What is your name?



What is your genre of music?



Give us a little bio about you.
I’m a senior at the University of Chicago and I have been singing since I was about 3 years old. It started out with my dad buying a karaoke machine and me watching my sister perform in front of people. I used to think it looked extremely fun and couldn’t really stop after that. I grew up listening to a lot of Bollywood, Mariah Carey, Eminem, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and The Beatles, so I was always surrounded by a mix of genres and vocal styles that really shaped how my voice and sound is today. After I got over my stage fright, I started doing talent shows, and over time, I got confident enough to do bigger and bigger shows, like opening for Train, Lindsey Stirling, Kris Allen, performing the national anthem for the Chicago Bulls, headlining my own Taste of Chicago show, and performing for label A&Rs. When I was about 16 I realized I wanted to get into songwriting and though I took a little bit of a break in college from it to do A Cappella and sing for a brass band, I got back into it two summers ago and haven’t stopped writing and thinking about new song ideas since. Singing was my first love and I’ve just come to the point where it’s the only thing I can see myself doing.



Tell us more about your music.
After I wrote around 40 songs two summers ago, I got a way better sense of what my style is. I’m a sucker for strong, bold, powerhouse voices since it’s what I grew up listening to, but I also love catchy pop melodies. Since I’ve lived in Chicago the past four years, I also get a lot of inspiration from Hip Hop when I’m trying to write super rhythmic phrases and pointed lyrics. Chicago has an amazing poetry scene and just hearing people recite their experiences in that kind of art form changed the way I write my own lyrics sometimes. My music is mostly a combination of everything. It’s pop melodies, R&B riffs, hip hop rhythmic twists, and some Indian/Middle Eastern vocal nuances and instruments. In terms of my lyrics, I like to keep everything as honest as possible. Sometimes I read stories that literally bring me to tears and make me want to write. Other times, I talk to people and get inspired by their feelings. And of course, a lot of it just comes from how I feel at any given point of my life and how I use music to express myself and my insecurities/emotions.



You released your new single Stupid’ in Jan, what is the meaning behind the track?
Stupid (released on January 9th) is about being in a relationship with someone who you know is not the best for you. I wrote Stupid because it literally describes how I felt for an entire year at school. I’ve had friendships and relationships in which I let other people tell me that I was doing things wrong or that I didn’t ‘think things through’ and after a while, I started to believe them. I became so confused. I think it’s ok to admit when we feel vulnerable and guilty. Everyone goes through that phase where they think they’ve got it all figured out and then boom, you’re rethinking everything. We all want to be treated with love and respect. Stupid is a song that tells people that If you are being surrounded by negativity, it’s okay to stand up for yourself. It’s alright to leave and go after what you deserve and want.



What was the writing process like?
I have a crazy relationship with songwriting. Most of the time, I’ll be walking to class or in sitting in public transport and I’ll either hear some chord progression I like blasting from a radio or it must just come up out of nowhere in my head. Usually, it’s melodies first, but since I started getting interested in poetry, the lyrics come first sometimes. Either way, I’ll brainstorm a bunch of ideas for melodies with a certain theme, record them into my iPhone voice memos, and then add to them if I think of any other parts. If I feel really confident in it, I sometimes write the song all by myself in an hour or less (melodies and lyrics). Other times, I’ll get stuck/frustrated and turn to my amazing songwriter friends Kevin Qian, Adam Martinez, Chris Rishel and Chason for help. We don’t all work together at the same time, but they all have really special qualities that suit different songs, so I turn to them when I need help. I love writing with people because then, the process seems like a fun and creative journey rather than ‘Oh I need to write the perfect words and melodies right now’. It’s easy to get way too into my own head, so having another person there helps me chill out.



What was the recording process like?
I think recording is my favorite part depending on the song. I go to Drew Mantia’s studio, have my sister or other vocal producer on FaceTime, and run through different sections of the song until we’re all feeling it. Since there’s no glass there, I just sort of dance and sing since no one can see me, and it’s one of the best and most exhilarating experiences. I try to record quickly and be efficient about it, so I come in with somewhat of an idea of how I want to sing each line. A lot of times, though, I just use that as a jumping point and try to get into the song.



Who did you work with on the single?
I worked with Chason (production), Kevin Qian (music and lyrics), Jake Hehir (lyrics), Drew Mantia (recording), and Thaddeus Jordan (guitar) on Stupid.



You are also set to release a new album, what can we expect from it.
This album is going to be four feel good songs that I wrote about other important people in my life. They’re mostly mid-tempos and ballads, which is really different from what I originally thought it would be. They’re pretty minimal in terms of production and express some important things that I’ve experienced, felt, and read about in my life so far. I really am excited for people to hear it and hope that people can relate to it or find some comfort in knowing a lot people share the same feelings and experiences even if they don’t talk about it.



Will we see any shows or a tour maybe?
As of now, I am in the process of planning a tour but mostly focusing on getting my music out first. I’ll have details soon though!



Are you a signed?
I am currently unsigned.



Who are your influences?
My biggest influences are definitely Rihanna, Eminem, John Lennon, Etta James, Mariah Carey, and Ed Sheeran.



Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I get kind of anxious about the future, but I’d love to have a career doing only music, performing it, and staying close with my family and friends.



When you’re not doing music, what do you do?

I usually am making obnoxious Snapchat and Instagram stories, hanging out with my friends and family, doing homework (sometimes) and eating. In fact, I think eating is probably the second best I think I love doing.



Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
My hometown is really small, so I have already performed at the two main big venues (Soaring Eagle Casino and Max and Emily’s Concert Series), but it would be a dream come true to have a sold out show at either one.



Would you be up for collaborating with an unsigned artist or band? If so how can they contact you?

I would LOVE to work with another unsigned band. The best way to connect is emailing .



What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
It’s hard to remember exactly what song made me want to go into the music scene, but seeing how Taylor Swift kind of mastered the art of songwriting made me want to stop doing covers and pursue my own music.



Where is your dream festival to perform?
A dream festival would be Coachella or Lollapalooza.



What made you go in to music?
I went into music after seeing my sister fearlessly perform in front of huge crowds when she was barely 10 years old. She used to sing some of the hardest songs and leave people crying, and I couldn’t believe how much impact a single person could have on an entire audience.



What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I’ve gotten recently is to respond and not react. This came from someone who means the world to me and it basically means that instead of letting out emotions talk for us when we get overly excited, we should try to channel that into our thoughts and approach the situation calmly.



What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not just about the industry also just as an artist/band?
I would say that if you know you have a talent for music and that’s all you can think about it, then you should just do it. Of course, brace yourself for failure and rejection but as long as you’re persistent and adaptable, things start happening over time if you stay consistent.



What quote or saying do you always stick by?
No expectations



When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
5 things I cannot forget for a Gig:
1) ALWAYS perform like it’s the last time.
2) wear earrings
3) know your setlist
4) thank the people who gave you the opportunity/those who came/those who played with you
5) have a bottle of water



Where is the go to place in your hometown?
The go to place in my hometown is really anywhere you can eat. I personally love Taco Bell, but a lot of people go to Nelson Park or Tropical Smoothie Cafe.



Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
All my social media is

Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud etc.

You can find me on Facebook


Apple Music

Comments (1):

  1. Dorothy Whalen

    June 11, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I attended the grad. ceremonies at UChicago on Sat. June 9. My grandson, Tom Carden, graduated. Your vocal performance was AMAZING!
    I know that you will attain much success in the future. I look forward to following your career as it goes forward. Your voice is an amazing gift
    to the world.


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