Hear Singer-Songwriter Akanksha Sethi’s Ukulele-Aided Debut Single ‘Thoda Sa Theher’
The track was born out of frustration from the lockdown
One of Lucknow-bred singer-songwriter Akanksha Sethi’s earliest memories of her foray into music, is singing “My Favorite Things” from the 1965 musical drama The Sound of Music in the second grade. Ever since then, she was attuned to hearing everything from Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar to the Beatles and Michael Jackson at home. Trained in Hindustani classical music, she says, “I can fondly listen to anything, but I will only relate to songs whose lyrics hit a different nerve because words hold the utmost importance for me.”
Although she was initially skeptical about releasing her own music up until last year, it was when she got on board one of guitarist Ehsaan Noorani’s Instagram live sessions during the lockdown that things changed. “I received massive validation from him and for starters, I started believing in my music,” says Sethi. That belief has led to her putting out her breezy debut single “Thoda Sa Theher” last month.
According to the artist, the track is a product of her utter frustration with the lockdown. After being away from Lucknow for five years, returning home for a long period due to the pandemic added to the annoyance. She says, “This one was meant to be a sad song, but I changed the melody, the instrument, and altered the lyrics to make it sound peppy and happy because nobody needed sad in 2020.” Sethi adds, “’Thoda Sa Theher’ talks about stopping for a brief moment to look around, and believing in the capacity of hope and faith that things will always take a different turn.”
The ukulele leaning track is filled with blissful vocals, an optimistic vibe and also a spontaneous bridge section that Sethi wrote 20 minutes before her studio session for it at Lucknow’s Crukces Studio. “It struck me that if it sounds right, I should go for it,” she says. Sethi worked with New Delhi producer Lakshay Nanda aka Skopos over Zoom calls on the track. Nanda also mixed and mastered it.
While the pandemic has been tough on Sethi, resorting to music has helped her find solace. With about 10 songs in the bank, the singer-songwriter is now picking her four best ones to release as singles in the near future. The next track will be an English tune that revolves around separation and resilience. “The goal is to create music that is heartfelt, personal and relatable because I believe that that is how an artist is truly remembered,” says Sethi.
Stream “Thoda Sa Theher” on Spotify below and on other platforms.