Twenty-three-year-old Indian pop singer-songwriter Ananya Birla chose music as her career while an undergraduate at England’s prestigious Oxford University. When she realized that music was her ruling passion, she left Oxford to focus on it full-time. When her single “I Don’t Want to Love” grabbed the attention of execs at Universal Music, it earned her a meeting and ultimately a deal. She’s since released a number of singles. “Livin’ The Life” dropped last year and has so far earned nearly 15 million YouTube streams. Her latest single “Hold On” was released in March and has already topped seven million listens.
“I was studying at Oxford when I realized that life was too short not to do what you want to do,” Birla recalls. “So I dropped out, went back to India and started to record and produce my own music. That’s when I created ‘I Don’t Want to Love.’ Somehow someone at Universal [Music] heard it and asked me to come in for a meeting. I guess it was meant to be. When they listened to it, I thought ‘Okay, that's it.’ But then they played it again. The head of marketing then asked me to come down to their office so they could sign me. I had taken a huge risk by dropping out of Oxford and it paid off. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Birla’s next single “Circles” was released in June. A full album or EP will be recorded, ultimately. “The idea now is to sustain my music,” she explains. “I would encourage everyone to be as authentic and real as they can through their music.”
Birla divides her time between London and Mumbai, India. She performs regularly and aims to do more with future releases. In addition to her music, she’s also been active since her late teens in micro-finance to help underprivileged women in India realize their dreams, optimize their potential and achieve self-sufficiency. She founded Svatantra Microfinance in 2012 when she was 17. Svatantra is the Hindi word for “freedom.” More than 250,000 loans have since been made.
Date Signed: June 2016
Label: Universal Music, India
Type of Music: Pop
Management: Akshita Shah, +91 982-059-0167
Booking: Ayesha Khandelwal, +91 986-715-4103
Legal: Akshita Shah, +91 982-059-0167
Publicity: James Weir, Natalia Barclay - Anderson Group Public Relations, 310-801-3490, [email protected]
A&R: Sajid Maklai