With three consecutive double-platinum singles and another pair of platinum-certified tracks, Ananya Birla is India’s leading English-language pop star. Her reputation is going global too, leading to 500 million+ streams to date, an MTV EMA nomination, and collaborations with artists such as Sean Kingston and Afrojack. Her international profile is now set to receive another boost as she shares the new single Caught Up.
With Caught Up, Birla brings together elements of vibrant modern R&B, pulsating Afrobeats rhythms and some classical Indian instrumentation to deliver a moment of world-facing contemporary pop. Her voice is sweet, sensual and seductive but her lyrics tell the cautionary tale of a toxic relationship. It’s one in which co-dependency, miscommunication and force her to face an uncomfortable truth: “I’m bad for you and you’re bad for me too.” The music video is shot within the confines of a room; the physical confines metaphorise the constraints of the relationship and the inability to walk away from it.
She says, “As an artist and as a human, I am constantly trying to do better and be better. I have spent the last couple of years really experimenting and honing in on a distinct new sound. When the pandemic hit, I was stuck in the USA due to the flying restrictions for more time than I had planned for. Being away from home and family, made me grow fonder and appreciate home even more. I wanted to find a way to bring that taste of India into my soundscape in a non-stereotypical, integrated kind of way. After months of iteration, when we finally got it, I just knew it felt right! Caught Up, is the first song in this new soundscape and I absolutely cannot wait for all of you to hear it and everything that’s to come.”
The single was written by the GRAMMY® Award winners Kaydence (Beyoncé, Ariana Grande) and Trevor Muzzy (Lady Gaga, Jason Derulo), and was produced by M.A.R.S. and you can check out the video below:
Ananya’s love for music was cemented at an early age, and she learned her first instrument, the santoor, when she was 9-years-old. She continued to expand her skillset with drums, piano and guitar, all of which remain part of her artistry right through to the present day. With releases including Meant To Be, Circles, Better and Everybody’s Lost have seen her following rapidly expand with acclaim including New Music Friday USA and a spotlight moment as a Sirius Hits Artist To Watch Out For. She also collaborated with the iconic A.R. Rahman for Hindustani Way, the official anthem for India’s 2020 Olympics team.
Despite that strong impact in the music world, it only tells part of Birla’s inspiring story. At the age of 17, she founded Svatantra Microfin, the fastest growing microfinance company in India which has expanded to reach 78,000 locations across the nation. She also founded the Ananya Birla Foundation which has benefited projects for Save The Children India, and she is the co-founder for Mpower, a foundation that provides mental health awareness across the country. Her advocacy for supporting and understanding mental health issues led to her becoming an ambassador for the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), while Her passion for local art communities inspired her venture Ikai Asai, which provides a platform for Indian crafts to become sought after designs for the modern home.
As a result of her varied talents, Birla’s has been heralded with a range of prestigious accolades including being named as one of GQ’s Most Influential Young Indians, one of Miss Vogue’s 28 Geniuses Under 28, and one of Economic Times’ Most Promising Women Business Leaders of 2022. She has also graced the cover of Forbes’ Women To Watch and was recently unveiled as a brand ambassador for Maybelline India.