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Ramya Pothuri: ‘I Was Never Content With What I Was Doing’

The Mumbai singer opens up about the inspiration behind her new single “By The Sea” and sinking into the production process for each song on her upcoming sophomore EP

Riddhi Chakraborty Oct 10, 2017

Ramya Pothuri's new single “By The Sea” was born of a result of trying to find the peace she saw in other people around her. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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While Mumbai singer-songwriter Ramya Pothuri’s brand new single “By The Sea” may be one of the most serene indie releases of the year, the route towards writing wasn’t as breezy. “I didn’t really realize what [the song] was about until I finished, but around the time it was coming together, I wasn’t in the best place mentally,” reveals Pothuri. “I was never content with what I was doing and I really wished I could get my mind to just calm down.”

“By The Sea” was born of a result of trying to find the peace she saw in other people around her. “Everyone’s going through stuff, but these people could go through their problems while still maintaining a healthy peaceful mind most of the time,” says Pothuri, who released her debut EP We Never Left last year.

Currently working on her sophomore EP, Pothuri is determined to be more hands-on in the production process. “The first EP was just a huge learning process,” she shares. “For me, writing went as far as the guitar part and the melody. I didn’t really think much about anything past that.”

In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone India, Pothuri talks about her growth between one EP and another, artists who inspired her upcoming record and the chances of a second round of the intimate Living Room Tour she took on to promote We Never Left. Excerpts:

What was the inspiration behind “By The Sea”? When did you start working on it and your upcoming EP?

Artwork for “By The Sea.”

“By The Sea” was a sort of unexpected creation. There was this guitar part that I had been trying to make something of for ages, so I had kind of left it for some time. The melody came from a song that I had written years ago when I was like 16. I was messing around with that guitar part after not touching it for a while and then both these parts kind of fell together– this was five months after We Never Left came out. [The song is about] those people are ‘By The Sea’ in their minds and that’s where I’m trying to get to.

As for the upcoming EP, I started working on that while I was recording We Never Left. I didn’t have another EP in mind though then, I was just writing more songs. It’s only recently that I’ve made the plan to start recording the new one. 

Can you tell us about the production process on the upcoming EP? How different will it be from We Never Left?

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For me, writing [on the first EP] went as far as the guitar part and the melody. I didn’t really think much about anything past that, and the whole process of producing and recording We Never Left got my mind into that zone for the first time. With this EP, I taught myself how to use logic, and I’m working on the production for each song myself. So that’s another reason I’m so excited about “By The Sea”– every element of that song was written by me.  

Were there certain artists you were listening to while making the record who inspired you?

Yes definitely. Artists like [Auckland-based dream pop artist] Fazerdaze, [Pennsylvanian rockers] Tyler Burkhart, [Japanese-American singer-songwriter] Mitski, and [Brooklyn dream pop band] No Vacation, just to name a few. 

Finally, will you be touring to promote the EP? If yes, do you plan on keeping your signature ‘Living Room Tour’ format or play bigger rooms?

I have no clue yet as of now. I’m definitely going to organize some Living Room Tour shows for this, but I love playing bigger stages as well, so let’s see! 

Hear Ramya Pothuri’s new single “By The Sea” below and purchase it here:

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