Hear Ahmedabad Singer-Songwriter Meera’s Well-Woven Debut EP
‘I’ve Never Been Happier to Be Lost’ brings together stories of homesickness, relationships and ‘Life Of Pi’ from the Indian-American
Long Island, New York-born and raised singer-songwriter Meera Desai is very self-aware when she says something along the lines of immersing herself in “Indianness” to get over “unresolved feelings about this supposedly home country of mine.”
Two years ago, Desai moved to Ahmedabad after finishing college. The 23-year-old says, “I thought I’d fit in fine just because my parents had the good sense to teach me Gujarati.Â Pretty naÃ¯ve!” But regardless of her fitting into Ahmedabad and its nascent alternative music scene, Desai already had songs written from as early as when she was 17. It was an important time because not only did she write her first full song “Divine,” but also saw renowned classical legend Pandit Jasraj in concert in New York and set herself on the path to train in Hindustani classical vocals. “I listen mostly only to Hindustani classical music every day, so I feel like I have a different relationship with melody currently.”
But she’s quick to note that her debut EP I’ve Never Been Happier To Be Lost channels more of her influences like singer-songwriters such as Alexi Murdoch, Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor. The four-track EP ”“ recorded by Ahmedabad-based producer Raag Sethi and mixed by Stockholm-based Thomas Juth (Elton John, Luis Fonsi”“ features a sublime voice and exposed mind seeking purpose. While she grapples with faith on “Divine,” she recounts ties to home and consoles herself on “Distance.” On the evocatively downbeat “Salt,” Desai takes the story of the titular character’s growth in Yann Martel’s bestseller Life of Pi and sings in a succumbing tone, “Take me, saltwater enemy.” Along with “Salt,” Desai also wrote “Homes” ”“ about relationships and college life ”“ after moving to India.
With her next material bearing more of an influence from Hindustani classical, Desai launched her EP with an intimate show at Mangalbag Gallery in Ahmedabad, which she calls “truly the most fun.” She adds, “It was a very homegrown affair — my sister and parents helped plan the whole thing and this beautiful art gallery let us host the gig there, so the whole thing had this intimate charm to it.” Up next, there’s shows with Heat Sink, the indie band she’s part of, in New Delhi and Mumbai in the works.