Interview | Ananya Birla talks music and guilty pleasures

Just moments ago, pop sensation Ananya Birla and multi-platinum artist Sean Kingston dropped “Day Goes By,” via Universal Music/Island Records.

Co-written by Sean Kingston and Ananya Birla, and recorded in L.A., “Day Goes By” delves into the intoxicating power of love. Ananya explains, “Day Goes By is for anyone who’s lost their mind in love… It’s been brewing for a little while now: Sean and I knew we wanted to make something that captures that intoxicating feeling, and also make it super fun– something that people could dance to. When we got into the studio it all came together so quickly and organically.”

Both artists have been busy as all get-out. Sean recently returned from his sold-out 17-show world tour, and released his new track, “Peace of Mind.”

On her part, Ananya dropped her debut EP, Fingerprint, featuring “Blackout” with Vector and WurlD, followed by opening for Wiz Khalifa on his India Tour.

Rhyme Junkie caught up with Ananya to talk about collaborating with Sean, her favorite music, and why she makes music.

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What three things can’t you live without?

Music – it’s my lifeblood, whether I’m listening or performing. It’s got me through a lot. My friends and family. My dogs – there’s two of them, is that allowed?

What inspired your new song “Day Goes By?”

“Day Goes By” is about the early stages of falling in love, when you just can’t get enough of each other. You know that intoxicating feeling when all you can think about is the other person? And it totally takes over your life! Sean and I knew we wanted to put together a track that captured that, and when we got into the studio it just sort of wrote itself.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

When fans get in touch with me to tell me that they heard something in my music that resonated with them, or made something in their life a bit easier, or just made them smile – for me that is what music is all about. The glitz and glamour and stadiums and all that is amazing, but if I can just do that for one person – make them feel less alone, make them feel heard – then my job is done.

How did you get connected to Sean Kingston, and what was it like collaborating with him?

I met Sean back in 2018, when I opened for him on his India tour. We got on straightaway, he is so laid back and down to earth. He really vibed with my sound, and we said we’d get in the studio together next time I was in LA. So, when I was over, we linked up. The song came together so quickly. He has been amazing to work with, such a positive energy – I think that really comes across in the song and the video. I hope people have as much fun listening to it as we did making it.

Who was your first concert, and who has been your favorite so far?

Ooh good question. The Lady Gaga Monster Ball World Tour in 2009 at The 02 Arena in London was totally unforgettable.  She is the most engaging performer; you really feel every second.

EDM is really big in India, and I have seen Skrillex, Avicii, and Armin Van Buuren put on some pretty epic shows. I also went to Tomorrowland in Belgium last year which was mindblowing – I had to take a few days off to recover after that one.

In the past couple of years, I have had the amazing experience of opening for some amazing musicians in India like Coldplay, Sean and more recently Wiz Khalifa at Sunburn, which was one of my favorite performances I’ve ever done.  I love performing live, whether it is to ten people or ten thousand.

What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?

Good Girl Gone Bad by Rihanna… Still a classic as far as I’m concerned.

Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?

Eminem – The Eminem Show

Khalid – Free Spirit

Nirvana – Nevermind

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Ed Sheeran – +

Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?

I have a thing for true crime documentaries. They make me feel guilty, but they’re so compulsive! I think it’s just human nature. Oh and also, I love a good, cheesy karaoke session with my girls.

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Why make music? I mean what’s the point?

Music is as old as humanity. It predates language! It’s this amazingly powerful force for communication and connection – it speaks to parts of the brain that nothing else can. It’s totally fundamental to the way we live. I like to think of it as the only truly global language.

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