She may have a household surname to herself but Ananya Birla is more than just her family’s name. A bearer of multiple hats—entrepreneur, singer and mental health advocate, Birla is a force to be reckoned with. She’s got a long list of achievements to herself and being the cover girl for Vogue India‘s April 2021 issue is an addition to her kitty. Dressed in not one but two pantsuits—black-coloured by Celine and vermillion-hued by Cinq à Sept, Birla looks like the epitome of grace and power. Her interview with Vogue had Birla speak candidly about her life as an adolescent, her unexpected choice of career and how she delved into the world of mental health and last but not the least, art and craft! Excerpts from her interesting chat, below.
More often than not, people have a misconception about how being a star kid or a rich kid is all just rainbows and roses. “My childhood was very sheltered. I had a curfew and a bodyguard. I felt a lot of pressure to be this perfect kid. I felt claustrophobic trying to live up to what I thought the world wanted me to be.” said Birla, but followed it up with how that, in fact, pushed her harder to achieve her goals and become the person she is today. Her decision to drop out of college at 22 and set sail in the pursuit of her musical career is a by-product of that. But merely signing up with Universal Music Group and dropping singles and collaborative projects with artists like Sean Kingston wasn’t enough. And so, end of 2019, Birla found herself at the terminals, headed to a new life in Los Angeles to further her footprint in the music industry.
“As the next generation of a highly conservative business family, my parents and siblings are not as conservative as the world thinks we are. We have our morals and values, but we are not closed-minded.”, explained Birla while talking about her song Everybody’s Lost. The video saw Birla in a sexy element, dressed in a bustier and boots and that inevitably invited a host of unsolicited comments on her reputation. But that had minimal to zero effect on her or her family who recognise her passion and see her for what she is—hella talented.
Birla also opened up about her struggle with her mental health and the answer is obviously not pretty. But instead of that bringing her down, Birla proudly birthed the Ananya Birla Foundation at the time when the world was working ’round the clock to make the perfect Dalgona coffee. Mental health is not a topic to be taken lightly nor ignored, something that is inherently missing in the rural parts of India. So how can we change that? Leave it to the mastermind. “We are even doing a research project with students from the London School of Economics to see where mental health stands in rural India,” explained Birla who co-founded Mpower with her mother in 2016, a mental health initiative.
Besides what looks like a never-ending task list, Birla also has her feet dipped in art and craft courtesy of her brand Ikai Asai. It’s a craft-centric label that designs tableware.
She is unstoppable but with the many hurdles that come her way, she finds her peace in fitness and journaling, as picked correctly from her interesting chat with Vogue. She’s also well-aware of the fact that good is always accompanied by bad and fans with haters. Because every coin inevitably has two sides, as told to her perfectly by her parents.
What are your thoughts on this? Doesn’t it feel good to know that people with power are using it to make a difference in the world and for the better? Tell us in the comments below.