Her fans are most familiar with her as the lead singer of the Canadian Hard Rock band Diemonds. Priya Panda’s new solo single, on the other hand, is softer and demonstrates her ability to excel in a variety of musical styles. We had the opportunity to speak with Priya Panda and ask her about her music as well as her thoughts on various music-related, society-related, and nerd-related topics. Here is our interview with Priya Panda.
Hello, Priya. It’s really wonderful to be able to chat with you. How are you doing today?
I’m doing great, thanks for thinking of me for this!
Anytime! You have released a new single as a solo artist called “Temporary”. How are you feeling about the way your fans received this song?
I’m enjoying hearing about how the fans that have been following along for years have taken to this song. So many people have kind of passed along the message that they only really listen to heavy music, but have given “Temporary” a chance. That’s cool by me, it’s always important to broaden your horizons.
Most of your followers are used to you being the vocals on Metal or Rock songs. In “Temporary” we feel a switch to a lighter form of music. What are the different emotions you feel when you’re performing a Metal song and a soft Rock or Pop song?
I haven’t had the chance to perform my solo music live, but I like being able to lay back a little and not having to compete with guitars and drums and things like that. It’s definitely different – but I like it just as well, but in a completely different way. I feel really good when I’m singing these songs, but I wrote them when I was going through a lot of stuff in my personal life, so singing these songs kicks up a lot of dust.
‘Temporary’ will be one of the tracks on your upcoming EP ‘Treats’. Is there a release date for the EP yet?
My EP is going to be called Snacks and I have no real release date in mind yet. I guess when it strikes me, I will drop it. That’s the beauty and also the challenge of being a solo artist with no label or management or band. It’s just up to me and I take a whole different approach with this than I did with my projects in the past. I don’t want to force anything and go on any sort of schedule. I also don’t want to have expectations. I just want my music to be.
That does sound brilliant! In order to get to know you better and from a different point of view, how about playing some imagination game? I will set a scenario in an alternate universe with new rules and see how you’d react to the different situations. Ready?
Alright. Let’s go.
In a universe where you are made the queen of a country, what would be the first law you’d make?
Everyone should grow at least one edible fruit, vegetable or herb or whatever else, in/on/around their property. It is great to grow food locally and trade with those closest around you. I don’t know if it’d be a law, but I’d strongly encourage it.
In a universe where humans can choose either to be able to teleport from one place to another or travel back and forth in time, which superpower would you pick?
We don’t have to decide. We live in that universe already and with practice and the right tools, I truly believe both are already possible. But since I’m currently not able to do so, I’d go with time travel!
In a universe where you’re the statue of liberty, what object would you be holding instead of a torch?
Probably a burrito.
In a universe where money does not exist, but instead, people pay for things by making other people laugh, how rich would you be considered?
I’d be middle class. I have a hard time clowning around in front of strangers but I’m about as goofy as they come for those I’m super duper close with.
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up together, what food would you imagine Diemonds’ music would taste like, and what food would Priya’s solo work taste like?
Well, Diemonds always had a pizza and it was extra sauce and jalapenos, onion and pineapple. A little spicy, a little sweet and incredibly savory. Maybe a bit cheesy, but tastes damn good with a beer. Kinda like us. Haha. For my solo work, it’d be more along the lines of a bag of chips in bed situation. Because sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants, you know what I mean?.
Oh yeah! In a universe where you can travel back and forth in time, what era would you like to visit?
I would without a doubt love to have experienced the 1980s. I feel so cosmically connected to that era. Always have, always will, from a very young age. I would loan movies on VHS from the library and listen to music on vinyl from the era and it really shaped who I am today. I would have absolutely killed to see the concerts. Everyone from Depeche Mode to Vanity to RATT. Guess I was just born a little too late for all that in its prime. I realize we’re in 2022, but the 80s has my heart.
Thank you for playing, Priya! I hope you enjoyed this!
I did. That was great.
Do you remember the first time you performed for a live audience on a professional level? What are some memories of that time?
Yes I very much remember it. It was during Grade 6 through 8 when I played flute in the school band. We were very good for our age, because our teacher Ms. Tiberio was pretty tough on us, honestly. We would compete professionally, traveling to local competitions. Ms. Tiberio was unique and she wanted us to standout and we really did. When a bunch of little kids walked in all matching with black long sleeve dress shirts and white leather ties, everyone took notice. By the 8th grade I was in the woodwind ensemble. This was big for me because when I first joined in the 6th grade, I was probably the worst rehearsed in my entire class. But my teacher encouraged and lit a fire in me and i practiced like crazy and began to really get into it. So initially it wasn’t rock n’ roll but it gave me my first taste of travelling, dressing up and playing music in front of people.
Wow thank you for sharing these memories! Have you ever faced any kind of sexism in your professional or personal life? How would you deal with sexist behaviour and what advice would you give young people around the world who face any kind of discrimination?
For sure I have, but I don’t focus on it and just keep focusing on making good music. I would give them the advice of finding something you enjoy doing or become good at something you like. Retrain your brain to focus on things that matter around you like your family, nature, good health and meditation and don’t let negative things get under your skin. When you put your mind and energy on what’s real and give it your all, negative words and people and things naturally fall away. Of course, I used to let it affect me, but I’ve learned that you choose your own path and when you walk a different path from the masses, you’re going to get a bunch of people with opinions. At the end of the day, your opinion is the only one that matters so don’t worry about them. Love them and let them move on out of your life.
Brilliant advice! Thank you for giving us this interview, Priya. Is there anything else you’d like to add?