Beginning from a young age, Pragnya Wakhlu, started her music journey under the guidance of her guru in Pune. Focused on getting a good base with Indian classical music, she then ventured out to build her western vocal skills and even learned how to play the guitar. Through all of this she became a part of a number of bands through her college as well as professional life. Dedicated to a career in music, she quit her I.T job to take a course from Berklee in song writing to refine her skills. The ever aspiring lady that she is, she has now completed an Ableton course at Global Music Institute to get better at music production and continues to get trained in Indian classical music.
Her first album, Journey to the Sun, released in 2012, was received well and went as far as to receive nominations for various awards like GIMA award for Best Music debut, Best Album, Best Pop Song, Best Female Vocalist Jack Daniels Rock awards (2011, 2012). She even placed third for Best Female Vocalist at Bite my Music Global Music Awards (2011) and received the Barclays Rising Star Award (2015).
Overcoming the difficulties
Post that, Pragnya went through tough times, as every upcoming musician with talent goes through. On being asked if there were moments when she thought the dream was too much to handle, she accepted that there were tough times but never went as far to call it an impossible dream due to her enormous faith in the universe. To the young star, music is synonymous with her soul. It stands by her as a best friend, a creative outlet. She believes that things or people may come and go but music will be her rock throughout.
Every musician works with an inspiration, for Pragnya , Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker without arms and legs, who focuses on the good in life with a never say die attitude inspires her tremendously. Not being able to select a specific person, she makes a blanket statement saying, “Artists who stay true to their sound and are able to connect emotionally with their audiences inspire me.”
Her parents too have always been supportive of her decisions as they themselves took the tough path of becoming entrepreneurs.
Artists who stay true to their sound and are able to connect emotionally with their audiences, inspire me.”
Other professional interests
Since 2011, Pragnya has been working in the area of performing and creating my own music, even teaching students online. Being immensely passionate about using music as a medium for healing and transformation, she then founded an organization called Mousai where sound healing workshops and one-on-one sessions are facilitated. She recently conducted workshops in Hong Kong and is also a facilitator with Pragati Leadership where programs on Creativity and Team Building are conducted.
Current music ventures
“Kahwa Speaks” is releasing globally on all music platforms on 16th July through Songdew. A launch gig for the release of this album will take place in Delhi, on the 22nd of July at Depot 48. The album aims to bring more awareness about the finer nuances of Kashmiri culture and poetry to global audiences through a mix of Kashmiri-English songs. She is also launching a crowdfunding campaign on Ketto to raise money to make this an audio-visual show to take across the globe and also to make another music video. The idea is to preserve the language through music and also to help the world see the other side of Kashmir that one doesn’t see in the media. The show will be an audio-visual experience and Kahwa will be served to add a food element.
Work hard, practice every day and get better at what you do and find your niche. Most importantly, always stay true to what your sound is.”
Advice for the aspiring
Pragnya also gives some advice from personal experience for aspiring musicians who would like to pursue music as a career. She says, “They need to have clear goals about what they would like to achieve through their music and work in a focused manner in that direction. Work hard, practice every day and get better at what you do and find your niche. Most importantly, always stay true to what your sound is.”