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Interviews |  16 Sep 2021 21:54 |  By Namrata Kale

From being a shy girl to channeling her abilities Nishi Rajan talks about her journey in the music industry

Singer/songwriter, actor, lawyer, director, writer and producer Nishi Rajan is a New York city based entertainer. born in New Delhi, India and from the south Indian state of Kerala, Nishi moved to New York when she was five years old.

In 2017, she co-starred as Umme in the television show 'We Speak NYC' and in 2014, she directed and produced a 35+ member cast Indian Off-Broadway musical, The Rajah's Son & Princess Labam.

Well, Nishi has many projects lined up. In this exclusive interview, Nishi Rajan talks about her upcoming series releasing on Amazon Prime and gives us an insight into her journey.

Experts from the interview.

Your Demo EP was released in 2005, and post that there was no looking back. Tell us something about the songs that you released and how was your musical journey.

 My first EP were 6 original songs that I had written while in college & law school were a mix of songs about my first love or just songs that came to me. There were Indian sounding dance songs and rock songs and ballads. My journey as a singer, artist and musician has been tenfold since that time. When I first released my demo EP, I was still struggling to find my voice. I was still too shy and too conservative to really bring out my full abilities and what I really wanted to write and sing about. Now, I’ve been creatively unleashed, every level has been unlocked and I am free and fully immersed in creation, creating music and songs that affect people in a positive and meaningful way. The journey has been one of doing something that I absolutely loved to complete self-expression and connection emotionally and musically.

You are a lawyer as well, was stepping into the entertainment industry a choice for you since childhood or you got interested in it later. Tell us a bit about that.

I had been singing and dancing and performing since I was a little girl, singing Hindi songs as a child in New Delhi where I was born and acting out Malayalam & Hindi movie scenes and songs here in America with my parents. I had always known that I wanted to be a lawyer since age 11. I have loved detective stories and Nancy Drew books since I was little and wanted to be a detective and a lawyer. I also loved music, writing & singing and had been writing a lot of songs & stories throughout high school and college. I did a cappella music in college and recorded self-tapes of my songs. But by the time college had ended, I already knew I was headed towards law school and that would require my full attention. So I put aside any musical aspirations to focus on law school. When I graduated and started working in the city as a lawyer, I felt like a part of my soul was missing. I began producing music again and working with wonderful music producers and just felt complete and happy again. The choice to go into the music and entertainment industry has always been there, it is always something that I passionately wanted. I just needed to wait for the right time for the stars to align that would allow me to pursue all my dreams.

Apart from musician, you are an actor and director as well. How acting and direction came into the picture?

 In 2007 I temporarily paused performances with my band in New York City because I had been engaged to someone I loved very much. We ended up calling off the engagement in 2008 and I decided to immerse myself in acting. I took classes at HB Studio in NYC, did some short films & background work and then began doing children’s musical theater in 2009, and then began to get feature films with my first starring role in a feature film, Sid’s Paralysis in 2010. I started taking on more intense theatre & film work and was constantly either in a theater production or short film or feature film. During that time, I started  assisting directing and decided to write one of my first big plays, The Rajah’s Son & Princess Labam. After producing workshop performance readings of the musical in 2012, I put on a full scale theatrical musical Bollywood style production in 2014, Off Broadway on 52nd St. at the Medicine Show Theatre in NYC. It was the largest scale production I had ever produced or directed and written and costarred in at that time. It had a cast of 35 actors ranging in age from 6 to 60s. I love directing, creating, helping other actors be their best and helping to make people laugh and enjoy a performance, whether music, film or theater. I am deeply passionate about  Acting, writing, producing and directing and of course singing.

You will be soon seen in Amazon Prime's Lark and Splur. Tell us about your character and experience in the same?

In Lark & Spur, I play Lark, a mysterious woman with mysterious powers and abilities. Lark  can see and sense ghosts and is somewhat psychic and magical. After being abroad for a number of years, she has returned back to her childhood hometown where she has moved into a house that she bought an estate sale. She learns that she has a ghost in her house and her old childhood friends Spur & Dani help her to put the spirit to rest. The first episode is magical, feel-good and touches on the elements of friendship and family and love. The TV series is a supernatural mystery thriller which is also part romantic comedy.

The Mangoose is your another project which is currently doing rounds in film festivals. Tell us about the response you are getting for the same.

The Mongoose is a beautiful little art house feature film written and directed by Louis Rocky Bacigalupo. I played the lead character, Pree, who is married to Sonny (played by Bacigalupo). The two are trying to conceive a baby and are having marital discord in the process. The story deals with depression and marital issues, but is also fun and lighthearted. The movie is very symbolic and cryptic in certain ways which are elements the Director specifically had written and wanted to visually tell a deeper story with. The symbolic elements tell of dark back stories, that not everything is always picture perfect as it looks like on the outside.

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