“Dad, if Kanye could do it… I got this”, mumbled Anjali Asha. The budding singer-songwriter lay motionless in the ER and was drifting in and out of consciousness.
Anjali had just survived a car accident involving a drunk driver and her face had been crushed in and separated from her skull. She suffered a LeFort II fracture, torn upper lip, lacerated forehead, permanent nerve damage, and was unable to breathe properly. Her upper jaw, nose, and cheekbones broken, she was told she may never sing again.
But Anjali took her recovery to the chin and was resolved to prove them wrong. She battled through multiple surgeries, had her jaw wired shut, and lived on a liquid diet for over 4 months. She struggled with percocet addiction, which she eventually forced herself off of. Dealing with severe migraines, nerve pain, and going through withdrawal, Anjali could only find relief in writing. Just nine months after the accident, Anjali released her 2019 debut album titled “CHINGONA” – Translation: “Bad Ass Woman”. Once just a cheeky nickname from her mom for being a daring and outspoken kid, it was now clear to Anjali and everyone around her that she truly embodied the pet name. In the aftermath of tragedy and adversity, “Chingona” had stuck.
Surprisingly, Anjali’s debut album is happy. “CHINGONA” is full of powerful, positive lyricism and embodies feel-good pop. Just as things began to turn around for Anjali though, California entered an emergency lockdown. A thick, gray fog hung over America. Police tensions and riots sky-rocketed. Natural disasters riddled the country and for California – where Anjali lived – the world was literally on fire in every direction.
“San Francisco was still and silent. Oakland was empty. It was eerie. Like living an apocalypse movie in real time..” says Anjali, describing her battle to maintain hope. “I kept looking for the bright side and they were all so dim.”
But Anjali is now a master at turning a situation inside out and into something great. The events of 2020 became the brooding lyrics that make up Anjali’s newly released project. The 6-track EP is out now and digs into the darker parts of Anjali’s mind but with an overall message of perseverance and overcoming.
“I let myself unravel a little,” says Anjali. “I needed to show people their lowest moment doesn’t define them, but their reaction to it does.” In the new EP, the songstress picks apart her shortcomings with finesse, lacing her confessions with confident sarcasm and a carefully picked theme. “This new project” she says,” is about being so consumed in fear that it feels the world is going to end.”
Anjali’s message: it’s not.
Road to Recovery
EP - Doomsday
Album - Chingona
Label: Self Released / Independent
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area
Inflences: Amy Winehouse, Kendrick Lamar, Harry Belafonte
Sounds Like: Amy Winehouse, Fergie, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa