Meera Desai

Genre: 

Singer/Songwriter

Dozens of singer-songwriters emerge on the Indian independent music scene every year, but few have a voice as rich and fully formed as Ahmedabad-based Meera Desai. That’s probably because the 24-year-old has years of experience training in a range of styles. Meera, who uses only her first name professionally, was born and brought up in New York. She started her musical training – somewhat appropriately – learning bhajans from her mother. Then, she spent ten years studying Western classical singing while in school. During her college years, she was a part of the high-school jazz ensemble Nassau/Suffolk Vocal Jazz and the a cappella group the iTones. She followed it up by taking lessons in Indian classical music. Among her idols are legendary and contemporary female jazz stars – from Ella Fitzgerald to Esperanza Spalding and from Nina Simone to Norah Jones – as well as pop singer-songwriters such as Sara Bareilles and Tori Kelly, whose influence is reflected in her occasionally philosophical and poetic lyrics. Her songs, she said, are frequently inspired by “what I was going through at that point”. Her debut EP I’ve Never Been Happier To Be Lost was released in February 2019.The EP opener and standout track ‘Divine’ – and incidentally the first tune she completed and performed – was written around the time she started to immerse herself in Hindustani classical music and originated out of her struggles “with the concept of faith and religion”. Said Meera, “I had not grown up really religious, but I was gaining access to this spiritual side of me, and there was some internal friction with that.”

Meera Desai