime, where a multitude of experiences unfold—moments of reflection, dreaming and rest. Nighttime has consistently proven to be the most inspiring time of the day for me and captures my emotions so precisely.
What have you got coming up next?
Hopefully, a music video!