Dec / 07
Anisha is a singer-songwriter and a senior student at One World College of Music. Hanita Bhambri, a writer and a musician herself, had a little chat with Anisha, tracing the footsteps of her musical voyage nurtured at One World. Here’s a glimpse of Anisha’s Journey, in her own words.
When I was five years old, my grandmother had a 3 octave Canon keyboard and I use to press the demo button and pretend to play it in front of my family. Ever since, I was adamant on finding or creating opportunities to learn music. Though music of all forms was a part of my schooling, I have always been drawn to the piano. My first composition that I learned by ear was “Canon in D Major” by Pachelbel, followed by “Strong enough” by Stacie Orrico. I’m driven mostly by a desire to play classical music and to use the piano to accompany the voice.
Growing up, I was enamored by Mariah Carey and her piano based ballads. My love for classical music taught me early on, the phenomenon of stretching time as per your emotions and a certain practiced expertise in rhythm and timing. In terms of song-writing, my influences have ranged from Joni Mitchell, Sting, Craig David, Daughter, The Beatles, songs from The Little Mermaid and even a phase with Dido and Sugababes!! I’m found myself more interested in “songs” than in “artists”, and I have always loved dancing to music more than listening to music.
Looking back, the development of my musicality was a very gradual process, but I discovered a year ago that I had to give it a proper go. That’s when One World College of Music happened. I would be a very different person without the people who I have around me here, my teachers, fellow students and musicians. The College provided me an ecosystem where I’ve learnt to rebuild my relationship with music and bring it back to the core, to bring it back to what music means to me – the emotions, the expressions and the Impact.
The methods used at One World are intricate and varied, but of all the things, I’ve learnt to let go and that has been very meaningful. I’ve been challenged and frustrated beyond belief, but after all that, I get to be better at something that matters to me. What has really taken me by surprise is how people from various walks of life, associated with One World, have come forward as mentors as soon as I voiced (or rather, displayed) my commitment. This wonderful place recognizes sincerity and rewards it with knowledge, and there was no looking back after that!
When music calls you, you answer. But when you decide to share your music with the world and become a performing musician, there comes a process of developing yourself that most people do not get guidance for. Handling nervousness, performance techniques, the practice regimen and songwriting are some of the things that musicians struggle with, as just learning an instruments or the correct musical notes do not cut it. The all-round skill development and performance focused training and One World makes it easier for me to be a complete musician. I practice the piano every day for a few hours. I do my warm-ups, practice new techniques (and old ones), build on my repertoire, work on ear training, practice performance material and spend time every day just playing.
My song-writing process is odd. Every time I have the thought “I can no longer write songs” or I’ve lost faith in some way, that’s when I’m most likely to write a song. I don’t know why that is, and I’m sure every musician has a different song-writing process. Having a “reason” to write however, is a critical aspect for me. The funny thing is, often my songs sound like love songs. You know, an ode to a relationship. In reality, my songs are about my relationship with myself. When I understand this aspect that I’m writing to myself about myself, it opens my eyes.
The Way Forward
I’m currently working on a few projects. One of the projects is called “Hold the Fort” because I wanted to be able to, firstly, perform with a lot of great musicians on my material and learn theirs too, and secondly, I didn’t want to be limited by their tight schedules. “Hold the Fort” means whoever is currently “in it” is holding the fort and at some point they’ll pass the responsibility onto somebody else and so on. Sort of like a relay of amazing musicians. I’m currently working with 2 fabulous performing musicians and teachers at One World, Smiti Malik and Adhiraj Mustafi.
My second project is a debut album. It currently consists of 12 songs, all written by me. My producer is Adhiraj Mustafi. It’s been a real privilege to have met him and to be working with him. He plays most instruments (I’ve come to believe) and will be recording nearly all the music on the album. Together, we’ve been at it since July 2016 so every song is really where I want it to be.
One thing I’ve learnt from One World is that Pursuing music means lots of hours practicing, rehearsing, learning, growing but little financial reward. One needs to get the proportions right, and understand the profession in the real world completely.
My approach to this album was to take my time and get it authentic. My album cover will be illustrated and designed by Ayangbe Mannen, whose art work I really look up to. And alongside, I’m making headway on a launch strategy. I’m thinking big and I want to work with a manager, tour, make promotional material, make a video, etc. I’ve been waiting for this for a while, so I’m itching to get running!!