Crooning from Gujarat’s southeastern city of Surat, singer-songwriter Jhanvi Soni has established her presence in the city’s musical milieu in under a couple of years. Not less than two years ago did Jhanvi start writing and playing original songs, and much before that she started playing at gigs locally. A self-taught vocalist, the 22-years old singer eventually commenced recording her originals officially and has since put out three singles yet with a lot more to come.
Her single ‘Underwater’, a melancholic yet uplifting song, marks her newest release. The track was featured on A Humming Heart, one of India’s leading music blogs, which hail’s the artist managing ‘a mean artistic feat’ with only her third single. The Ticket Fairy spoke with the ever-so-talented Jhanvi Soni regarding ‘Underwater’, her past singles, favorite gig as an experienced live artist, and more!
THE TICKET FAIRY – Your single ‘Underwater’ was released recently. What inspired you to pen the track?
Writing ‘Underwater’ was a whole different experience for me. I was at a low point in my life and didn’t know “where I wanna be”. I was in my balcony randomly playing something on my guitar and came up with the basic riff and started singing the chorus. It came out pretty naturally because it’s all so real. Being in a tough situation helped me write this song to eventually help my own self.
You mentioned that ‘Underwater’ was performed many times in the past before you formally recorded it in a studio. How would you describe the creative and musical shift you came across while recording the song?
It was purely acoustic when I wrote it and I performed alone in the first few lives. Then I met Biju Nambiar (the producer of the song) and we just sat down one-day jamming. What we thought at first was that the song was very mainstream, and I wanted my song to sound something totally different, surreal. The song has 2 main feelings, uncertainty and hope. We wanted that to be in the song so decided to add the tabla beats, which actually makes you feel like you’re underwater. Then we just jammed with the keyboard and guitar and filled the song. I love how the final thing is so beautiful.
Talk about your experience of performing ‘Underwater’ at Compass Box Studio.
The guys at Compass Box Studio are so amazing. I went there in the afternoon. We ate, jammed and talked about music. This version of Underwater was something totally different than I could have ever imagined. I had a lot of fun being there.
‘A Dog’s Life’, the single released before ‘Underwater’, was entirely written, produced, recorded in a day at your home! Tell us how it all went about.
I wrote the song when a few of my street pups died when I went to feed them like I did every day. The song came out in probably 30 minutes as I was very much affected by what I saw. So I then decided to make it at home with basic production and just share it with everyone. I was at it for 2 hours and it was done. God bless my basic setup at home. After recording everything, I sent it to my friend, Apurva Ojha, to mix and master the song. And it was done. The song is about remembrance for the little pups who are still very close to my heart.
You seem to have quite an experience in performing live! Tell us about your most memorable performance and any upcoming live shows you are looking forward to.
I love playing live and interacting with the crowd. Active crowds are my favorite. My most memorable performance to date was when I performed at ‘Heenchko’, which was in Surat itself, before Samar Mehdi (who became my instant favorite). I performed the whole set of originals, which will be out sooooon!
Upcoming projects in the pipeline?
YES! So much stuff to put out. I have two more singles to come out: ‘Isolation’ and ‘Mystery’. I am also coming up with a conceptual EP which is still in process.
This interview has been edited for clarity.