by Mona Jhaveri - August 18, 2021

Q: What was your original calling to music? How did you start out?

Like a lot of musicians back in the day, it was the Beatles. “I saw (and heard) them standing there,” and that was it!

And then, everything that came after, from David Bowie, Joni Mitchell – first song I learned on the piano was one of hers – and Gram Parsons to Counting Crows, Amy Winehouse, Tame Impala and Father John Misty.

I started playing guitar when I was pretty young. Around 10. Piano in high school. But I wavered, got distracted, didn’t keep at it and parked the music dream on the back-burner for years at a stretch. Life. Fear. Doubt. Relationships, Realities, like jobs, money, etc. A dream deferred. Like a lot of folks.

Q: Who or what is your musical inspiration? Which artist(s) do you look up to?

I listened, and listen, to everything. Rock, jazz, Americana, classical, indie, electronica, soul, reggae, bluegrass…

My influences and inspirations are really too long to list and narrowing it to just three or four is a “no way.” So much amazing talent, sounds, creativity.

Tip ‘o the iceberg: Keith Jarrett, Todd Rundgren, S. Carey, Brandi Carlile, Procul Harum, Coltrane, the Dead, Steely Dan, the Barr Brothers, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Pretenders, the Beach Boys, Colm O’Mahony and the Hot Touches…See? A Titanic Iceberg. I’d love to try more electronica/dance riffs, but also mine more roots/Americana veins. A secret dream is to write a symphony and do a movie score. But those are massive undertakings, amplified by the fact I don’t read or write music, really. (At a snail’s pace! LOL.)

Q: Why did you become involved with Music Beats Cancer? Has cancer directly or indirectly affected you?

I became involved with MusicBeatsCancer after hearing about them through ReverbNation. Check out David’s page HERE.

Cancer has absolutely touched my life, in a number of ways. Our mom (four of us siblings) was diagnosed with cancer at stage four. Ovarian. She battled so hard for two and a half years, finally succumbing in October, 2016. Our paternal grandmother died of cancer. Cancer also took a cousin at a young age (20) and several dear friends. I also have relatives and friends who’ve battled cancer and won, including a friend who battled the extremely lethal Glioblastoma and was given little chance of survival. But survive he did and he’s still with us, seven years on!

An aunt fought colon cancer and won. So far. Four years on.

I also spent many years fundraising in the nonprofit sector, so I know that ecosystem well and believe philanthropy and music can make powerful partners in bringing attention to a cause, lifting that cause up with emotion and passion, and raising essential funds.

I wanted to be a part of that and do what I could to engage others who wanted to join the good fight! It feels so right and satisfying to invest in a good cause. And then, on top of that, inspiring and enlisting others to do the same – or even support ANY cause they care about – is yet another wonderful layer in that cake.

Q: What is happening next in your music career?

The universe gifts me with lots of songs. Thousands. I’ve written about 300 songs just since my last recording project in late 2019 and a handful of them are half-way decent, I think! LOL. I’d love to get back in a pro studio to record 12 to 15 of ’em for a full-length release. For 2022, would be the hope.

I’d also love to find/form a band, work up a few sets of music, and play out, perhaps even tour. Regionally, nationally, even in Europe, perhaps. I’ve been getting a fair amount of radio play in the UK; and while most, if not all, radio stations can be heard the world-over on the internet, having the stations based in these hometowns means getting gigs in those areas might be a little easier. I don’t know for sure, but it’s something I plan to explore.

I’d love to get some of my music placed in TV, movies, etc., but that’s a very tall mountain to climb, so who knows?

I’ve been very fortunate to have gotten airplay on around 100 radio stations (thanks to all of you; you know who you are!) in the past few months, so I’ll keep building on that, fingers crossed…

And as other opportunities arise with MusicBeatsCancer, I certainly plan to be there to lend a hand in some form or fashion.

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