At just 21 years of age, Ananya has had the biggest song in Zimbabwe holding the number 1 spots on the country’s major radio stations and is also receiving great love on radio in South Africa.
We caught up with the Zimbabwean born and bred muso whose home base support is propelling her to take on the world stage.
Check out our interview below with Ananya, Zimbabwe’s rising star.
Firstly, congratulations on the success of Marble Eyes. Having a number 1 song in any country is an amazing feat yet alone achieving this at age 21. How are you feeling?
I’m so touched by all the support I’ve been receiving. I’m grateful to have had the honour of kickstarting my career back home. There’s nothing more rewarding than having home base support. It’s been so motivating, and I almost can’t believe it’s real!
Can you tell us about your new single Shy Boy? What inspired the 80s beat and direction for this song?
Of course! Shy Boy explains accepting a harsh reality that one didn’t see coming. Although difficult to accept, this situation is used as a source of strength and then feeling self-confident as an outcome. I listened to 80s and 90s music growing up and I feel it’ll always be present in my music somehow.
Do you have a formula that you follow when creating music? If so, please share. If not, why not?
I don’t think I have just one formula that I follow. Usually the music comes before the lyrics and I’m used to writing on the spot when I feel emotionally inspired. Lately I’ve been trying to write the lyrics before putting it to music so I’m able to understand the different outcomes for different processes.
As a newcomer in the industry, how are you navigating the music landscape?
Taking it all day by day. I allow my passion to lead the way and continue to do what fulfils me. It’s always so inspiring when I’m able to meet and speak to those in the industry who are more experienced than I am. My next single “Too Young” has just come out. It’s a collaboration with a friend of mine, known as Alber-K. I’m really looking forward to finally sharing, it was written two years ago!
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the music industry thus far?
As an independent artist I’m aware that there’s still so much to learn. I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced is feeling brave in sharing my work with the world. You almost feel like it’s no longer yours when you release it and I don’t think I ever expected all the love and support I’ve been receiving. It encourages me more by the day.
As someone who was born and bred in Zimbabwe, with Greek heritage, and has gone on to experience other parts of the world and cultures: a) How have you crafted your own identify? b) What role does Africa play when it comes to your music?
A – I think staying true to who you are and where you came from has been essential for me when it comes to crafting my identity. It is so important to never forget where everything started and that’s always helped me find my way.
B – Africa holds the country that gave birth to my heart. Zimbabwe continues to motivate me, and Zimbabweans play an enormous role as listeners and supporters. That’ll always stay close to me.
How are you currently balancing life as a fashion student with your music career?
My thesis project for my final year at Parsons involves the connection between fashion and music. They intertwine in such beautiful ways. Music expresses emotion and feeling, and I hope to be able to use fashion to express my music and identity to create a loud visual. I feel very lucky to be passionate about both fashion in music, they complement each other.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS:
Isn’t it obvious?
Hardest question so far… there isn’t anything better than Zim’s roadside mealies!
What are you reading?
I just started reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
Name one thing on your bucket list?
Learn a new language, or meet Trent Alexander Arnold.
Where to next?
Connect with Ananya
Images by Maya Komarova