When you think of NYU, is music the first thing to come to mind? In most cases, it probably isn’t. In this case, it definitely should! Sonali is a student at NYU and has recently released her EP “Wake Up.” This young artist has a great deal of potential and I can’t wait to see what is in store for her. Thankfully, I was able to chat with her a bit.
Lemonade Magazine: Hi Sonali! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us and help our readers get to know you! I know you’re fairly new to the music scene so let’s help our readers get to know you a bit. How did you first start getting into music?
Sonali: I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember! When I was three-years-old I told my parents I wanted to be a singer. They thought it was any little girl’s crazy dream, but I was serious! I started classical voice lessons when I was six, and my love of music just grew from there. Along the way I picked up guitar, drums, bass, and piano, and eventually started songwriting as well when I got older.
LM: It’s not too often that someone knows what they want to do at such a young age. That’s amazing that you started pursuing and expanding on your dream! I’m sure moving from Florida to New York was a big change for you. What was that move like?
Sonali: Such a huge change! First of all the whole vibe of the two places is completely different. New York is a much faster paced environment, which is, of course, to be expected. I really love that, though – that competitive edge keeps me motivated and on my feet. This is also the first time I’ve ever lived on my own, so that’s a big adjustment!
LM: Oh wow, being on your own for the first time is always tough, especially in such a big city. Has that moved changed your musical styles at all?
Sonali: I’ve been exposed to a lot of new music I wouldn’t ordinarily listen to, especially from the new friends I’ve made here. My tastes have really expanded and I think that really comes through in my songwriting and the way I produce my music. I feel like my tastes are always evolving here in this very eclectic city!
LM: That’s what friends do best! It’s always awesome to watch, or listen as the case may be, your musical tastes change and evolve. Who or what are your inspirations for your music?
Sonali: I listen to everything really. I’m as inspired by classic rock and heavy metal as I am by Top 40. I think the most direct influences you can hear in my music are from artists like Ed Sheeran, Colbie Caillat, Mumford & Sons, etc. I love folky sounding organic music with a pop twinge, so that’s what I try to create!
LM: You accomplish that sound so well. Earlier, you mentioned that your friends introduced you to some new music. Your class got together and did a cover of Rhianna’s “Diamonds” that caught the pop star’s attention. What was it like getting such an amazing response from Rhianna after she saw your class’s cover?
Sonali: So incredible, I still can’t even believe it happened. You always hear about things like that happening to other people, you never imagine it’s going to be you! My classmates and I had the opportunity to travel to Newark and watch her concert, and afterwards we got to meet her backstage. Meeting Rihanna was such an amazing experience; she was very humble and down to earth. And of course, hearing someone as huge and influential as her say that she appreciates your music is an honor; it’s something I’ll never forget. Just the thought that Rihanna herself has actually heard us sing is crazy! And when our video got posted on BuzzFeed and Ryan Seacrest and all these major publications it was just so hard to believe, we were very grateful.
LM: That sounds like a pretty amazing experience! So you got to see Rihanna on tour, but what about you? If you could tour with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Sonali: Easy, Ed Sheeran! He’s one of my all time favorite artists and a huge inspiration to me. He’s an incredible performer and musician. Getting to watch him perform every night would never get old! He also seems like an incredibly chill guy, so touring with him would probably be super fun.
LM: That would probably be a blast! One of my favorite questions to ask is: if we were to check out your iPod right now, what would you most likely be listening to?
Sonali: Lately I’ve been really into John Mayer, so probably that! Also Led Zeppelin, I’m always listening to Led Zeppelin. My iPod is a very eclectic mix of music!
LM: It’s always fun to keep a nice mix. Another fun question we have, since we are Lemonade Magazine, what’s your favorite kind of lemonade?
Sonali: Haha it’s hard to pick just one! But I’ll go with mango lemonade, that’s always an interesting one.
LM: Good choice! And finally, what words of advice would you give to young, aspiring artists, like yourself?
Sonali: To stay confident, believe in yourself, and never give up. It’s a tough industry and there’s a lot of people and obstacles along the way to bring you down. But if you love what you do and you’re willing to work hard for it, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. It requires so much hard work and very very thick skin, but, to me, if I get to make music everyday, it’s all worth it 🙂
Great advice! Again, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! We’re really excited to see what’s in store for you!
Check out Sonali’s class’s cover of Rhianna’s “Diamonds”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.