For the duration of the competition, SALUTE will be featuring artists with the intention of increasing their exposure and providing a platform for them to share their experiences about trying to break into the music industry.

SALUTE MUSIC MAKER: 001. NAVINA, over to you….

I was a sing-songwriter before I was a singer I think, so song writing has always been a big part of what I do. My sound has been compared to a folk, indie-pop feel but I never really defined it myself, I just started writing and that’s what came out in the end! Growing up I had so many musical influences, we always had The Bee Gees (still a big fan) or Neil Diamond playing in the car and my parents are really music, my mum was the one who took me along to my first music lesson. I’m actually grade 8 in flute so that’s my first instrument, so being exposed to a lot of classical music growing up as well helped with the composition/producing element of what I do even now! My dad’s tastes of, and especially love for Cat Stevens is what really kicked me into picking up a guitar though.

I remember at the beginning of 2014 when I was 19 buying my first audio interface and having no idea about music tech/recording. I had written a lot of songs by then and was planning on releasing my next EP later on in the year, so in an attempt to produce the demos bought all the gear. I think from that point to having the success I’ve had with the EP, it has been a lot of hard work. I’ve loved every bit of it, but I think one of the hardest things as an indie unsigned artist is having the contacts (and money as a student!) to push your material further. I’m so grateful for the success and amazing feedback I’ve had from the EP nationally and internationally. Along with several great press reviews, the EP was rated 10/10 on, I also was covered in local press and nominated for Best Unsigned Female in the Best of British Unsigned Awards 2015 and did a few sessions on the BBC Asian Network. Also featuring as one of BBC DJ’s Ones to Watch artists was big as I was the only artist out of 6, without any backing from a label or manager. Doing everything myself (including designing artwork to promo campaigns) has been maybe harder than if someone else was to help, but has been extremely rewarding.

All I can say is my ambitions is to keep doing what I’m doing and take it as big and as far as it will let me. I don’t think you can plan success too specifically, as especially in the industry, it’s never guaranteed. But as long as I can keep producing music which is close to me I’ll be happy. That’s why I think SALUTE is so great for indie artists, because it is actually recognizing organic talent which is unique and original. There are a lot of great singers out there but I myself am really inspired by people who can create a new sound from their experiences. Most of us are quite young so doing it on a budget is never that easy, so it’s good the competition helps that way because after a while promotion is the main barrier to reaching more people, and is often the most expensive thing.