BOSTON–Avanti Nagral is an international pop artist from the soul of Bombay and the heart of Boston. Her music is influenced by her background in Indian Classical, Broadway, Church/Gospel, and Devotional music.
Avanti successfully incorporates Desi elements into her music, respecting tradition, and making them mainstream. A youth icon, symbol for powerful women, and an electric live performer, Avanti has performed at venues across India, the United States, and the Philippines, and captures the hearts of her audiences wherever she goes.
She is the first in the world to pursue a dual degree at both Harvard University and Berklee College of Music, making her a trailblazer for creators everywhere. In addition, her Song on the Spot series, which instantly turns story into song, has captured millions of views around the world.
Here is a Q/A with Avanti:
INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it? Avanti Nagral: I’m a performing artist, singer/songwriter and voice professional. I love the collaborative nature of being an artist, and learning from and creating with others.
As an artist, you are not only the product or service – you are also the brand, entrepreneur and startup. The lessons you learn are invaluable, and the people you meet along the way make it all worth it.
INE: To what charitable, community and professional groups do you belong and why?
AN: I am passionate about Global Health and Empowerment issues. Over the past 7 years, I have done work in the fields of Music Therapy, Anemia, Organ Donation, Cardiac Disease and CPR/Emergency Care.
In 2013, I founded YCPR, a Youth Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation campaign which empowers the youth to help save lives within their communities. It aims to create a network of Bystander CPR trained youth, ready to administer life-saving treatment when the need arises which was seed-funded with my earnings as a performing artist. I recently founded a socially responsible digital entertainment startup/production company, Golden Milk Media, focusing on social norms/issues and Gen-Z in India.
I will also be organizing a global conference in a few months on storytelling and global health. I think health is a fundamental human right, and having gone through several health issues myself, know the privilege I had of having access to quality and timely care, which a lot of people in this world do not have.
INE: What are your hobbies and interests?
AN: Apart from music, I love biking, baking, mentoring, creating content, and spending time with people I love!
INE: In what way you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community or your company/organization and professional field?
AN: I think I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I truly believe in the power of the voice.
As a singer, I have a voice. As a songwriter, I get to share my own, and the voices and stories of others. As an artist, I am learning everyday how to cultivate the voice of the platform I am afforded. Music is no longer simply my art; it is my vehicle to impact change. It gives me a platform to be a voice, an advocate, for issues I care deeply about – and to keep learning how to use my multiple voices in their literal and metaphorical ways, and how to guide others to do the same. The biggest blessing I have had is being able to discover all of this at a young age.
INE: What is the most pressing issue that you believe women are facing today?
AN: Lack of respect across the board, in the most extreme cases leading to rape and assault, and in other cases leading to discrimination in the workplace and in daily life.
INE: What is your rare talent that people don’t know about?
AN: This might be a weird one, but I can burp the alphabet!
INE: What are your favorite books?
AN: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Secret, Not Without My Daughter
INE: What are your favorite quotes that motivate you or make you smile?
AN: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel (Maya Angelou).
INE: Who inspires you the most?
AN: My Guruji, Dr. Prabha Atre, and my parents.
INE: Who is the one person you would like to meet and why?
AN: Kris Jenner (the matriarch of the Kardashians). Despite all the controversy, she has built 5 incredible brands from almost nothing, and is, in my opinion, one of the best brand managers that exists.
INE: What are your core values that you try to live by?
AN: Respect, kindness and love.