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By SHARON JENNINGS
Sonali is a South Florida-based pop songstress with a story to tell. She has overcome challenges to present her music to the public and she has great insights for fellow musicians.
Tell us about your single, “Forever,” and how you came to create it? Does it have special meaning to you?
The first draft of “Forever” came to me pretty quickly one summer night, and it definitely holds a very special meaning to me. The whole concept of the song can pretty much be summed up in the line “All I wanna do is nothing with you.” I was seeing someone at the time, and basically realized that I could have gone anywhere in the world or done anything, I mean I was literally in the middle of New York City, but in that moment there wasn’t a thing that could have made me happier than just sitting there doing nothing with someone I cared about. I hadn’t ever felt that passionately before, and I wanted to capture that feeling with “Forever”.
What is the secret to a good collaboration? How did you meet your producers?
I am the absolute master of self-doubt! So for me, it’s absolutely essential to find people I’m really comfortable with and trust. And also, people who respect you. As a female in the music industry, it’s unfortunately way too common to just be completely disregarded when you make comments, especially if it’s regarding the production or something technical, and I have no tolerance for that. But I absolutely loved working with my producers for “Forever”, and I’ll have more work with them coming out soon! It was produced by the duo Private Practice Production, and both of them were actually alums of the same program I attended at college in NYU Tisch. They’ve worked on some of my favorite pop records that you hear on the radio today, so it was really cool getting to bring my songs to life with them.
What is your favorite kind of music? What is so attractive about that genre?
I feel obligated to say indie pop since that’s what I make myself (and I do LOVE it), but I honestly listen to everything! Some days I’m super into folky singer-songwriter music, and other days you can find me blasting heavy metal. I think more than genre, songwriting is really important to me. If it’s a well written song I’m going to enjoy it regardless of genre. Some of my favorite artists in the indie pop realm are The 1975 and LANY, but my all time favorite artist is John Mayer.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?
All my social media handles are @ItsMeSonali with the exception of YouTube, that’s www.YouTube.com/sonaliargade. I love meeting new people, so feel free to slide into my DMs (but don’t be creepy!). I’m currently booking some shows down in South Florida, really excited to play the new stuff live.
Who are the musicians you most admire and why?
Oops already started answering this one before, but I never miss a good opportunity to ramble about John Mayer! I just can’t go on enough about what an incredible songwriter he is. I always aim for my lyrics to be very universally accessible, I never want anyone to hear my music and not know what it is I’m talking about. That being said, if you’re going to write in that style you have to find a way to make it clever, or else it’s just boring. I don’t think anyone does that better than John Mayer…except maybe Ed Sheeran or The Script, but I’ll cut myself off here. Sonically, I’m obsessed with LANY and The 1975 right now. I think the production on their songs is incredible, it’s beautiful and atmospheric but still fun and danceable. I also love artists like Haim, Dua Lipa, Gabrielle Aplin, etc. I’m always making Spotify playlists on my artist profile with what I’m listening to!
What do you enjoy about touring? What is the biggest drag about touring?
I’ve never actually been on tour, but I’m hoping to change that next year! #NewYearsResolution. I actually had a whole tour planned out a few years ago that I never got to do, because I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. Now that I’m healthy again, I can’t wait to get back out there.
What advice would you give other young artists today?
I’m still learning myself, but my advice is to be bold. It’s easy to second guess yourself, or think things like “there’s no way that person will talk to me”, but nothing big ever comes from playing it safe. Put yourself out there and don’t give up. But also put in the work and do your research first, there’s so much you can do on your own.