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Hear Mumbai-Based Singer-Songwriter Anisha Lakshmanan’s Trilingual EP ‘Of Many’

The five-track record features songs in English, Hindi and Tamil

David Britto Feb 13, 2019

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Anisha Lakshmanan. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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For Chennai-bred singer-songwriter Anisha Lakshmanan, it was her competitive nature and vying for attention away from her elder sister (who would take part in singing competitions) that led her to pursue music. She says, “My sister, who is eight years older than me, would get trained by my father and uncle, [and] I used to get really jealous of the importance she was getting and started singing to compete with her.” With the sibling rivalry now a thing of the past, Lakshmanan is out with her debut five-track trilingual EP, Of Many.

After studying to become a Chartered Accountant for almost four years, Lakshmanan enrolled at Berklee College of Music – Valencia Campus in Spain for a one year masters in Contemporary Music Performance in 2017. At Berklee Valencia, the singer-songwriter wrote a chunk of her EP, taking advantage of plenty of studio time and different genres. “The best thing about it is that, it takes each student’s journey very individualistically. I used to have two distinct areas of my singing ”“ Indian Classical and Western, and I found myself finally being able to bring them together,” says Lakshmanan.  

Now based in Mumbai, Lakshmanan calls Of Many a “journal.” She says, “It talks of many types of love, of many emotions, of many genres and influences, of many languages.” The EP houses songs in English, Hindi and Tamil and spreads across genres too with Hindustani Classical elements, Carnatic music, pop, jazz and even flamenco. The singer-songwriter cites her father ”“ whom she lost two months before joining Berklee Valencia ”“ as a “major factor” in penning the record. The vocalist explains, “I always wanted to be a singer, but he saw bigger things for me and wanted me to be able to do a lot more.” She adds, “I did not at all think I had it in me to write songs.”

‘Of Many’ artwork by Ashwanth Rajan.

Of Many kicks off with a contemporary ballad titled “Kadhal Idhu Thana” which is about “an urban girl going to a village and falling in love with the idea of a villager being her partner.” The melancholic “Piya Mora” is about Lakshmanan’s parents and written from the perspective of her mother after losing her father. “It is about love and longing,” she says. “My World” and “Stranger in a Mask” are both angsty breakup tracks according to the singer-songwriter. The final song on the record, “Raahi / Naadodi,” features all three languages and some stellar musicianship with a message of loving oneself and finding peace.

Recorded at the Ann Kreis Scoring Stage at Berklee Valencia, Of Many includes parts tracked by 16 musicians from eight countries. The EP was mixed and mastered by the singer-songwriter’s fellow Berklee grad, Bengaluru sound engineer Satyam Sangwan.

After launching the EP at Mumbai’s The Finch last month, Lakshmanan is now planning a tour to the major metros in the country and has music videos in the pipeline. The singer-songwriter is also working on a couple of singles. “This has been such an amazing journey and though I’ve done it independently, I have a lot of people who have supported me through it,” says Lakshmanan.

Stream ”˜Of Many’ on Apply Music below:

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