“I aspire to find a destiny where I’ll be lucky enough to be doing what I’m passionate about, whatever that may be.” With these words, artist Ananya gives us an insight into her vision and aspirations. A London-based musician from Zimbabwe, Ananya’s debut EP ‘i woke up one night’ portraits a glowing picture of her music vision. This varied EP showcases both quieter and faster songs, all of which are undeniably strong pop numbers that accentuate the strengths of Ananya’s voice.
Ananya’s music is not merely a blend of melodies; it’s a reflection of her character. Through her songs, she delves into topics of inner strength, self-worth, and our innate ability to reshape our destiny. “At times, the truth may be painful,” she notes, “but it unfolds for a reason and can be used to serve as a catalyst to propel us toward becoming the best versions of ourselves.”
In our interview, we discuss her musical journey, the inspirations behind her new debut EP, and the impact of her dual heritage on her artistic work.
photography by Sophia French
Your debut EP ‘i woke up one night’ amongst other things deals with topics such as inner strength, self-worth and our own capacity to reshape our destiny. Where would you like your destiny in life take you in the next years?
I aspire to find a destiny where I’ll be lucky enough to be doing what I’m passionate about, whatever that may be.
Your most personal song on the EP?
Besides the musical process, what was the biggest learning factor when making your debut?
At times, the truth may be painful, but it unfolds for a reason and can be used to serve as a catalyst to propel us toward becoming the best versions of ourselves.
“The truth may be painful, but it unfolds for a reason…”
You started playing the piano, guitar and drums from an early age on. What awakened your interest to do so? And which of the three instruments do you feel you can express yourself the best?
I find my most expressive outlet on the guitar. It’s the instrument I’ve been playing the longest, and it stands out as a process where I was able to fully unleash my creativity in the learning process.
You are also a budding fashion designer. What are your visions as a future designer?
To play a part in fostering a more sustainable fashion industry.
You are from Zimbabwe and now based in London. How different is your life nowadays compared to living in Zimbabwe? And how have both places influenced your artistic work?
Life in London isn’t as tranquil as it is back home, and I’d pinpoint the weather as the most significant difference. Zimbabwe has been a perpetual influence on my artistic work, and I’m incredibly grateful to carry that essence with me always. I’m often homesick. London, on the other hand, shapes my artistic work in a different way, and I’m slowly adjusting to keeping pace with everyone else here. It’s been really fun getting the hang of it.
“Openly discussing mental health challenges is not just about honesty and truth. By sharing our experiences, we can alleviate the sense of isolation in others.”
You co-founded The Nani Wellness Project to address the mental health crisis in Zimbabwe. How did you come into touch with the topic “mental health”?
The significance of mental health is profound for me. In my teenage and young adult years, I’ve faced my own mental struggles and found guidance in inspiring role models who emphasized the acceptability of seeking help. Openly discussing mental health challenges is not just about honesty and truth; I firmly believe that by sharing our experiences, we can alleviate the sense of isolation in others.
So many people worldwide suffer from mental health issues these days. What do you think the world and people need the most in order to “heal”?
Kindness and compassion towards each other.
I saw on your Instagram account that you cut your super long hair to a short bob. It looks great! (smiles) They say a new haircut usually comes after a break up. Or was it just the wish to try out something new?
Thank you! It was time for a change. They say a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life, so let’s play pretend and say that was the motivation behind the decision!
“I aspire to find a destiny where I’ll be lucky enough to be doing what I’m passionate about, whatever that may be.”
Favourite place to hang out in your free time?
The studio or the park.
One of the most weird dreams you ever had.
Honestly, I often have peculiar dreams. In my most recent one, I found myself speaking to my dog, who was talking back to me.
The most important thing in life is…