Break into the mainstream; The journey of singer-songwriter Jay Anand, from albums to films

Singer Jay Anand

My parents tell me when I was six months old I couldn’t walk but I was dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller,” shares Jay Anand (29), a singer-songwriter from Delhi who is slowly making his mark in Indian music. The music industry. Anand lent her vocals to the energetic and upbeat title track of the recently released film Looop Lapeta, a comedy thriller starring Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin.

A lifelong passion
Anand’s passion for music began at the age of four. “I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of playing instruments and creating these sounds,” he shares. After learning to play the keyboard, he started strumming the guitar. “I learned the guitar as a teenager and it stuck with me. It was like an extension of myself and I felt much more comfortable playing it,” mentions Anand, who received a music training at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles (LA) Sidharth Mago and Mayank Mehra [the music producers of this film], who worked with Anand on a few commercials, gave him the opportunity to sing a song for Looop Lapeta. “It was a great experience. Knowing that I could lend my voice to a film like that and a song like that was great. I never saw myself getting into reading singing for Bollywood, but when it came to me, I really enjoyed it and would love to do it in the future as well.

love stories
Before singing in a Bollywood film, Anand released an album – Faces of Love (2017) – and two singles – Fool to Want You (2018) and Come Home (2019). His previous musical adventures have delved into complex ideas of love, heartbreak and longing. “A teacher of mine in Los Angeles used to say there were two kinds of songs in the world: love songs and everything else. I get a little carried away when I write songs about love,” he laughs.

As a trans man, there were instances where he felt his gender identity preceded his professional identity and talent. Shedding some light on this, Anand explains, “The idea that I would be identified by my gender identity instead of my work in professional spaces puts me off. If I’m in a professional space and I’m hired for a certain job, I should be hired only for that job and nothing else. Anand is now looking forward to reconnecting with the musicians he has worked with in the past to produce more original music.

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