Pop music will always be filled to the brim with vacuous, sappy stories about some idealized version of love that can never be obtained outside of a Baz Luhrmann film.
These may make quick bucks and turn singers into stars with popular chart toppers but singer, songwriter and West Plano graduate Priyanka Jaisnghani, who goes by her musician name Pri, says they lack honesty.
“All the conventional love songs, they’re usually kind of the same,” she says. “Music is becoming more and more honest so I wanted to give my own perspective on what love would be and encourage others to be more open about it.”
Pri released her first single on the streaming music channels. Called “Fantasy,” it explores the empty promises of the typical love song. It was written by Pri, Eddie Ferguson and Shreya Kaul and produced by Ferguson, and expresses some unique ideas in a sea of sappy love ballads. The song’s lyrics sport an almost punk attitude to pop’s sensibilities sprinkled over a smooth, soulful sound fronted by Pri’s powerful voice.
“If love was a canvas/and I was the painter/I would probably color you mine,” Pri sings in the song’s opening notes. “And if all of the stories are true/You may leave me/At the end of the day, I’d be fine.”
“I want that fairy tale, movie-type of love but I also don’t believe it’s possible,” she says. “‘Fantasy’ is focused on the hopeless romantic type but it also hints at me wanting to walk away and not believe it.”
Pri’s voice seems to be resonating. Just on Spotify alone, “Fantasy” has racked up more than 23,000 plays in just under three weeks, according to the music streaming app.
“It’s been pretty great,” Pri says. “People have been reaching out and saying they love the song, people who follow me who aren’t usually communicating with me have reach out and stuff. They were telling me they would share it with their friends and they all loved it too.”
Pri’s musical explorations started when she was 4 years old. She says her parents started taking her to voice lessons where she first studied Indian classical singing in her hometown of Glastonberry, Connecticut.
“I always tended to grab the mic at parties and stuff,” she says. “I always wanted to sing everywhere.”
Her family moved to Plano when she was 9. Later she started singing in the Rice Middle School choir where she says she first decided to dedicate herself to music.
“In choir, they would have auditions for solos and stuff, so when I got them and got to perform them, I thought this was awesome,” she says. “I want to keep doing this.”
As she moved into high school, she continued singing and practicing with vocal coaches and finding her own musical tastes in singers like Kelly Clarkson and P!nk, “a bunch of inspirational, powerful women.”
Eventually, she started getting gigs at 13 with an impressive, inaugural solo performance at the storied Gas Monkey Bar and Grill in Dallas where she sang the Peter Gabriel classic “In Your Eyes” as part of an ’80s music showcase.
“The melodies and the way he singing the song, it’s very passionate,” Pri says. “It was pretty great. I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat anything. As soon as I got off stage, I was like, ‘I want to get back on stage. I got so much energy from that.’”
She followed with several performances in places all across Dallas-Fort Worth like the House of Blues and Lava Cantina and even a show at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin. She says it took her awhile to work up the courage to write and record her own songs especially when they’re competing with some unconventional ideas.
“With songwriting, you have to be very honest and that took awhile for me to develop because I’m a shy and hidden person so it’s hard for me to talk about myself,” she says. “As I kept writing, it got easier and easier and the lyrics became what I intended to be with them.”
She also wanted a rhythm and blues song to express her ideas and words because “I really like the production style that goes along with it.
“It’s a mix of downtown tempo but upbeat,” Pri says. “In R&B pop, the melodies have a lot of runs and a lot of vocal stuff, which I like. I was originally interested in soul music, Aretha Franklin and stuff like that but adding the pop gives it a new twist.”
Pri says she’s got more songs in the works that experiment with similar themes and sounds and eventually, hopes to put out her first full album.
“It’ll start off with the hopeless romantic and lovey dovey and will delve into the cynical side and the pessimistic,” she says. “There’s obviously going to be a message of hope in there but it’s more so like I want people to not get caught up in wanting that type of unimaginable love. They should be realistic about what type of love can happen to them but also not think they’re not capable of love.”