SENANI IS FEELING “FREE”!
LIVING IN AUSTRALIA BUT MAKING INROADS IN
THE US VIA EXTENDED STAYS IN NASHVILLE AND
AUSTIN, THE INDIE POP/R&B VOCALIST ADDS
EXOTIC ELEMENTS FROM HER SRI LANKAN ROOTS
TO HER LATEST SINGLE ‘FREE’ AS SHE GEARS UP FOR
THE RELEASE OF HER HIGHLY ANTICIPATED
FULL-LENGTH DEBUT ‘INFINITY’
The Multi-Talented Performer, Whose Previous Single “Voodoo Girl”
Received FM radio airplay in Australia and Appeared on MTV
India, Is Also A Doctor of Integrated Medicine, Practicing
Part Time Since Her Music Career Has Taken Off
A rising R&B/pop singer in Australia currently making her first inroads in the U.S., Senani (www.senani.com) engages in a beautiful fantasy in the colorful video for her infectious new single “Free”—perfectly capturing the sensual, liberating and gently exotic spirit of her music.
As tablas and other instruments from the region of her native Sri Lanka jangle in the intro and throughout the song, in the music video for Free, she is seen in business attire, working, frantic, on a laptop. Falling into a day dream, the hip and edgy, funky/soul vibe kicks in as she drives along the majestic Great Ocean Road south of Melbourne toward the beach, where she dances on the sand, plays in the waves, and basks in the sunshine.
Changing hair color (dig the bright red!), wardrobe changes and a few flashes of her in a jungle setting are all part of the magic as she asks the lover she imagines to take her hand and fly across the crystal sea…“on the way to the light, where freedom is calling me.” Making the theme more universal, she later sings, “Freedom in life is where you want to be” –and Senani’s soaring wordless vocal after singing the title says it all about her desire to transcend.
“Free’ is all about freedom, being unrestricted to be who you want to be, unlimited, forgoing the roles society wants us to play,” she says. “It challenges us to break the barriers and social norms including our ideas about marriage, jobs, the way the system is run and gender roles. The video represents an abandonment of these norms and running free (symbolized metaphorically) with nature along the coastal line of the great ocean road in Australia. Lyrically and musically, it gives the listener a taste of freedom from the other side.”
This colorful dreamscape is an apt metaphor for the surreal way the multi-talented performer’s career has exploded over the past few years. All of the groundwork and the success of Senani’s individual tracks are culminating in the upcoming release of a “six pack” of singles which will later be included in her highly anticipated debut album Infinity.
Establishing her as a true musical citizen of the world, Senani’s first globally released single “Voodoo Girl” (Nov 2011) was a hit on Australia FM Radio while its video received spins on MTV India. Two other singles, “Everything I Do” and “I Am Gone” received airplay across the country and received favorable reviews in various music magazines, including Drum Media. Her video for “I Am Gone” aired on Australian MTV and the music program “Rage.”
After previewing the album at two prominent Sydney jazz and soul venues, Blue Beat and The Basement, she took Charlie Fox from 96.1FM, a prominent local radio programmer’s advice and set her sights stateside to take her career to the next level.
Senani has spent weeks at a time making contacts and performing in two of the U.S.’s most prominent music cities, Nashville and Austin. In June 2013, she spent an amazing week in Music City, meeting industry people, musicians and songwriters—and showcased at several songwriter performance nights at such venues as The Blue Bird.
Heading to Austin later in the summer, she immediately hooked up with a musician who gave her a list of all the musicians in town who could help her put a band together. Working in a duo setting, she booked gigs at the Triple Crown in nearby San Marcos, B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub on 6th Street and The Elephant Room. She has also participated in some of the city’s songwriting nights as well.
“I love meeting music people in the U.S. and performing with so many great musicians here,” Senani says. “My ultimate aim in visiting Nashville and Austin was not so much to become known in those places as make connections and help build support for my upcoming album and single release.”
If Nashville seems like an unusual destination for a Sri Lankan born, Australian bred soul singer to explore her career options, it’s all because of…country superstar duo Big & Rich – and a psychic.
Not shy in the least about expressing her deep sense of spirituality in her music and otherwise, Senani says, “At the beginning of this year, I was seeking some direction about where to focus the promotion of my music in Australia and overseas. On a whim I thought I would go to this psychic in Australia who is well-known for his celebrity readings. Immediately he says to me, ‘Nashville’s all-around you. You have to go there; you’re going to be meeting people. And I was thinking, I’m not going to go, because I don’t do country music. I thought, ‘Universe, give me another sign.’
“Two months later,” she continues, “while doing a performance in one of my regular venues in Sydney, there was a huge crowd there of people that looked different from the usual locals. As it turns out, they were the entourage for Big & Rich including the famous duo, who were in Australia playing at a big country music festival, CMC rocks the Hunter Valley. They were quite supportive of my set and I felt some great vibes. That night, they gave me the feeling that maybe America would be a good place for me to promote my music – and I got my sign that Nashville would be a good stop. As it turned out, my time there was even more creative and productive than I ever could have imagined.”
For the past several years, Senani—who earned her medical degree from the University of Newcastle, in her adopted Australian hometown–has been working in private practice as a Doctor of Integrated Medicine part time to devote every other available waking hour to music. “I wanted to create a lifestyle where I didn’t have the pressure of doing music while working full 40 hour weeks,” she says. “The best part of the kind of medicine I do is that I don’t have to work in a hospital and can schedule appointments whenever I choose.”
While emphasizing natural medicine, Senani has created a holistic practice emphasizing nutrition and diet; one of her trademarks is analyzing her patients’ digestive histories to find ways to prevent and heal related illnesses. Like many professionals who focus on holistic medicine, many patients come to her after exhausting traditional medical treatments. Rather than simply accepting the idea that we must wait until a condition is diagnosed and then treat with either a drug or surgery, she analyzes underlying factors of her patients’ conditions with the goal of correcting the imbalances that lead to illness and preventing disease.
Trying to minimize the use of prescription medication, Senani’s patients use anti-oxidants, diet supplements and vitamins. Believing that the mind contributes to up to 50 percent of people’s health problems, she also focuses on healing illnesses by looking at stress, depression and anxiety.
“Music,” she says, “has therapeutic value because sound waves are at certain frequencies that can affect our brain frequencies, connect nerves together or release hormones. When we listen to someone sing or play an instrument, we’re living in that moment, focusing on something positive that can positively affect our physical and emotional health and outlook. I feel as though my musical career has a lot of that unpredictable and exciting ‘living in the moment’ feeling, and I infuse my songs with uplifting messages about connecting and bringing light and love and peace to the world – by empowering the individual and making them, yes, feel ‘Free.’”