Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student…
Bengali-American singer-songwriter, Rianjali, just released a stunning new ballad titled ‘Okay?’ The heartbreak track is our Tune-in-Tuesdays of the week!
Rianjali is a young star who has been steadily and silently taking over the music industry one amazing song at a time. Trained in classical Indian and Bengali music from a young age, her love of music began early. Her father is also a well-known Bengali folk singer within the Bengali community, thus music was in her blood. She even attended the renowned arts high school in New York City, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She went on to study psychology and social work obtaining her Masters Degree from City College of New York. But through it all, she didn’t let her creativity drown in pursuing her education. A few short years ago, Rianjali was discovered by the Oscar-winning, international legend, AR Rahman through a friend. Rahman was impressed with the young star and hired her immediately! She flew out to India, and with training on the job, she was able to grow as an artist and gain technical and real-life experience in the industry. She even ended up teaching Rahman’s kids to sing.
Since then, Rianjali has worked on numerous noteworthy projects and gained attention and appreciation for her work. She worked on the Netflix Original documentary “Daughters of Destiny” which won an Academy Award. She was also Oscar-shortlisted for best original song from the movie “Lake of Fire,” she worked on Sridevi’s horror flick “Mom,” and penned the lyrics for the soundtrack of “Love Sonia.” She made her debut with the song ‘Make You Mine’ in early 2o19 and since then she has been blessing us with amazing original music, all leading up to this latest track, ‘Okay?’
Everyone always tries to place their best foot forward and be what they perceive their family, society, or the world wants them to be, but many a times it is far from the most authentic version of yourself. ‘Okay?’ is a relatable song that speaks to that positive image we tend to uphold in public while internally falling apart. Trying to live up to what others expect of us leaves us all trapped under a mask that we struggle to manage.
“Sometimes, it feels like the world will never be satisfied with who you authentically are. Always asking for changes, always giving you a reason to doubt yourself,” Rianjali writes on YouTube. “You go along with it, and suddenly you can’t remember the last time you’ve been free. Trapped in the images of what everyone else wants you to be. Throughout it all, I wonder, did anyone ever ask me if I was okay?”
Rianjali’s melodious voice is like smooth, sweet frosting on an already perfect cupcake. She not only wrote the lyrics but also composed the track. It was mixed/mastered by Julian Höninger and recorded at Nice As Hell Studios. The video is a high-quality piece of art that is as elegant as Rianjali. Directed, shot, and edited by Dream But Don’t Sleep, the video features Rianjali moving through the motions of getting ready and doing multiple photoshoots while she sings about her inner sorrows. The project was executive produced by her husband, Kunal Patel, who is a star in his own right. Patel is a lawyer, podcast host, and singer-songwriter who has worked with numerous artists in the urban desi and Bollywood music industry over the years. You can also catch Patel in the video as the photographer who places Rianjali in poses to shoot her.
‘Okay?’ has the makings of a mainstream hit, but to get a star like Rianjali to shine at that height we need to remember to support her today. Check out this beautiful single and the voice that brought it to life!
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student who was born and raised in New York City. There is very little she loves more than Harry Potter marathons, pizza, 90s Bollywood, bagels, falooda, and her family. She hopes to use her powers for good by spreading mental health awareness and positivity in the South Asian community through her love of writing.