At 19, Avanti Nagral already has more than a few feathers in her cap. Her latest song I Like displays the singer’s ability to successfully combine her experience across various genres — Indian Classical, Broadway, Church/Gospel and Devotional — into a modern Pop-Soul sound.

The artist, who has grown up in Mumbai and Boston, has also performed Broadway show reproductions, events, and concerts at venues across India, the US, and now the Philippines. In addition to that, Avanti also conducts performance-cum-motivational workshops called ‘Soar’ in collaboration with Furtados at schools across India.

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As she prepares to conduct another educational tour in the US, Indibeat decided to speak to her about her latest song, I Like, and a lot more.

IB: I Like is India’s first VR music video. How did the idea come about?

I wanted the concept for the video to be something different, immersive, pioneering, and that truly represented the message of the song. The song is about following your dreams, your passion, and being independent in your thoughts, irrespective of public opinion. My director Blake Farber and I thought that a VR video would be the best route to go. Firstly, it’s a new technology and would be the first-of-its-kind in South Asia (and among very few globally); secondly, it would create an immersive experience and spearhead a new brand of i-pop (Indian pop, Immersive pop). Watch the VR video here.

IB: How hard is it to get a break as a musician in India?

Extremely. It is one of those industries in which there is a huge high-risk, high-reward situation, and more than ever today, artists have to be entrepreneurs along with being the brand and the product themselves. That being said, everyone’s concept of a ‘break’ is different, and I think there are multiple along the way in the journey, before you realise something bigger than you is happening.

IB: You played the lead in Agnes of God. How much of a role does theatre play in your music, and vice versa?

Theatre is such an amazing, under-appreciated art form. Being able to be a part of this production and be mentored by stalwarts such as Kaizaad Kotwal, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Anahita Uberoi was an experience like no other. While my primary performing art is music, theatre taught me so much about myself, self-expression, and being a storyteller. At the end of the day, in whatever industry we belong to, we are all storytellers, and I am grateful to have been exposed to both forms.

IB: At 19, you already have a music video to your name. Any tips for aspiring young singers?

Amelia Earhart said, “The best way to do it is to do it”, so my tip would be to just sing! Keep performing, keep practicing, and keep creating and seeking new opportunities. You never know when you will strike gold. Most importantly, be kind to everyone along the way — you never know who might end up being a mentor or friend.

IB: What can we expect in the near future from you?

New music, new initiatives, and lots of growth. I’m excited for you to hear some new stuff I’ve been working on and to watch some new content. I’m also just coming off of a short tour in the Philippines and I hope to keep performing in different parts of the world.

Image Credit: Avanti Nagral

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