Welcome to our interview with Aruna, an up-and-coming artist whose latest single, “Real World,” delves into the challenges of navigating authority figures and cynical voices. With a central theme of empowerment encapsulated in the lyric “we’re gonna rise up and take our place,” Aruna explores the concept of owning one’s power to create a world that resonates with personal values and dreams.
Aruna’s journey in music began at a young age, drawing inspiration from her musical family. Her father and grandmother, both musicians, instilled in her a deep love for the art form. However, Aruna only started writing her own songs a few years ago, constantly evolving and experimenting with her music along the way.
Her musical influences range from Taylor Swift’s songwriting prowess to the vocal stylings of Tori Kelly and Ariana Grande. Aruna’s creative process is deeply personal, drawing from her own experiences and emotions. She sees songwriting as a way to express herself authentically, using her music as a journal to convey her thoughts and feelings.
Reflecting on her journey in the music industry, Aruna highlights the challenges faced by emerging artists due to limited resources. She stresses the importance of support and representation, particularly as an Indian woman in the pop music industry. Aruna aspires to bring positive change and greater diversity to the music industry, aiming to be a role model for others.
Stay tuned for Aruna’s captivating music and be inspired to rise up and take your place in the world you create.
Listen to Real World below
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What is your stage name?
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I’ve always had a passion for music and have been singing and performing for as long as I can remember, but I only started writing my own songs about 3 or 4 years ago. I’m constantly discovering new things about music and learning and growing as I go. This song, for instance, has taken a very new direction sonically to my previous releases and that’s what I love about it!
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
I am! Both my father and my grandmother were musicians so it’s definitely in my blood and something that I grew up immersed in. My grandmother is the first person I ever performed with when I was 6 or 7, and she taught me a lot about music when I was growing up.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I’ve always wanted to be a part of the music industry especially because I saw my father and grandmother doing it too, and I’m really grateful for that. If we’re talking about my early inspirations in music, they included artists like Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, Demi Lovato, etc.
They were the reason I became interested in pop music, and I’ve always wanted to follow in their footsteps.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Interesting question! Growing up in India, not a lot of bands and artists would tour in my area so I actually didn’t experience my first concert till very recently. I remember there was this German band called ‘Fotos’ that performed at our school once if you can count that- but my first real concert was only in 2021 when I went to see Arlo Parks at Chalk in Brighton and she was truly amazing.
How could you describe your music?
I have a really wide range of influences for my music- I’d say a really big one is Taylor Swift when it comes to songwriting, and then vocally artists like Tori Kelly and Ariana Grande have always inspired me.
Lyrics and vocals have always been super important to me so I try to reflect that in the songs I release- but sonically my music has gone from being acoustic to more commercially pop, and now we’re doing pop punk so I’d like to say there’s a lot of range in there!
Describe your creative process.
Writing songs to me is almost like writing a journal. It’s been a very healthy way to express my emotions and personally I find it hard to write about things I haven’t experienced firsthand.
So my songs are always very personal to me. For instance, the song I just released -Real World- came from a moment of anger after my ex boss made a sarcastic comment that I would never make it in the “real world”. I put the lyrics and melody down and then my partner Kamran Ramsden put it to guitar chords and arranged and produced the music.
What musician do you admire most and why?
The musician I admire the most currently is definitely Olivia Rodrigo. I think she’s able to bring together both beautiful lyrics and impressive vocals in her songs, and that’s the ultimate goal with my music so I’m definitely taking notes from her for all my future releases!
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Oh yeah definitely. I started off by top lining on electronically produced tracks that were never fully mine, and now I’m finally writing and releasing music true to my feelings and I’m achieving the sound I want. I’m so glad I have the resources now to write the kind of music that I myself love listening to.
What are your interests outside of music?
Music is my biggest interest, but outside of that I love reading, spending quality time with my friends and family, going to concerts, etc. My biggest interest outside of music, though, would probably be reading.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Well, I am currently working full time in PR! As growing artists we’re constantly hustling to move ourselves forward, so I’ve got a really busy schedule- as I know a lot of my friends in the music industry do as well. A lot of us are working other jobs and pursuing music in our down time- that’s why it’s so important to support small artists, we work really hard!
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
I think one of biggest challenges I’ve faced in the music industry is that there are not enough resources for budding artists and it’s really difficult when you’re starting your journey to know where to begin. Thankfully, I had some support with that as I was able to network and surround myself with other musicians who were doing the same thing as me.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
The one thing I’d change about the music industry is definitely the lack of diversity. As an Indian woman in the pop music industry, there are not a lot of people like me and I didn’t have a lot of representation growing up. I’m really passionate about this issue and really want to bring more positive representation into the industry.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
I’ve often heard people use the term ‘real world’ in a negative way. People have preconceived ideas of what the ‘real world’ is, and it got me thinking about why I would want to live in a world where my dreams are not achievable, or where there’s only one accepted path, or where I’m constantly trying to fit in to someone else’s standards.
The song is supposed to send an empowering message that no matter what anyone else says, we make our own paths in life, we set our standards, and we make our own world- that’s where the lyric “I don’t wanna live in your real world, I like the space that I create” comes from.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I have more releases coming! Not just that, I’m also playing a gig at Fiddlers Elbow in Camden on the 28th of July. If you’re around, you should come- it’s a great venue, it’s always so much fun, and it’s gonna be a great night!
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Take your time to figure out what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about, and then do more of that. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, because at the end of the day you’re the one who’s going to be living this life- not them. Create your own space and rise up and take your place.