Mahashetty toys with emotion in debut song

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Mahashetty toys with emotion in debut song

Mahashetty worked on the track over the course of eight months.

Mahashetty worked on the track over the course of eight months.

Photo by Mary Ma

Mahashetty worked on the track over the course of eight months.

Photo by Mary Ma

Photo by Mary Ma

Mahashetty worked on the track over the course of eight months.

Lucy Shen, Arts Writer

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Since its release on Sept. 8, junior Saanika Mahashetty’s original song “Toy” has garnered over 3000 streams on Spotify alone. “Toy” is Mahashetty’s debut track, written and produced all on her own.

In the track, Mahashetty sings about overcoming difficult teenage emotions. “Those who may resort to music to comfort themselves can find a story that they can relate to,” she said.

Mahashetty has a thorough musical background. She has been an Indian classical music singer since she was two years old and is a member of RM’s Madrigals. She has won several singing competitions, like “Saregamapa,” an Indian reality TV show similar to American Idol.

This is also not the junior’s first experience with songwriting; Mahashetty has been creating tracks since seventh grade. “I’ve always had this thought in my head that I wanted to make an original song,” she said.

Mahashetty started working on “Toy” in her sophomore year. The song’s beginning was unplanned: “I was just standing in my friend’s parking lot, had my phone out, and played some bell noises and I thought that was a good song bass.” Finishing the instrumental in January, she then went on to write and record the melody and lyrics.

After seeking advice from her father, who doubles as her voice coach, Mahashetty polished the track, adding reverb and other effects using a voice editing software on his computer. She finalized the song in late August.

Mahashetty described her song as experimental. “It’s not in a style of singing that I’m very comfortable with,” she said. “I tried something new with this.”

The junior faced challenges with balancing classes, activities and songwriting during the school year. “I would take my phone and iPad everywhere with me: on the plane, car, everywhere, because I wanted to make the most of my time,” she said. “It was really really hard, but I had to make time for it.”

Though the process was stressful at times, Mahashetty’s passion carried her through. “When I was making music, I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I have so much work to do,’ it was more like, ‘I need a break from school, I need to do something that makes me happy,’” Mahashetty said.

The final product made everything worth it. “My dad was so happy, he almost teared up. That more than anything else, the fact that he liked it, means a lot to me,” she said. “I want to continue doing things like this.”

The singer is planning to release an extended play record (EP), which will feature a variety of songs. “I’ve arranged it on like a spectrum, where it starts off happy and ends on a sadder tone, to reveal all the faces of a teenage life,” she said. “I feel like a lot of artists don’t really cover that, they usually sing about superficial aspects and I want to go deeper into what people don’t really know.”

“Toy” can be streamed on Spotify or purchased on Apple Music, Google Play or Amazon.