Meet Multi-Talented Amanda Sodhi A Woman With Strong Mindset
Meet Multi-Talented Amanda Sodhi A Woman With Strong Mindset. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Amanda Sodhi is a Los Angeles based screenwriter, director, lyricist, journalist and advertising/PR/marketing professional. She has co-written Rohit Gupta’s feature-length film “Life! Camera Action…” for which she shared a nomination with Gupta for Best Screenplay at the World Music & Independent Film Festival 2011. She also wrote the lyrics to the song “Hai Yeh Kaisa Safar” from the film.
Tell us about yourself and at what age did you started writing songs?
I started writing poetry when I was barely six years old, and I started writing songs – poetry set to tune – when I was probably around ten years old. I was born and brought up in Washington, DC, but was clear ever since I was a kid that I would eventually relocate to India to pursue a career in the arts. My journey has taken me from DC to Los Angeles to Mumbai to Kolkata, and for all you know, I might end up moving a few more times, yet again.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
More than a singer or lyricist or filmmaker or theatre professional, I consider myself a storyteller who turns to different mediums for different stories. I derive inspiration from life. In essence, I live for a living and make sense of life’s experiences through my art. The process of creating something artistic is my catharsis.
You are also a filmmaker. Tell us more about your passion for film making.
Yes, I wrote and directed two short films in Los Angeles, without any formal film school background or training – these films have travelled to different film festivals around the world, and one of them – The Dance of Death – is now available on Pocket Films’ YouTube channel. I tried to also release a feature-length documentary about the Indian independent music scene (Attention Please), but due to some unfortunate circumstances I’d rather not get into, this project never saw the light of day. There are a few more short films and documentaries I’d love to direct over the next few years – the only issue is funding!
What if you were not a singer\songwriter?
Well, even now I am a freelance social media consultant and content writer – that’s what pays the bills and empowers me to not compromise on my creative projects and to only release songs as and when I genuinely feel like it.
What challenges you had to face as a female artist in the industry?
Sexual harassment is extremely rampant in the industry – it is disheartening. And, if you’re a female with a strong opinion, you automatically get written off as a “bitch” or “arrogant” or “bossy” or as having an “attitude problem.” Hopefully things change as the years go by…
What is a regular day for you?
Honestly, no two days are alike. In general, a typical day consists of me juggling my client work as a social media consultant and content writer alongside creative projects – music, theatre, film, writing and photo shoots. I also run a small start-up called Pen Paper Dreams through which I conduct creative writing workshops that have a slight writing therapy spin, open mics and more – we’ve been on a small break because I was travelling a lot. Workshops will be back in session November onward in India. I travel as much as I can, too, working away at my bucket list (laughs) – thankfully, the nature of my work is such that I can work out of any location as long as I have my laptop and steady Internet connection. Also, I’m a complete bookworm – you can find me snuggled up to a good book, with a cup of coffee or tea nearby!
Walk us through your first project…
Well, before moving to India, I had tried to release a single with an acquaintance in Los Angeles, but kind of got duped so that never saw the light of day. When I moved to India, the same thing happened quite a few times – people would begin production on a track as a collaboration and then lose interest midway, or they’d take money to produce a single and never deliver files or even go as far as to deleting them so no one else could pick up from where they left off. I had released a very basic jam room video with my band TCAD called “Out of Sight Out of Mind Girl,” but it was very amateur. I suppose I would classify “Jigsaw Puzzle” as the first official single I released – this was with my project, The Acoustic Girls. “Behind My Sunglasses,” however, was my first single as a solo artist, and will always be a project that is closest to my heart.
Tell us about your first stage performance.
My first stage performance in India was really funny, actually. I performed at a Women’s Day event at Kaifi Azmi Park in Mumbai but was assigned a guitarist literally a few hours before the show. I was performing a combination of originals and covers, and since we never had enough time to rehearse the material, it was quite a disaster.
Who is your favorite band/singer?
Oh my gosh – so many artists! I really love Sam Smith, Lana Del Rey, Adele, Melody Gardot, Selena Gomez, AR Rahman, Mithoon Sharma, Mohammad Rafi, Vishal Bhardwaj and Kavita Krishnamurthy.
Is there someone you would want to collaborate in the near future?
Yes – I would love to work with AR Rahman, Vishal Bhardwaj and Mithoon Sharma in India. And, it would be a dream come true if I ever got to collaborate with Sam Smith.
Some words for your fans…
Never give up on your dreams. Even if you can’t turn your dreams into a full time career, that’s okay. You can still pursue it steadily side-by-side.