The quintessential boy-next-door, Anuv Jain—who packs melodious vocals with strong songwriting—has become one of the country’s most acclaimed young artists today. Discovered during the pandemic, Anuv talks about the importance of inclusivity, the love he receives from his ‘audience family’, and that romantic song that changed his life.
The Mumbai-born, Ludhiana-raised Anuv Jain is one of those musicians whose melodies instantly take you back to a place in time, a memory, and a certain feeling. It’s impossible not to be stirred by his second song Baarishein , which went viral during the pandemic—a song he wrote at the age of 17. The recent version we all
love today features a more mature voice, and it’s the perfect love ballad. “I was young and in love,” Anuv says simply, of that time.
Without any formal training, but a singer since he was a child, Anuv says he’s primarily a songwriter. “Singing is an add-on,” he says. But he picked up the guitar at 16, took lessons, and it was his music teacher who suggested he shift his singing/songwriting from English to Hindi, a switch he’s now grateful for. “I started writing about myself and young love, and here we are today,” says Anuv, who has since done a single in English, Ocean .
Undoubtedly, Baarishein changed Anuv’s life. “People have told me that they’ve shared this song with their partner: this is how you make me feel,” he says. He feels validated when people come up to him after a show, that he could be part of someone’s life so intricately. “Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of friends,” he says. “I have so many now. I don’t call people my fans, but my family, as they built me and helped me grow. Those who have been with me on my journey for the last six years, I don’t take them for granted.”
His All India Tour in 10 cities was sold out. “It was a smaller setting of 1,110-2,000 people,” says Anuv. “I’ve done bigger shows since—20,000 people at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, but I will never forget travelling to so many cities for that tour, and the audience singing all the lyrics with me.” He says it’s only recently that he began loving live performances. “I was always a shy kid,” he says. “I was terrified to sing in front of even 10 people. But now, I have no nerves and I am happy!”
Inspired by A.R. Rahman, Atif Aslam, Sonu Nigam, and Arijit Singh, Anuv says that singing for films or web series is always on the cards. Out of all the Bollywood songs out there, he’s particularly fond of Tu Koi Aur Hai, from the film Tamasha . It says you’re meant to be doing something else,” says Anuv, to whose life this applied perfectly—for the period when he left his family business in Ludhiana to get into music. And so his new home, Mumbai, became the backdrop of videos for songs like the wistful and nostalgic Mazaak .
Asked if he would be open to an international collaboration like King and Nick Jonas, Anuv says he would love to work with Welsh music artist Novo Amor. “It’s the right fit; I love his music,” he says. “I’m not looking for the collab to go viral, but the music should sound brilliant.” As an indie artist, Anuv says there’s never been a better time for independent labels. He handles everything by himself, his process of making YouTube videos and uploading them... But “the scope is large, and there’s flexibility”. Plus, the royalties on Spotify, and other streaming services, are the best part of being a musician today.
Anuv, who wants to make it very big, has started to become more experimental. “In my next video, I will be acting,” he says. His personal style is shifting from conservative to bold. “You will see me in a shoot where I dress way out of my comfort zone,” says the singer who likes oversized tees, shirts, and owns a large collection of black hoodies and sneakers. Anuv enjoys connecting with young people who see him as a role model and want to emulate him, his guitar and ukulele playing. He’s happy to be part of this inclusive generation, where people from different backgrounds and styles are supported, not left out. “I’ve been at the receiving end of not being made to feel included,” he says. “No matter where you come from, everyone has equal opportunities.” He says he was lucky to be accepted in Mumbai.
“Nowadays, as we move away from musicals and make songs into background scores, I would love to sing for Ranbir Kapoor—one of the finest actors in the country,” says Anuv, whose YouTube family can’t wait for the drop of his latest single, Antariksh, this month.
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Photographs: Chandrahas Prabhu; Styling: Pranay Jaitly & Shounak Amonkar; Make-up: Krisann Figueiredo; Hair: Rakshanda Irani; Videographer:
Ratnakar Dave; Production: P. Productions; Fashion Assistants: Shubham Jawanjal and Chaitanya Balvant