January 2023 Music
Music, Spirituality, & Healing
Hello Jaya, we are so excited for your newly released single "Take your Time". Can you describe the inspiration behind your first single?
Hi! I’m so grateful to get to do this with you. Yay, me too!
Yes! It came out of a freestyle with my talented friends: Akari Sage sampled a beat that Luxe.Wav made that night with his guitar. In a quick vocal take over that, my subconscious wrote it honestly, not me. I see it as a subconscious plea to me, from my inner child, to please take care of myself.
I’m someone who puts way too much pressure on myself for everything. Always trying to do things, be productive — I was getting burnt out. Reconnecting with my inner child and letting her lead my life, through what feels right in my body (instead of the conditioned capitalism in my head) is what it’s all about.
I also see sounds as colors, and this song is a very rich green to me. I like to think of it as speaking to my heart chakra. My dear friend Nick Smiley helped me physically manifest that with the cover art!
"I also see sounds as colors, and this song is a very rich green to me. I like to think of it as speaking to my heart chakra."
Your album "Catch 22" will be releasing in Spring 2023? What are some sounds and themes that people can expect to hear with your new album?
Lots of jazzy touches! We’ve got beeeautiful live trumpet, guitar, and bass on this album. Intertwined with pop/R&B vocals and spiritual messages. All over hip hop beats. Musicians I pinch myself I’m so lucky to be friends with. Shoutout to King Oliver Trumpet, who executive produced this album with me, as well as Luxe.wav, Akari Sage, James the 3rd, Josh Turner, Kishan Patel, Ben Roswell Salk, and Ari Carpenter.
Thematically, I used Catch 22 as a metaphor for how I felt being 22. If you’ve ever read the book Catch-22, Yossarian is trapped in war because of contradictory logic. It’s like when you’re fresh out of college trying to get a job, but you need experience. But to get experience, you need a job… Sound
It’s easy to slip into a downward spiral and feel trapped by and within yourself. Last year at 22, I was writing this album, spiritually metamorphosing, trying to make my dreams come true…while juggling three part time jobs and feeling very mentally trapped.
My album is about getting yourself out of that Catch 22! Step by step, choosing faith over fear…seeing abundance instead of lack. And I do think that the more you do that, the more the Universe conspires to help you.
"My album is about getting yourself out of that Catch 22! Step by step, choosing faith over fear…seeing abundance instead of lack. And I do think that the more you do that, the more the Universe conspires to help you."
It’s also seeing life as a game in a way. Like I think we’re all these souls that look down on Earth and decide, “Oo! I want to be this person in this body this time”. So anytime life feels too stressful, I just take a step back and think about my soul. She’s probably laughing, knowing none of this is real, and just wants me to play the game of life!
Who are some of your musical inspirations? How has their musical journey inspired you as an artist?
Definitely Minnie Ripperton. Her divine spirit that she puts into every song, those
whistle tones — “Loving You” is my favorite song to cover! Corinne Bailey Rae,
Destiny’s Child, and even Lata Mangeshkar have inspired me over the years.
Also more recently and definitely for this album, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu — as songwriters and as spiritual thinkers. It’s funny because I didn’t grow up listening to them two as much, but I found them exactly when I needed to these past few years.
Lastly, this is more current, but I love seeing what Raveena’s doing and how she’s making way for the Punjabi girls out here.
As a first generation Indian-American, how has your dual identity impacted your life.
Were there any challenges you had to overcome?
Yeah, well first, it’s hard to know where you fit. In school, you’re not white enough for your white friends, and outside of school, you’re not brown enough for your brown ones. It’s isolating, but I think it’s easier when you stop making fitting in your goal.
Now I just let myself be me, and explore myself freely. Music lets me do that a lot. I’m a valley girl and a Punjabi one and whatever else I want to be in this moment. And I like that.
Another big thing is choosing to be an artist. I’m from a family of surgeons. My
parents, aunts, uncles, even my nanaji is a well known doctor. I’ve obviously chosen a different path than most of the brown people before me, but in my heart I do know it’s right for me. It’s really important to me with my art that I can be part of a larger conversation for Asian American culture, one that moves us towards following our true callings.
"It’s really important to me with my art that I can be part of a larger conversation for Asian American culture, one that moves us towards following our true callings."
Maybe I can inspire some brown girls out there to think twice about what they want to be and genuinely go for it? Less clinging to doctor and engineer roles just because they give a sense of security! It’s scary to let go, I know, but I truly do think there’s a reason God put your specific dream in your heart.
Your music is very Divine and inspires healing. Can you provide us some self-care tips that can help people to stay in alignment with who they truly are as a human being?
Thank you for saying that! That’s my goal :)
And honestly I’m still figuring it out. But I’m a big tree hugger (for real lol) and writer. Julia Cameron has a beautiful book called "The Artist’s Way" that talks about morning pages — a lot of the time I’ll do those, or let myself free write and doodle every morning. Anything to let my inner child come out and play with no rules.
Also dancing! I love dancing in my room to songs I was obsessed with in middle school haha — a quick hack for instant dopamine.
Oh, one more thing is reiki. I feel a lot of emotions that don’t necessarily belong to me, and it feels like they stick to me sometimes. Empath problems lol. I’ve been starting to learn some basic reiki to help myself clear off that outside energy, so I can actually recharge. Definitely recommend!
Way off topic! I noticed that you are really into Nature! What is one of your favorite places you traveled to?
Ooo great question! Yosemite is always special to me. Takes the outside world’s pressure off of me and returns me to my fairy self. Hehe.
Have you ever visited your Native country India. If yes, what did you enjoy best about the trip?
No! Which is crazy. I have a feeling it will be a very big spiritual moment for me going there, so I’m letting it align in a way where I can be there for many months.
Are there any other pivotal people who played a role in your musical career?
I feel lucky to say my parents have always been very supportive. Since I was a little 10 year old writing her first songs, and even before that. The biggest thank you to both of them for that.
Outside of music, what are some other hobbies that you enjoy doing?
I’m going to sound like a hippie haha. I’m really into painting, doing tarot readings with my friends, and I want to try Tai Chi.
What are some words of advice you can give to new musical artists releasing their debut album?
I mean, I’m still learning! I feel ease knowing that there’s a divine plan & we’re not supposed to know how everything will unfold before it does. Maybe I’ll have some advice after it’s out this year…
My word right now is “surrender” and that’s what I’m focusing on. Let go and Let God!
Where can people find your music, website, and social media links?
Photos by: @B_creative9 and Nick Smiley