Premiere: Shreya Preeti Releases Two-Track Single, ‘Willoughby’

by Lucy Lerner

14th November, 2019

Shreya Preeti

“The goals I have for my music career are all shaped almost entirely by my heritage and upbringing”

‘Wannabe’ is the new single from Shreya Preeti along with ‘Willoughby’ and it’s incredibly relevant in the age of Instagram, and projecting a particular image to the world.

“If I see another stupid picture, I think I might just lose my mind”

The Minnesota-native captures what a lot of us are thinking in a refreshing tone infused in an incredibly catchy, upbeat pop song. The visuals are bright and Shreya projects a warm and likable image.  

Preeti captures honest emotions and wisdom in ‘Wannabe’ where she is fed up with the digital age where everyone is distracted and somewhat self-obsessed. 

“My friends are calling me to meet them, I think I’m staying in tonight,
Cos every time that we hang out, they’re on their phone and I’m alone, it’s not alright. 
And it’s sad to know that it’s all for show, what is reality any more? 
I don’t want to be numbers on the screen, 
I just wanna be me.”

Preeti says during our interview, there are times she has spent too much time on Instagram “comparing myself to others instead of choosing to be present in the things I am doing in real-time. It’s about being superficial, and how I don’t want that for myself.” The accompanying visuals are vibrant, playful and ironic where Preeti is playing the role of a housewife.

Despite only becoming a solo artist in 2017, Shreya Preeti is not afraid to step outside of the confines of mainstream music and projects her unique style.She is a refreshingly honest and talented artist and we can’t wait to hear more from her. 

We caught up with Shreya Preeti prior to her new music release:

Tell me about your two-track single ‘Willoughby’
I co-wrote both songs on ‘Willoughby’ during a trip to Nashville this past July, which was the first time I had ever seriously co-written with other artists before. I think both “Wannabe” and “Melodramatic” were written in an hour, and I remember leaving each session so inspired and hyped up from how easily the songs had come to life. Both song stem from feelings and ideas that had been lurking around in my brain for some time (I am a very overanalytical person who can’t help but think deeply about the reason I do anything, and I’m also very dramatic). It felt relieving to get these songs on paper and see how a single idea could be flushed out into entire song.

What was the inspiration for lead single ‘Wannabe’ and how does the music video tie-in with ideas when creating the song?
“Wannabe” was written from the very real issue I have of spending too much time on Instagram, comparing myself to others instead of choosing to be present in the things I am doing in real-time. It’s about being superficial, and how I don’t want that for myself. The music video is 3-minutes of irony, where I am playing the role of a housewife but I’m cooking with fake butter, pouring alcohol out of a coffee pot, and putting fake fruit in the oven to bake. It was a spur of the moment decision to shoot the video, and we kind of just went off of our impulses on what felt like it was over-the-top.

What is your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory is sitting in a Carnatic music voice lesson, maybe in first grade, and learning the different musical keys and time signatures through making up a poorly-executed rap song.

Which artists did you listen to growing up?
I grew up listening to whatever was on the radio – mainly huge Pop artists like Britney Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, etc. But I distinctly remember when Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ album came out, because I would *blast* my copy of the CD on my boombox and sing along with her. That was the age when I learned I could actually keep a tune with someone, haha.

How much do your South Indian roots influence your music?
I think everything I do and am is influenced by my South Indian roots, because it was what I grew up knowing and respecting. My music might not sonically sound like South Indian music, but the things I sing and write about, the way I present myself, and the goals I have for my music career are all shaped almost entirely by my heritage and upbringing.

What challenges do you face in the music industry today?
Wow, is this a relevant question or what. I think it’s hard to be taken seriously in this industry sometimes, but more than that, it’s sometimes hard to take myself seriously, because I get so wrapped up in my thoughts and perceptions about what ‘success’ looks like. As someone who grew up idolizing artists that I could sound like, but never look like, I think it’s really important for all minorities to feel represented in my music and pop culture. It sometimes feels hard to find a balance between wanting to represent my heritage while staying authentic to all the layers of who I am, because it can feel tokenizing to only focus on what certain part of who I am.

How much time do you spend on social media per day?
I just got the notification from Instagram yesterday that I had spent 2 hours on the app, but in my defense, that was because I was planning out posts for the upcoming release! Now that I’m not in school anymore and am living with my boyfriend, I find myself not being on the phone as much, which is a welcome change in my life. But I’d say I still probably spend an hour or so on social media per day, because Twitter is just too funny to not scroll through every morning.

What is your greatest fear?
Disappointing my family to the point that they don’t respect me.

What would your super power be?
To be able to communicate with my cat (I’m such a cat-mom omg).

If you could go back in time to any era of music, where would you go?
I think I’d love to be alive in the disco era.

What’s next for Shreya Preeti?
I just uploaded my next release to Distrokid today! Any time I release music, it’s on the 14th of that month. Keep your ears open for a rock n’ roll cover coming in December ?

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