LA Based acoustic pop singer Janvi Anand weaves love songs rooted in reality
Pop Culture
Los Angeles based acoustic pop rock artist Janvi Anand weaves stories about love and loss and her stories are based on what she sees around her. They are a part of her life and rooted to reality and maybe that's why you instantly relate to it. 'Girl on a train', a song in her new album which recently was made into a music video resonates with the many phases of relationships we as youngsters go through.

In fact, Janvi plucked the story from two people close to her and she has practically witnessed all their ups and downs. The song speaks of a real story of two people who met on a Delhi Metro, after which they started travelling together and fell in love. But for reasons she outlines in the song, it didn't work out and the train was the last place they met.

All the eleven songs in her album 'Faces of Love' speaks of love in all its shapes and kinds. "Love is something which binds all of us together. I wanted to share the stories I have seen or lived with. So the album is inspired by true stories of my family and friends," Janvi said.

And her varied interpretation of love is not only in her songwriting. The compositions in the album range from anywhere between soulful pop to jazz to rock. She uses instruments from all facets of music, from a saxophone to an electric guitar.

"As a listener, I try and expose myself to different kinds of genres. As a musician I don't like being labeled under one. When I compose music, I am just writing with my guitar. Melody, harmony or lyrics, one of them comes first followed by the other two. Once I have these three elements together I already have some other parts or at the basic, a feel attached to the song in my head. I just continue jamming it by myself and the band decides the final arrangement. The bottom line is that the arrangement should support and highlight the emotion and the mood in the song," she said.

Janvi credits her university for her career. A student of Gargi College under Delhi University, she was part of the music society for all the three years of her undergrads. Inter college competitions kept her active and focused. She even trained under renowned Jazz musician Aditya Balani at the Global Music Institute in Delhi. But then, there was something missing.

In her words, "I was doing everything I could, but it didn't feel like enough. Mostly because I was still finding myself. I had a dream to go to Berklee College of Music, Boston, from the age of 15. I auditioned in my final year of college and I even got through. But the circumstances didn't allow me to attend the college."

After a few months, a window opened up and she moved to Los Angeles.

Starting over in a new city was definitely not an easy job. But that never discouraged her. "To be honest with you, it's very hard. You are building yourself up from scratch. You just hope the audience would be responsive. But whenever you listen to new music on the radio, do you listen to the music and appreciate it or you wait for them to tell the name of the artist and then judge them based on their origin? That's the beauty of music or any art form, it diminishes boundaries in the real sense," she puts it observably.

Moving to the other side of the world also opened her eyes to the state of the music industry in India. She states a very common query among musicians in India as an example. "There is this fear in most musicians in the scene even till date, 'will I get paid for this gig?'"

She goes on to put things more in perspective. "Barring a few decent venues and organizers, I haven't come across a lot of people in the industry that follow norms and standards, create paperwork for the benefit of both parties and actually stick to them," she said. On the contrary, her experience in Los Angeles was totally opposite.

Perhaps the reason she felt more at home in a country far away was because she didn't fit into the "scene" culture prevalent among musicians in India. "I personally feel musicians in India are like a big community. Specially in different major cities. There is a "Delhi" scene, a "Bangalore" scene and so on. Most of the musicians in the city know each other, been to the same/college school, live around the same area or are blood related. I always felt like an alien to the so called scene. Whereas in LA where I was an alien, I felt welcomed. They give you a chance to come in, they give you a chance to improve, they challenge you to try harder all the time," she justifies.

For most musicians, a career in music doesn't go much beyond playing at the swankiest of venues, having a swelling fanbase and recording stellar albums. Janvi is more than that. She is also an entrepreneur.

While studying in Delhi, she had also started teaching music. The inspiration had come in the form of what one of her instructors said. "If you ever want to master something, start teaching it." So in February 2012, she started teaching guitar to a few students in a park at the heart of Delhi. Soon enough, the park transformed into Crescendo Institute of Music. She teaches even out of Los Angeles and by now has taught over 1100 students.

"Faces of Love" is available for streaming on Apple Music , Spotify and on Ok! Listen .