I have been speaking with Ishani…
about her latest single, Dark Angel, and its very personal story. She reveals why she wrote the song and what comes next for her; when music arrived in her life; the artists that are inspiring to her – Ishani chooses three albums that are especially important.
I ask her what advice she would give to artists coming through and whether she gets time to chill away from music; what she wants to achieve before the year is through – she ends the interview by selecting a rather emotional song.
Hi, Ishani. How are you? How has your week been?
Thanks, man. It’s been pretty chaotic. I’m working in a studio in Brighton so lots of travelling back and forth to London. Hope you’re well too!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hi! I’m Ishani. I’m a third-culture kid who is now based in East London. I’m a singer-songwriter who produces moody, down-tempo tracks with Trip-Hop and Alt-Pop influences. My latest songs are socially aware offerings dealing with mental health and the human condition.
Dark Angel is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
Dark Angel was my response to the deaths of two my friends to suicide. It combines sadness and anger woven together in a world that has been turned upside down.
It is designed to highlight Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Why did you decide to look at suicide and raise awareness in that area?
Too many idols - Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell; Avicii, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to name a few - have left us recently. It seems to be getting worse and worse and mental-health is so important. I wrote this song as an empath, because reading about so many successful, talented people taking their own lives affects me. I take all this negativity and turn it into something productive like a song. It helps me cope and understand.
Your music is getting stronger and more confident. Do you feel like you are growing as an artist?
Thank you so much! Yes, I definitely feel I’m maturing with my sound. In fact, I can’t wait for you to hear my next release. Working with Zaflon on these tracks has helped me to become more confident. He believes in my work and my sound and is an incredibly talented producer!
Might we expect material next year such as an E.P.?
My first E.P., Stormy Emotions, is coming this winter. I’m also working on a top-secret project on the side that I can’t wait to tell you about. Hopefully, I will be able to announce it soon!
When did music come into your life? Which artists did you follow when you were young?
I’m deeply influenced by artists such as Massive Attack, Portishead; Morcheeba and Hooverphonic. When I was young, I listened to Michael Jackson all day and all night! I like that his music had social messages and I like to bring that element into my music too. Eminem helped me get through my teen years and I listened to a lot of Alternative-Rock and Pop too. Growing up in India in the '90s, I’m also influenced by the Indian Pop music I listened to on the radio.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
My main goal is to release my E.P., Stormy Emotions, and its title-track with a really cool music video that I am currently editing! I work with a great director, with an amazing eye, so I think it’s going to awesome.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I think watching my first music video on T.V. was the biggest rush ever! I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was a dream come true.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Garbage - Garbage
Because it was a present from my dad and he thought it would be funny to give me a C.D. that had Stupid Girl on the cover (ha ha). I actually fell in love with the band and still love them!
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing…..
One of my favourite DJ Shadow albums. I was so happy watching him live last October at the Roundhouse on the twentieth anniversary of the album.
Portishead – Dummy
This Portishead album introduced me to Trip-Hop, which has been my main musical crush to this day and still inspires the music I make. It is just the perfect album and feels completely timeless.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Kindness, A.K.A Adam Bainbridge. Lately, he’s been doing some soul-searching about his identity and being half-Indian. I watched a seminar he did recently talking about gender and identity in music and would be cool to work on some stuff with him!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Keep putting new stuff out there. Make music that you like and not what you think other people will like. Hang out with people who nourish your soul. Enjoy the process. Push yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Don’t let social media bring you down and don’t compare your art to others. Support your favourite artists too. And always keep believing in yourself.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
They say if you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life - it’s more like you never stop working in my case! I do find the time to do some yoga and chill. I love living in London. There is so much to do and see. I love getting out to exhibitions and shows or sitting in a dark cinema and losing myself in a movie.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
We lost a great soul last week - Mac Miller. I’d like to listen to Best Day Ever (bonus track version; I prefer it way more than the original). R.I.P. Mac. Gone too soon. Thank you so much! I really enjoyed this interview…