Popstar Ananya Birla feels that here will always be people who will jump to conclusions because of her surname, but that doesn't detract her from her dream to build an identity beyond her surname. She added that it has pushed her to work twice as hard to prove her worth.
"There are always going to be people who jump to conclusions because of my surname. When I started out, I think people focused more on that than anything else which was a little disheartening," Ananya told IANS when asked about her reaction when people indicate that she got opportunities because of her surname.
"But I've learned that criticism comes with the territory. It has pushed me to work twice as hard to prove myself and get to where I am today. It has always been so important to me to carve my own path, follow my own dreams and make my own mistakes. I wanted to build an identity beyond my surname, whether that was with my music, my business Svatantra or Mpower, the mental health initiative I set up with my mom. I just want to do what I love and hopefully make a positive impact while I'm at it," added the daughter of business tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla, who is unfazed by her hefty lineage.
Talking about her decision to drop out of college to pursue music, she said: "I realised early on that life is too short not to pursue the thing that sparks a fire in your soul. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found that, and to be able to do it every single day."
"I was so scared to put myself out there and turn my back on a more conventional path but, in the end, the fear of failure was outweighed by the joy of doing what I love. I am proud that I made that decision, it''s so important to follow your passions, even if that means going against what seems ideal - with enough faith and persistence you can overcome anything," she added.
The 25-year-old is a "huge believer in the power of music to bring people together and make a positive impact".
"I really believe it is the ultimate global language that can connect people from all over the world. Right now, during this difficult time, it has been wonderful to see artists like Chris Martin, John Legend and Camilla Cabello doing live-streamed performances as part of the #togetherathome campaign. It allows audiences to feel connected and has also been a great platform for people to raise money for those who have been worst affected. I've also seen some beautiful videos on social media of Italians taking to their balconies to enjoy music together with impromptu songs. It is a heart-warming reminder of the resilience of the human spirit," explained the multi-platinum selling pop sensation.
She made her debut in 2016. Her first five singles -- "Livin the life", "Meant to be", "Hold on", "Circles" and "Better" became platinum hits. She recently released her debut EP "Fingerprint".
Amid the lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the singer, who has opened up about her struggle with mental health, is using the time to connect with her fans.
"The last couple of weeks have definitely not been the happiest given all the suffering the world is going through," said the singer, who keeps on travelling between India and Los Angeles.
"My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the virus. I've been using the time to connect with fans through my social media which has been quite nice. I've also been focusing on my music and keeping in touch with family and friends. It''s been a while since I have been home," she added.
On the work front, she is working on "some really exciting things in the US".