Nrithya Maria Andrews is a musician who is originally from Kerala, South India. She is currently based in Chennai and is gearing up for the release of her debut EP entitled "Bitter Sweet". She is also part of musical duo NnN with Nipun Nair, and we featured one of their videos as a Throwback Thursday early in January.
We caught up with the talented lady to find out more about her and her work…
How did you get into music? Are you self-taught, or have you been trained?
Well, my parents tell me I’ve always been musically-inclined; I used to play air keyboards as a young child, and when my elder brother took Carnatic [South Indian Classical] lessons, I would lean against the door just to hear some music out of the room. My mother noticed this and put me in piano classes right when I joined LKG. By the time I was around 18, I was a Grade 8 pianist from Trinity College, London.
With regards to singing, I was a rather late bloomer. By 5th Std, people noticed I could sing, so my mother put me in Carnatic lessons. I went for a year but then had to quit because it clashed with piano and ballet. My piano teacher was also my school music teacher, so she gave me a lot of oppurtunities to sing solos in the school choir. It was only a few years later when I realised I could sing at a slightly above-average level! Then there was regular school choir, culturals, church choir, church concerts and the like.
So I’m half self-taught (for Western vocals), but had some music training too!
Who are your influences, musically?
Well, honestly I like anything that sounds commercial.There have been different influences starting from Britney Spears in 7th grade to Rasmus and Evanesence as I grew older, to Shakira whilst at university, and Duffy or Amy Winehouse at my postgraduation level. Apart from that Queen, Aerosmith, Adele, Ingrid Michelson, Boyce Avenue etc.
What can we expect from your EP?
"Bitter Sweet" is a five-song EP. You’ll hear new improved versions of some of my already popular songs and two brand new songs. I’ve written the songs in a way that most people can relate to. ‘Boba‘ is a sweet love song which is in Malayalam and English; ‘Secretly‘ is a fun song about a not-so serious relationship; ‘Lately‘ is a song for those days when we feel like ‘blah’, useless and run out of inspiration; ‘Good enough‘ is a song that talks about being addicted to a habit/ substance in hope that it will make you feel Good Enough in this world that defines what is good looking and what is not, or what is perfect and what is not.
There is also a song called ‘ Note to the Devil‘. In this case, anybody can be your devil telling you, you don’t deserve much or the world itself sometimes forces you do things that is against what you believe in. Note to the Devil is about standing up for what you believe in and asking the Devil ( a person/ world) to go fly a kite…I’m hoping that everybody finds something in the EP they can relate too.
What are you working on apart from you EP/what have you got planned? An album? Music Video?
The EP’s launch date has been scheduled for March 11th. As of now, all focus is on that big launch. George Muthoot George has agreed to be the chief guest at the event, and I’m so honoured. This EP itself was sponsored by Geoffrey Thomas who was the programming head of Chennai’s English radio station. He invested in the EP, making a dream come true.
Hopefully, once the launch is a success, shows, shows and more shows happen. A music video is definitely in the pipeline, and I’ve already spoken to a few people. As for an album? Well, it really depends on how well the EP does, so fingers crossed!
If you could choose any three musicians in the world to collaborate with, who would you choose and why?
Oh wow! [Laughs] AR Rahman, Justin Timberlake and Freddie Mercury. I’ve done background vocals for AR Rahman for a few films like Jodhaa Akbar, Endhiran and Rockstar, but I’m still waiting for that one solo song with him – that would make the Rahman dream come true!
Why Justin Timberlake? So that I could star in a video with my long time crush, I suppose! [laughs] Also because he is superbly talented and he seems like a lot of fun. In my mind, it seems like it’d be a really fun experience.
And Freddie Mercury, because he’s a legend. Of course, he’s not around any more…but that would have been quite awesome. Having said these things, when I see them, the chances are I would be too excited even to speak, so finding a voice to sing with them would be a difficult task!
Nrithya’s "Bitter Sweet" EP is releasing on March 11th, 2013. Stay tuned for updates! Check out her Malayalam and English bilingual track "Boba" below: