From Hollywood to Bollywood Composing with Rianjali Bhowmick

Behind every favorite artist, song, or lyric, is a story you've never heard. Music is highly personal, and our experiences with it shape our memories, thoughts, and desires. So much goes into every note and lyric behind the scenes, which is why we’re bringing you Voices Behind the Music to share untold music business tales. Our guests range from artists, producers, and managers to tech creators and more, each sharing their unique past experiences, current projects, and visions for the future. Voices Behind The Music is presented by Feed Media Group, the leading B2B music licensing platform.

Hosted by Jeff Yasuda, CEO, Feed Media Group.



Rianjali is a South Asian American, singer-songwriter/composer from Queens, NY. A former domestic violence caseworker, Rianjali was Hindustani classically trained as a child, and learned Western vocals after being admitted to the prestigious LaGuardia Highschool for the Performing Arts. She has gone on to collaborate and perform with the likes of A.R.Rahman, U2, Bishop Briggs, and Shawn Mendes.



Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] Jeff: The intersection of music and tech is more than a crossroads, it's a launchpad. I'm Jeff Yasuda CEO at Feed Media Group, and this is Voices Behind the Music. Okay, today we are here with Rianjali Bhowmick, an amazing singer and songwriter who's been working closely with renowned Indian film composer, A.R. Rahman.

She has several projects under her belt, including the original documentary Daughters of Destiny and Sridevi's Bollywood film, Mom. She's also the producer of the original podcast, Mild Mannered and Timid. I've been enjoying episode 124 on Spotify, about a Bengali politician who was campaigning from house to house with a live fish.

You should check this out as you just can't make this stuff up. But regarding her own music, Rianjali's debut single Make You Mine was released in early 2019 from her acoustic EP, And during the pandemic though she's been active, having released two more singles and two original cinematic scores.

Ria was born in New York and moved to India when she was still an infant. She started singing when she was around six years old and later moved back to the US and started formally training she was 14 at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. Years later, and I love this story, and a friend recorded a song and put it out on Soundcloud. Soon after, something crazy happened. That friend called and asked if she wanted to meet the A.R. Ramon and AR asked her to come work with him in India. Now this is the type of story that any aspiring artist could only dream about.

Ria, thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:01:57] Rianjali: Thank you so much for having me. It was interesting to hear you say all that, because I was like, wait, that happened. Oh my God. That's so cool. Like just hearing back my life stuff because I did not think I was that interesting, trust me. 

[00:02:08] Jeff: You are way interesting. And to start it off, so what are you working on right now?

[00:02:12] Rianjali: Okay. So I am working on, I have seven singles that I'm ready to release this year. That's my own project. I've been getting a lot more into scoring and I'm working on two short films. One of them being something that our team is producing and another one of them being something that the director of Brown Nation from Netflix, he's creating a short film so I'm working with him on that. 

I also have gotten a lot more into the ad space. So I've been creating a lot of ads and working with agencies to compose music for stuff like that, which I didn't know that I would love, but it's really fun to just get these random briefs and it's totally different from your own style.

So I've been doing stuff like that. In the meantime, I think between all of that, I still want to be able to do my entire full-length album. 

[00:02:57] Jeff: Now have you set a target date for your album release? 

[00:03:01] Rianjali: Because I've had all these songs, I've got a lot of them just sitting in this folder. I was wondering, should I put it out as an album or should I release them as individual songs? Because I always like to have a visual component because I think obviously the future is video, audio visual stuff.

And, I would be the person that would say, if I have a 10 song album, I want a video for all of them and we know how quickly that gets like taxing and expensive. So I thought, let me start with a couple of the singles. And then I think for the album, that's probably going to be the goal for next year, because this year I've got quite a bit on my plate and I tend to overdo it. So I'm like, let me slow down for a second. 

[00:03:37] Jeff: The album release, this is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. When I was a kid, I remember going to record stores, flipping through shelves and racks of vinyl and whatnot. the album was this sacred thing, right?

It was 10 songs that all had to do with something with each other. There was some sort of flow through all the songs it was this end result that was this beautiful compilation of this person's art. Obviously now it's a different story where it's about the single, pushing these things out quickly.

Do you miss some of that nostalgia? Do you think, hey it's about the single, I'm going to just throw this out on the metaverse and we're going to sign an NFT to this and all that? 

[00:04:25] Rianjali: I feel like I've always been told that I am definitely like a 55 year old in like a 30 year old body. I've been told that since I was 13, but I really miss the nostaligic stuff. And I think I'm always battling being in between those two worlds, because I do come from the nineties.

I was born exactly in 1990. And so I feel like my peers and everyone else around me, and because I am in my early thirties, there's a whole new generation of musicians and they're really in on the NFT stuff and they know what they're doing with all the technology.

And I'm sitting there going, I don't. I have to have my husband trying to explain what an NFT is to me. So I want to be a part of that world, I'm open. I'm not saying no because I'm used to something else. I want to learn about it, but I also absolutely agree with you. An album to me is a story that you're telling. It's literally, songwriters are telling a story.

So I love the combination of film and music, which is why I found a space in both because I am a pop song writer, but then I also film compose. There's only a handful of other singer songwriters that I know have transitioned into that space, but I've always loved that storyline. And so I really miss the nostalgic stuff, but I'm trying to balance a little bit of the in between place. 

So the singles hopefully are a way for me cause I did the EP's, so it's not like I started off with just a bunch of singles, short forms, 15 seconds, 20 seconds. There's a space for that but we have to try and remember that really good art takes time. And I think sometimes we do forget that. This pressure, cause I feel the pressure too that if I haven't released something in some time, though I have been busy and working on clients' projects or whatever it is and I have things to be proud of, I feel like I'm, I guess, behind it in some way.

But then I'm like, it takes a long time to come up with, cause I'm also, I'm singing-songwriting and composing and doing it all on the software. So it's just a one-man show when it comes to me. And so that takes time, and so I really do want to get back to that. I've been trying to get back into that mentality where it's not just, you got to release or post something on Instagram to keep yourself visible.

[00:06:31] Jeff: Let's dive into the story, this crazy story about you meeting with, really you getting your big break. You posted this track up on SoundCloud. And tell us how this meeting took place? 

[00:06:44] Rianjali: Yeah, it was a really strange period in my life. I was around 24 years old, I think. And I was working as a domestic violence case worker for a nonprofit organization. So I had gotten my master's in clinical psych, I was hoping to then apply for my PhD to try and become a psychotic. That was the eventual goal.

So I was working with this non-profit and it was taxing. It was, I was dealing with foster care and getting these battered women out of their situations into regular jobs, giving them the tools to get a job, to learn English. A lot of them were immigrants who came to this country with no papers.

And I liked the job and I definitely felt fulfilled, but so much other stuff was going on that it was stressful. And so in many ways I've always said, I don't feel like I've lived out my twenties the way I've seen other people live out their twenties. I was like this responsible kid, like coming home and living with my parents at the time to try and save money and trying to help my parents out with bills.

My mom got sick around that time so I was taking care of her, like I didn't have much of a social life. I wasn't doing like the happy hours after work and the meeting friends and all that kind of stuff. And so I didn't realize that it made me feel stuck, but I did feel stuck because I was like, why do I have so much responsibility as a 24 year old?

I actually ended up having polyps on my vocal chords and I didn't know. But what happened was I just started losing my voice over the last, like from 21 to 24. Yeah. Started losing my voice little by little, and the music naturally started to fade into the background. Work, not actually being able to sing.

And then I got checked out by an ENT who said I have three giant polyps on my chords. He said, I sound like I was smoking a pack a day and I was like, I don't smoke. So that should tell you how bad it was. And he said, you have good insurance so we can do the surgery. And I was like, do we have to do surgery right away?

And he said the crazy thing about the American medical system is that they'll approve you and cover you for the surgery fully, they won't approve you for vocal therapy. And that made no sense to me. Because they would rather do the big, costly $35,000 surgery than actually work on this. I went for it cause I was like, I'm losing something that I've had my whole life and it's, I'm losing it to the point where I clearly didn't care enough to get it checked out in three years because everything was on my mind.

Got the surgery. 10 days of no talking, no eating, solid food, just drinking fluids. And I remember humming on the 11th day and I was just in tears because I remember humming the song Yesterday by the Beatles, it was one of my favorite songs. And I just was in tears. Cause I wasn't able to hum anymore. It just wasn't happening. Your vocal chords just -

[00:09:22] Jeff: Wow.

[00:09:23] Rianjali: Yeah, it looks like a triangle and they are supposed to touch like this every time you speak in sync. So when there's just little growths on it, they never fully touch. So you never get that hum sound. And so it's the strangest thing. And so once that happened, I was like, I gotta get back to the music. I took this for granted. I gotta start writing again. I got to start doing all this. And so my brother's friend was rapping for fun. And he posted on his Facebook that he wants to have a singer for his little EP or album that he was doing.

It was literally, like this guy was in law school. I don't think he was serious about it at all, but he tagged me in the Facebook post and I said, you know what? I've been in my shell for so long. Why don't I just do it? I went there, I wrote some stuff. We put it on SoundCloud for fun. What I didn't know was that he has been family, friends with AR Ramon for the last 19 years of his life. He didn't tell anyone because it's such a big relationship. So no one knew this. About six months later, the song had been online for some time.

I don't even know how it was doing. I barely, I didn't even have an Instagram. And at the time my phone was broken. I had like bare minimum ways of people to communicate with me. So he ends up trying to call me, couldn't get in touch. Calls my brother, who then calls my mom and said is Ria in the house? Like this guy's trying to reach her.

And she was like, oh, okay. So literally gives me her phone, I call this dude and I was like, Hey, what's up, haven't heard from you in six months. And he was like, Hey, really random. This is going to sound really strange. But AR Ramon wants to meet you. Are you free tomorrow? And I just. 

[00:10:51] Jeff: Jesus. 

[00:10:53] Rianjali: So I was just like, what? Because there was no part of me that was excited because I hadn't heard from him in six months. And I was like, this guy's just BS'ing me. I don't know. I don't know what this is. Yeah. 

[00:11:03] Jeff: And just before you go into what happened this day in the meeting, tell us who is AR Ramon and why is he so important?

[00:11:13] Rianjali: He's a composer for Bollywood and also other realms of the Indian film music industry, that basically had these amazing film scores that got really popular in the nineties. So we grew up knowing of him as like this, they call him the Mozart of Mudras and that's where he's from.

And we just looked up to this guy because this man's songs, the sections are like A B A B C D E, go back to A then to F, it was all over the place and it works and I don't know how he does it. 

So we really looked up to him. And then he did Slumdog Millionaire really got him on the map. And winning that Oscar, for us as Indian Americans, there is no one else that is from India who's made a crossover like that. And that was incredible to us. So already family, friends, all of us, all Indian Americans were like, this guy is the dude.

And then when he won the Oscar, we were like, oh my God, we're feeling seen. And then I met him and I was like, no, this is not real. It's not real that I'm meeting the same guy. I would say he's probably like the Hans Zimmer for us. 

[00:12:15] Jeff: Sure. Sure. And as some of you may recall, we had Vivek Agrival on the show back during season one and he too works with A.R. Rahman.

But yes, please now tell us, so you meet him the next day and what happened. 

[00:12:34] Rianjali: I meet him the next day, we go for lunch and we didn't, we barely spoke about music. We were actually just talking about a whole bunch of other stuff. And then he, I guess he took a liking to me. He was with his manager and he asked his manager to ask me if I'm free for the rest of the day. If I want to just, they were walking around the city. He was leaving that night to go back to India, so he only had that one day.

And so he was going to go to Guitar Center and Sam Ash, he loves like looking at equipment and stuff. So I was like. 

[00:12:58] Jeff: Oh, 

[00:12:59] Rianjali: If you're inviting me for the day, I was like, my mom, no big deal, my mom's post-surgery, but I am here for you. I was like, mom, can I stay? Do you need help? She's gone, I'll figure it out.

I was like, Okay. And at the time, no one knew what I was going through at home. So it was insane, but I ended up spending the whole day with him. We walk into the 34th street guitar center to this huge space that I've been to many times in my life. Yeah.

[00:13:21] Jeff: Yeah.

[00:13:22] Rianjali: Then we started talking about music and he goes, so you play guitar.

And I was like a little bit, he goes, you sing? A little bit. And he's cool. He goes, play something and he's ever so casual like this. And I was like, oh my God, we walk into this room and there's just guitars. You know how there's guitars all over the wall. And this was the movie moment for me.

And I'm telling you up until this point, my life was not a movie. I did not dream about these experiences. I wasn't the kid who looked up all the musicians and thought that was going to be me. I did not think any of that. I was in my box. I was in my lane. I didn't even try because what was the point? If there was No opportunity for me. I just didn't see it.

This is one of those things that really changed my perspective on a lot of stuff. I was very hyper-realistic and now I just know I can do this. If I see something that seems outlandish, I'm like, no, I'm going to go for it. That changed from that day. So there are two stools in the middle, I don't even know why they're there. For my movie, I guess.

I'm sitting on one and he sits on the other, and there's the wall of guitars behind me. And he pulls up his phone and he goes, hold on a second, takes a photo and goes, this looks like an album cover. What's your email? And I was like, Oh, my God, I'm about to send my email to A.R. Rahman, like what is going on?

And so I had just written Make You Mine about a few months prior to that. So I was like, if I got to show him something, I should show him my original. So I sit there, I play it. He records the entire thing on his phone. So that made it even more nerve-wracking and like a movie scene, everyone in the store stopped, watched this happen, pulled out their phones.

And then once I was done, they all clapped. And I was like, what is happening right now This is not Ria's life. This is someone else's life. And you would think I would get some feedback. He goes cool. Moves on. I was like, oh my God, must have been terrible for him to not say like anything, like amazing.

He was just like, cool. So we just start walking around. I was like, alright I did it. Whatever happens. I did it. End of the night he goes, okay, I'm going to go back to the hotel and pack. Do you kids want to come back with me and just like chat for a bit?

And I was like, cool. And the friend who introduced us, he was there too, including the manager. So we all go back to the hotel and that's when he starts asking me the real question. So he goes, do you want to come to India and just test it out?

It was a very casual question. I didn't know what it meant. And he saw the hesitation in my face because I'm like, I'm born and raised here. I don't know the first thing about moving back to India. I might be, my skin might be brown, but I haven't been to that country in God knows how long.

So I don't, I have no clue. He goes, we'll talk. I was like, okay. Now here's the crazy part. You would think the rest of the story is everything went well, I went to India, started my whole life. 

Of course not. Ria's got to get hit with some background stuff. So I get back, tell my mom. Afraid to tell my dad because he's the more strict one so I didn't want to be like Dad, I'm going to potentially go to India. Tell my mom. She was like, Oh, my God this is insane. How did this happen? 

And then the night after I was ready to tell him. And like I said, I was taking care of my mom. So that night she was like, you know what, rest tonight. She had this bell, so she would ring it if she needed to go to the bathroom and stuff, she had a leg surgery, so she needed help. But she was a little bit better enough to walk with her Walker over to the bathroom. So she said, tonight, you sleep, I'll make my way to the bathroom by myself. Don't have to worry. You've had a really like tiring week and stuff.

And I said, okay, mom. And I slept at 11:00 PM that night with the lights on, like that's how passed out I was, I just didn't even think. And I woke up suddenly around 12:00 AM to this noise, and it sounded like muffling. And I thought it was my neighbor and I have some old neighbors, so I thought maybe someone's hurt.

And I don't know why I jolted up, but I just heard this and so open my window cause I'm like, where's this coming from? And I hear my dad's voice saying somebody help me, somebody help me and continuously over and over again. Instinctively just grabbed my phone, ran all the way downstairs, door was wide open, he was laid out on the floor. And I'll spare you the details, but basically he had a spinal cord issue that he told nobody about that was recent. So I guess something happened when he went to take out the garbage and he completely went paralyzed and passed out.

He's okay now, just to give you the story, he went through a lot, but he's okay.

He's functioning, but he must've had an incident in which like his spinal cord, like something happened and he lost control got paralyzed, hit the concrete, and then just basically slid down. So he had like cuts here. All I saw was pool of blood. And so my mom was a nurse, she is retired now, but I knew the basics.

I was like, don't lift his head. He might have a head injury or neck injury, call 911 right away. And I was like, dad, get up. And he was like, I can't. And that's when I knew something was wrong. I just ran in with some towels, get some towels, call 911, they're on their way. And I was like, you just hold on. I'm here. You're not alone. 

Run upstairs to my mom's room, and all she sees is my hands just covered in like blood. So she was like, she's starting to freak out, just like what happened? And I tell her what happened and she didn't have the ability to make her way down so I was like, I will figure it out, get you a cab later, we need to go to the hospital. 

It's just me and my dad. That's it, I'm 24 years old. I'm terrified my dad can't move his arms. Fast forward two months later, a surgery. Like a 10 hour, very risky surgery later, two months of physical therapy. I quit my job and didn't tell anyone, because I had to take care of him.

There was nothing. There's nothing I could do. I didn't tell my parents cause I didn't want to worry them, but I was like, I've got some savings. I just quit my job and didn't tell a soul. And I was in the hospital for two months. Called AR probably the day after the accident and I was like, thank you so much for the opportunity, but I won't be able to take it. 

He just shot me a FaceTime, he was like, what's going on? And I explained what happened. And he was like, tell me your dad's name. I go to the mosque every Friday, I'm going to pray for your family, and the offer stands any time. And I just met this man. I just met this man. So I was like, people don't come around like that.

So two months later after all that crazy family crisis, I think even though I should have been afraid to not leave my parents, I thought I did everything I had to do. They're up on their feet, I think I have to take this opportunity. I have to go. They weren't the happiest with it because there were so scared, but I left and I finally, I did it. And that truly, that was the start, but it was a crazy story to get there.

So yeah, it was, yeah. I'm going to write a book one day. 

[00:19:36] Jeff: Holy shizzle. Wow, just an incredible story. And so how are your parents by the way now?

[00:19:44] Rianjali: They are so much better, they love what I'm doing now. It took a long time to get here, but we really made it through that part. My mom's good. My dad's good. They're both retired now. They live in New York and they are just really happy for me and everything that I'm doing, but it took a long way to get here. 

[00:19:57] Jeff: That is incredible. Okay. So I want to give you, I want to give you a break from the Spanish inquisition that's happening here. This is phenomenal. So you moved to Mumbai, then what happened?

[00:20:11] Rianjali: So the first thing I started to do was actually just teach his kids. And so I was like, okay, I think he's just testing me out. But two months later, he doesn't really tell you what's going to happen. He just thinks of you for random things. So you can get a call at 2:00 AM. And that's how it started.

I got a call at 2:00 AM, one day, he said, I've got this movie I'm working on. You want to write something? And I was like, cool, I'll give it a shot. So I just sit in the studio, I've done many of those that didn't make it through. But that was also my foray into the industry and understanding and learning early on that you can work on a whole bunch of stuff and maybe 25% will come out and you gotta be okay with that.

So I got that lesson very early on because I was so excited that day and when I heard that the director didn't approve it, I was really upset. But then I was like, you know what? This gives me a good baseline going forward. So that's how it started happening. And then he just called me in one day and he was like, I've got this Netflix doc, you're the music supervisor.

I was like, great, thanks so much. I went home, I went back to my apartment and I Googled what the heck is a movie music supervisor? But I thought at that moment, I was like, I'm getting these opportunities with no experience. I will either sink or swim, but it's up to me. So I just did, I worked around the clock.

I gotta prove it. And he told me later on, he was like, yeah, I used to just mess with you to try and see what you would do. And I was like, that's nice. That's really nice. He was like, I knew you never worked on anything, but I knew you could do it. I was like, that's a risk to take dude. 

[00:21:29] Jeff: Wow. That is awesome.

[00:21:32] Rianjali: It was like, it's not even like I'm shadowing somebody it's straight-up Rianjali Bhowmick is on the credit, the sole credit on the Netflix doc. I'm like, this is scary for the first time, but that's how I got my first shot. Then I started writing for his Bollywood films. And then I started to, I did MTV unplugged live with him, which was amazing. I was a script supervisor for a film that he worked on.

That's just, it was just like back-to-back projects and it was exhausting and I loved every minute of it. 

[00:21:58] Jeff: Wow. And you're here, you're in LA now. Are you still working on projects with him? And now this is remote. Do you have to fly back to India a lot?

[00:22:09] Rianjali: I am still working on projects with him. He calls on me for all the American stuff. Cause I do a lot of it. He's got his people for the Indian stuff, but I think I've become his go-to for the American songwriting, the American compositions. And so most recently I worked on the film Blinded by the Light, which was the movie with all of the Springsteen songs.

And I was able to write for the only original in the movie. So that was really cool. The only time I've ever had to go back to India was actually when I performed with him in Bono and U2 in general. And that was just the most amazing thing. We did the Joshua Tree 2019 and so basically we had gone to studio, electric lady studios in New York, and I walk in and I was like this is Bono.

Bono is just sitting there. And Bono was the nicest guy. And he was like, you should record this session because we were writing together. We wrote for the song called Ahimsa, which was AR and U2 and so I was lucky enough to be in that room.

[00:23:04] Jeff: And you were just like what? What's up? 

[00:23:07] Rianjali: Yeah, whole demeanor with these things was the same that it was with AR where I was like, I could totally freak out and be a fan girl, but I'm here as a guest and I'm here as a writer and I'm going to act that way.

And so it really helps because you walk in, you're like, these are just people. These are people who want to just make communication and connect with other human beings. Doesn't matter, let go of all the status symbols and all that kind of stuff. And, and I feel like they do appreciate it because a lot of the times there are rooms where you walk in and, they don't even know that you're there. But first thing the bono said was, would you like a libation? I was like, whoa, libation. I haven't heard that word since the 1800s. But he was just such a pleasant guy. He's asking me questions about me and my life and stuff.

And I was like, that's cool. So we wrote, and then I got invited to sing that song with them at the Joshua Tree tour. And then a pandemic hit. Pandemic hit. So I do still work with him. I just worked on a couple of stuff for Dubai Expo 2020. I was able to write and sing for some of the compositions that he worked on that. And I think I've really, I loved working with him, but I also understood that I need to make my own lane. And I think he'll respect me more as an individual composer, not just a part of his team. And so that's why I'm doing, I'm getting into the composition space on my own so that I could, I want to build my own empire.

I want to be him, yeah.

[00:24:28] Jeff: cool. Very cool. What are your thoughts about the future of music? What are you excited about? How do you think it's going? Particularly from the artist's perspective and as a songwriter, be it in film, be it in different forms of media.

[00:24:41] Rianjali: I think it's interesting because just a couple of years ago, I felt like it was going towards a direction that I wasn't so happy with. Where everything was becoming like short form. But I have noticed this kind of new wave of going back to the nostalgic stuff. We're in this era now where there's a lot of nineties trends coming back around and inevitably so because every 30 years or so this will happen. We're going to go back, in the nineties we were craving the seventies and seventies, who knows what they were craving, right?

So we're living in 2022 and people are, I see teenagers dressed the way that I was dressed when I was 12 years old, which is so cool. And in that way music is also making that kind of long form comeback, where people are finding new ways to tell their story. Like the scores that I've been doing, that's not something that I ever thought like I'll release an original single score that's not even part of a film or anything. I just created something, a cinematic piece, put together a visual for it. And I just released it. There's no words. It's not something people are used to from me, unless it's part of a project.

But they were like, whoa, this made me feel all sorts of things, and I was like, great, let's go back to that appreciating art. And I think that is, I do see that coming back. I see people steering away from the perfect visual, from the perfect video that they have to make and the perfect audio. Where even in our plugins and sounds that we use there's a lot of this like gritty nineties sounds and feels that we're going back to, right?

The Weeknd is playing with all these eighties synths for the last, like whole album that he did. And it's you hear this stuff and you're like, Yeah it sounds like a modern version of what we heard back then. So I do feel like people are coming back to that. I'm excited to see what it holds.

And I think it's cool that we're also combining that with the tech world. That is really awesome. Like why not make it better? Keep the art artistic form, but make it better, make it more available to other people. 

[00:26:31] Jeff: Love it. you and I are cut from the same cloth. 

[00:26:35] Rianjali: Seems like it. 

[00:26:36] Jeff: Nostalgia. But on that note, I always ask a couple of nostalgic questions particularly around you. So what was the first album that you purchased?

[00:26:46] Rianjali: My gosh, this is where you're going to be like, okay, there's a generation gap here. It was Millennium by the Backstreet Boys. 

[00:26:54] Jeff: Oh boy. Okay. Okay. Okay. I think I know the answer already, but first of all, what was your favorite concert as a fan? And what was your favorite concert where you performed as an artist?

[00:27:10] Rianjali: Favorite concert as a fan, I actually got to see Paul McCartney solo. That was really cool. He was at the city field. Was at city field in Queens. And that was really cool to see, because I love the Beatles, but obviously it wasn't going to be able to see them together. So Paul McCartney was really cool as a fan.

Someone who was a part of it, I think that's gotta be the Bono one. I can't top that. I don't know that I could top that. 

[00:27:38] Jeff: Yeah, no, I figured you'd say that. What was that like? What was that like? How many people did you perform in front of? Did you freak out prior to the performance?

[00:27:48] Rianjali: It was, I think it was around 25,000 folks. Definitely the biggest stadium I've ever performed in. I was definitely nervous, but when I got there, I was like, this is just surreal. I'm just going to bask in this. I get nervous before I perform in front of three people. It just never changes. But once I get there, I just feel like, okay, I just got to be in the moment. Notes can be off. Words can be missing, but it's fine. It's going to be fine. I'm going to remember this later. So that was the 25,000 people. I couldn't see a single face. 

[00:28:17] Jeff: Yeah, God. Yeah, that must've been a trip. Now, and then I always ask a star-struck moment? This was probably it, but do you have other star-struck moments? I'm sure you do. 

[00:28:28] Rianjali: I got to be a backup singer for Shawn Mendez at the Victoria secret fashion show. So I, he just walked in. He's huge, by the way. He's six three, and I didn't know that looking at him on like television and stuff. And he's just like the nicest kid. He was just like, Hey guys, just do the whole thing.

I was like, oh, it's Shawn Mendez okay. Hello? Hi, what's going on? And I don't even remember what I said, but I was a little starstruck then. And it was really cute because we all went to the after party cause I was like, I got to go this is once in a lifetime and he was like, guys, it's really crowded in there. Just be careful.

Okay. I was like, oh my gosh, you are so nice. So that was really cool I was like, Shawn Mendez told me to be careful. 

[00:29:08] Jeff: Oh my God. How crazy? On that note, this has been a blast. do people find out about what you are working on?

[00:29:15] Rianjali: Sure. I'm pretty active on my Instagram, which is where I try to announce like any new releases and stuff that is @rianjalimusic. And if you type in Rianjaji Music on Google, you'll probably end up finding my YouTube and my Twitter, I'm very inactive on Twitter so don't follow that, but.

[00:29:31] Jeff: But Rianjali's spelled R I A N J A L I.

[00:29:36] Rianjali: Correct. Yeah. So Rianjali Music on all platforms and same thing on like Apple music, Spotify, yeah. 

[00:29:43] Jeff: Thank you Ria so much for being on show. 

[00:29:46] Rianjali: Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:29:49] Jeff: Thanks for listening to Voices Behind the Music, a Growth Network Podcast production presented by Feed Media Group. We're on a mission to make it easy, fast, and legal for businesses to use music to power the most engaging customer experiences. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you get yours and learn more about us at


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