Nafisa Haniya - Be Who You Truly Are In Real Life And On Social Media So There Is Very Little To No Pretending (Singer)


I’m guilty of being a person who never finishes a book with the same enthusiasm that I started with. Poems are the next most interesting things to me.

1.Tell us more about your background and journey.

I’m Nafisa Haniya and I’m 17 years old. I’m doing my schooling at Kochi but was born at Kannur, Kerala. I’m someone who loves music and tries to explore all parts of it. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember and wish to pursue it seriously after school as well. I started writing songs a year ago and am planning on their official release soon.

 Eventhough school life was a mix of everything that I loved and hated at the same time, I call myself gifted when it came to my friends who were the next important things that I’ve attained all my life. I’m someone who cannot sit idle or quite and music is something I worked on constantly from when I was very young. 

Whenever I talk about myself, the most common question that I receive is “How’s your family with the whole music scene?”. Well it was kind of tough to convince them into the idea of pursuing music rather than just taking it up as a hobby but thankfully, my parents unlike most of their family, were forward enough to let me choose my way through music provided they knew each and every step that I took and I made sure that it was safe. 

Their major concern was always me being carried away by music and were also sceptical about the hidden evils that awaited within the vast industry but definitely a lot has changed and evolved that now, family is one of the easiest of concerns that I go through. I was and always will be a person who admires all kinds of art and artists and that has always played as an advantage to me finding what I was made for.


2. When did you first decide you wanted to pursue music and how did you start?

Not being formally trained in music has given me weird looks that asked why and why not and the answer was simple. I was a kid who loved learning things and exploring subjects of interest on my own. 

I started humming tunes and mumbled lyrics even before I started school, this maybe due to how much my parents admired music as well. Being super imaginative just like any other 1st grader made me love performing on stage and that’s when me as a performer started my journey. 

From school stages to open mics and then stages with a slightly larger crowd, I knew what I wanted to do. Lockdown gave me a lot more time to work on myself and my music that it lead to whatever I am right now. I still believe that I haven’t grown enough to be talking about my journey and I have an even longer way to go.


3. Who is your favourite artist and why?

This is one of the most toughest questions I’ve ever faced regarding music, second one would be what my favourite genre is. I’ve always drifted away from these questions but if I have to talk about someone who Haniya as a 7 year old admired and aspired to be like, then that would be Shreya Ghoshal. 

I still am head over heels in love with her music and the person she has grown into amidst all kinds of crowds. I remember trying to sing her songs and learning all of them like by line but failing to get it perfect. She will always remain my first ever favourite artist. 

But if you ask me now, it’s too difficult of a question considering the number of new talented artists that come up every single day on so many such platforms.


4. Can you throw some light on opportunities one gets as a singer?

Earlier newbie artists had to approach well experienced and renowned personalities in order to start up on their career as a singer or any kind of artist in an industry. But as of now, opportunities are something that we ourselves have to create and find due to the number of talents that come up each day. 

Today everything is just out there but just needs a ton of creativity, unique ideas and hard work to stand out. Eventhough it’s difficult to do that, I believe that the online community is highly inclusive of all kinds of people regardless of where they come from and they are only judged by their talent and not any personal factors. 

The online crowd is growing into an accepting one but it hasn’t completely happened yet. Negativity is always a part but never the whole thing and this has helped a lot of artists come out of their shell as well. Everything is part of the moulding process after all.


5. Is formal training required or can one train themselves purely on the basis of talent?

I’m never against formal training and there are times when I regret not having it. But people who aren’t able to follow it shouldn’t be taken a back due to the same as talent always finds its way home. 

It is possible to go places without training but it does help when it comes to vocal and breath control, Which can be self trained too. Unlike learning from an experienced tutor, being on our own has its own drawbacks. 

We’d have everything from finding trustworthy factual content to figuring out where to start, everything falls under our responsibility which can be kind of chaotic and discouraging at first.

 But it definitely has its perks where we know what we are capable of and what have to improve on. I’d suggest getting trained starting early but to the folks who cannot or aren’t going for it need not worry either, we are on the same boat.


6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring artists?

As cliche as it sounds, this is what I’ll always tell people, be who you truly are in real life on social media so there’s very little to no pretending. Being accepted as true and raw as you are not only feels good but also does justice to the art that you follow. Giving up shouldn’t even be on the list. 

If you’ve done that, then you’re already halfway to where you want to be. Things can get overwhelming so acceptance in the case of compliments as well as criticisms is very important. And finally, while trying to catch up with trends and being frequent with your content, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your mental health. Breaks are important too!


7. Which is your favourite book and why?

I’m guilty of being a person who never finishes a book with the same enthusiasm that I started with. Poems are the next most interesting things to me. The only book I was keen on finishing was ‘Ninety-seven poems’ by Terribly Tiny Tales.

 Why because poems told stories through a few words that struck something in me with each of its syllables and rhymes. It keeps me wanting more and leaves a bit of curiosity behind for me to work on, which has helped me in writing songs too. 

I started out with writing short poems at school which helped me learn a lot about expressing myself through words that felt musical. 

You can buy this book from here:


- Nafisa Haniya

Interviewed By - Swathi V



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