Perhaps one can say that Meghna always dreamt of pop ubiquity from a very young age. She simply loved music and performing and started dancing at school when she was just a child. “I just enjoyed being on stage,” she says.
An emerging Australian-Indian artist, Meghna, born to a Tamil mother and a Bengali father in Sydney after her parents migrated to Australia from India, has had the best of both worlds. The household she grew up in was full of warmth and music, and as the first grandchild in the family, she received support in whatever she did.
“My grandmother has done a brilliant job of preserving our family’s cultural heritage even though we live in Australia. She keeps our Hindu traditions alive and regularly takes us to the temple, emphasising that we should complete 12 rounds around the planet. She’s truly a blessing,” she says with a laugh.
The 22-year-old Melbourne-based singer and songwriter says her granddad and father encouraged her to pursue music by introducing her to artists like Dire Straits and Elvis Presley. Her mother also exposed her to a variety of Indian songs. These diverse influences were always in the background as she grew up.
“Learning about raga, tala, and all the musical elements from my grandparents has been instrumental too. Although I didn’t have formal training, my grandmother’s practice of Bharatnatyam dance introduced me to rhythms, significantly shaping my musical journey,” she says.
And of course, Bollywood music was the rite of passage.
In short order, Meghna took the music world by storm at the age of 12 when she produced her first music, titled Lost. How that happened was thanks to her singing teacher, Nicholas Roy, a successful Australian recording artist, who introduced her to the concept of songwriting and challenged her to write a song.
During that time, a tragedy occurred at her school involving a car accident, and one of the fathers of a child at the school was fatally injured while picking up his child. “It shocked me, and I was personally affected,” Meghna recalls. “It just felt very upsetting because my dad would also pick me up from school.”
So, she wrote and produced Lost. After that, she wanted to write more and more.
Meghna wrote about things she felt strongly about, such as injustices. Even from that young age, she was deeply passionate about children’s rights. Having a younger brother with a fair age gap only intensified her feelings about it, she reveals.
She recalls visiting India with her grandmother and visiting the orphanage she was associated with. “I saw all the poverty just exploring the places around. It broke my heart seeing all of that,” she says.
Her song Mountain (released when she was 14) is a product of those experiences, shedding light on poverty in India.
Interestingly, Meghna reveals that she couldn’t write love songs when she was young. Although she was part of the school songwriting club, she admits, “I was innocent and young in my head, so I couldn’t write love songs at that time.”
By the time Meghna finished school, she had completed her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma with a focus on music, exploring classical, rock, and contemporary music genres. However, at university, she initially pursued a major in music but later switched to a Law degree at Monash University.
“I am not going to count on my law degree though,” she adds with a laugh. “I thought that if I want to write songs about social issues, I should study something that can effect the change.”
Meghna has garnered recognition on the vibrant Melbourne music scene as a talented emerging artist. She has received support from creative producers, various radio stations, MTV, and mentors. She has collaborated with the luxury French-Japanese fashion brand Maison Kitsuné for their Kitsuné Musique branch on her song ‘Hypnotising’ (produced by Simon Dobson).
Starting off 2023 with a bang, Meghna has recently graced the stages of prominent events, including the Live Fast Festival at the renowned Australian Grand Prix, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Fan Festival, and ALWAYS LIVE’S GarageBand Festival, performing in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans.
When it comes to gigs, she has two distinct arrangements—one for smaller, more intimate performances and another for larger venues. “I’m really drawn to live band experiences and enjoy blending the worlds of rock and pop in my music.”
Meghna says her live repertoires echo classic rock, which was part of her early influences thanks to her dad, and hip-hop that adds not just a distinctive coolness to her brand but also creates a niche appeal. “You’ll experience the dynamic energy of vocals that seamlessly blend the essence of hip-hop with the spirit of rock.”
An evolving songwriter, she is most proud of her songs Hypnotising, Pacifist Philosophy, and 2045.
Meghna’s quest for ubiquity is a lot closer to her goals as a South Asian artist in Australia. “We’ve made strides in diversity, but the music industry still leans heavily toward Western sounds. I’m determined to bring South Asian music into the mainstream, as are many other musicians. My motto is ‘go all in,’ inherited from my mom. I aim to make my music a powerful platform for addressing social issues and making a positive impact on people’s lives.”
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Meghna, an emerging Australian-Indian artist, blends diverse musical influences into her work. From classical to rock, she's making her mark in the Melbourne music scene & aims to bring South Asian music into the mainstream. #TheIndianSun @indira_laisramhttps://t.co/iMoNGRPRDW
— The Indian Sun (@The_Indian_Sun) September 21, 2023