After spending two years battling Chronic Lyme Disease, singer-songwriter and Tisch alum Sonali Argade has returned stronger than ever with a newly released single titled “Forever.” The release marks a shift in her career to electronic pop music and away from the folk and pseudo-country influences found on her 2014 debut EP, “Wake Up.”
“It happened organically,” Argade told WSN of her reinvention. “I never woke and was like, ‘I’m gonna change genres.’”
Production-oriented classes at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music exposed her to electronic music, and the genre slowly seeped into her own style. However, expect Argade’s new sound to share compositional heritage with her earlier work.
“For me, what it always comes down to is the songwriting,” she said. “If you have a well-written song, the production behind it almost doesn’t matter.”
Argade noted that she wants her music to be accessible.
“I never want it to be some huge convoluted metaphor where you’ll wonder what I’m talking about,” she said. “I want people to be able to find a part of themselves in it.”
What stands out the most in Argade’s new single is her sheer vocal ability. She doesn’t rely on devices like raspy timbre, which has dominated female indie vocals in recent years. Instead, her voice shines clearly and unapologetically, seeming as if it could be right at home on Top 40 radio.
The track is structurall straightforward, complementing Argade’s non-esoteric songwriting. The production contains lush synth-laden verses, catchy pre-choruses and a powerful chorus full of electronic embellishments with pitch-modulating background vocals.
The single has great mass appeal, something that could help Argade achieve her goal of establishing better Indian-American representation in the music industry. She cites this as one of the chief motivations behind her pursuit of music and often incorporates her South Asian culture into her fashion choices.
Overall, “Forever” is a promising foray into electronic pop music for the talented young artist. The release marks the beginning of fulfilling the goals she made before her illness.
“I graduated early from NYU because I wanted to hit the road running and do music full time,” Argade said. “But I never actually got the chance to do that — just a few months after graduating, I started getting sick to the point where I had to stop working.”
As she puts it, “Now that I get the chance to do what I set out for, I value it a lot more because I know what it was like to have it taken away from me.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 30 print edition.
Email Satish Reginald at [email protected]