The first thing that we must do to overcome diversity issues is to understand that we are all human. We are all looking for ways to not just survive, but thrive. Understanding this will help us to see the world from another person’s perspective. The next step to solving diversity issues not just in the entertainment industry, but in all fields, is by accepting our differences. We all have talents and are gifted at something. Just as we also have weaknesses and areas, we need to improve in. If someone is better than you at something, don’t blame it on their ethnicity or gender. Instead, see how you can come together in support and play on each other’s strengths. Many issues people face start off with the feeling of self-loathing. People tend to have a tendency that converts to prejudice. If we lived in a world without any differences, everything would be dull. Just as it is important to value our own ideas and opinions, it is also important for us to be open and non-judgmental to new experiences and to learning that can lead to creativity and innovation.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing 14-year-old performer Hitha. Hitha is taking the industry on by storm. Hitha is climbing the charts with her latest single, “Independent”. She was inspired to pursue a career in music from a young age and will stop at nothing to achieve her dream. Hitha gives a voice to the younger generation with the deep-rooted message expressed in her songs’ lyrics. Her sound is one unlike any other, making her a distinctive artist in the field. Hitha is thankful for all of her fans and looks to inspire them with her music. Get ready to hear more about Hitha — for her name will soon be a household name around the world.
Thank you so much for joining us Hitha! Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
My grandmother used to sing Indian Classical music in our home every morning. I would always get up early just to start singing with her. That’s when she realized my interest in singing and encouraged me to get involved in taking classes. Over the years, my love of music grew. I had the burning desire to use this platform to inspire others, not only to find their passion but to also create a medium where our generation is represented to be a voice in our communities to help change the world.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I haven’t had many experiences within the entertainment industry yet, but there has been one that stuck with me. When we were recording the music video for my song ‘Special’, we were at a beach location that had a cliff. At the bottom of the cliff, there were rocks scattered all around the ocean. After we finished shooting a scene for the video, a man carrying an enormous fish appeared from the rocks. Apparently, he had been fishing at the bottom of the cliff. The fish was very big and still wiggling in the man’s grasp. That experience was interesting because I had never seen a fish that big in my life. I’m so excited to live out this journey and am open to the many interesting stories that’s going to be a part of this great musical narrative of my life.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’ve made many mistakes from when I started singing to now, and I know that it’s inevitable that I’ll make more. The one that stuck with me the most was when I was getting ready to perform a couple of songs in a set. When I entered the stage and started to sing, I got nervous trying to please the crowd that my pitch was off. I couldn’t even hear myself because I was so anxious about what the crowd was going to think of my performance. This event made me realize that I shouldn’t be so concerned about merely trying to impress but to do what it is that I love. I need to remember that I started singing because it is my passion and want to spread that feeling to others. Even though that was an embarrassing moment, I’m thankful that it happened because it was an important lesson to learn from.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on a set list for a concert in India that I’ll be performing this summer. It will be my first concert in India. I love the feeling of performing, it gives me an adrenaline rush. I also like feeling connected to my audience, which inspires me to work harder.
Also, watch out for the release of my new music video for my latest single, “INDEPENDENT” — coming soon.
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have a rich musical diversity represented? How can that potentially affect our culture?
1. Learning Potential — we have an opportunity to learn a lot from other cultures through music. Artists write music not only for the melody and beat, but to also express their beliefs. Music comes from different cultures which explains the heritage and history of places from all over the world. This gives us the opportunity to appreciate the history and diversity of other cultures.
2. Music Inspires — listening to a song from other countries with different instruments can inspire people and give them a chance at experiencing something new.
3. Music Helps Us Relate — music is a universal language. It is something we all can relate to. Whether we are from North America or Asia, one thing we all have is music. Music helps us see a new perspective of life outside our own. When we listen to the emotions people put into their music, we understand what they are going through. If we listen to their music, it’s an opportunity for them to be heard. An, an opportunity for us to learn and connect.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
The first thing that we must do to overcome diversity issues is to understand that we are all human. We are all looking for ways to not just survive, but thrive. Understanding this will help us to see the world from another person’s perspective.
The next step to solving diversity issues not just in the entertainment industry, but in all fields, is by accepting our differences. We all have talents and are gifted at something. Just as we also have weaknesses and areas, we need to improve in. If someone is better than you at something, don’t blame it on their ethnicity or gender. Instead, see how you can come together in support and play on each other’s strengths.
Many issues people face start off with the feeling of self-loathing. People tend to have a tendency that converts to prejudice. If we lived in a world without any differences, everything would be dull. Just as it is important to value our own ideas and opinions, it is also important for us to be open and non-judgmental to new experiences and to learning that can lead to creativity and innovation.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. You can be the best just by being yourself. When I started singing, I tried so hard to change my voice to sound like other singers that I admired. I finally realized that I was wasting my time trying to be like everyone else. I was born to be myself, to let my light shine, and share the gifts that are uniquely mine.
2. We are all on our own path. We need not look to our right or left, and be consumed on what everyone else is doing or not doing. We need to trailblaze our own path; on our own terms, on our own pace.
3. Do what makes you happy. We all have but one life. And, we need to enjoy it! It’s all in the journey. Let’s create the narrative to living our best life.
4. If you are depressed, you’re living in the past. And if you are stressed, you’re living in the future. I have needed reminders to focus on the now. With so many changes the past two years, life has been a bit challenging. Even though I’m just about to enter high school, I’m already taking advanced courses. Balancing school with my music has been very demanding and I have stressed over it multiple times. The way I pull myself out of that dark place is by looking at the bigger picture. Whether I skip certain courses in school or not, I know that I should try my best regardless. I also know that for my music career, I should just take it one day at a time.
5. Put in the work. I’ve come to accept that anything that’s worth it, takes time to achieve. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. We need to roll up our sleeves, dig in our heels and consistently put in the work.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take a break. Whether they love what they are doing or not, breaks are extremely important. Pushing yourself to the brink of burnout can have grave consequences. It is necessary for us to take a step back and just breathe every once in a while. Money and success are by-products of being passionate and great at your work. But balance is key.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could inspire any movement, it would be to support girls with getting an education in rural parts of the world. In many villages, families only make enough money to send their sons to school. I would really like to help this cause. If these girls get a good education, they would not only help their local community — but can also change the world.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am most grateful to my parents. Even though it sounds cliché, it’s true. The recording studio where I record my music is about an hour’s drive away from where we live. Three times every week my parents get out of work early to take me there. They both work full-time jobs as computer engineers, but they still manage to always be there for me and my sister. My dad has also taken the time to learn the business side of the entertainment industry to better support my music career.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Respect is earned — not given. In the musical career path that I’m heading in, many people tend to lose themselves. People can lose their morals and demand respect without being respectful themselves. It is important to know that respect isn’t given, but instead earned.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
The one person who I would love to have a private breakfast with is Zendaya. She has been an inspiration to me ever since her time on Disney. She is an extremely strong woman that stands up for herself and for people needing support. Even though Zendaya has become successful and has achieved a lot in her career, she still continues to remain humble and has utmost respect for everyone.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Readers can follow me on Instagram at @officialhitha, Facebook at @hitha2018 or Twitter at @byhitha. My fans can find my information on my website: www.hitha.me.