UT student’s music defies genres through Bollywood-Spanish fusion

Anai Jaime, General Life&Arts Reporter

As the sun sets over Cappadocia, Turkey, Sejal Jain watches hot air balloons fly over the city. Jain’s mom records the moment for a future music video. 

Just one week after releasing the music video for her song “Pleasure is Pain,” the singer-songwriter released her first EP, Brazen Affection, on Jan. 13. Jain, a management information systems and Spanish junior, said her music combines Bollywood fusion, Spanish, pop and jazz influences into her discography in order to create an inclusive listening experience. 

“My biggest goal is to make music in which no one can sit still,” Jain said. “(My) genre varies, but the common theme in all my songs is they’re very upbeat. I try to make it as diverse as possible, that way it appeals to a different audience. I really like exploring new styles, and I want to push myself to go out of my comfort zone.”

Jain’s confidence in her art caught finance junior Andrew Abraham’s attention. Abraham recently began listening to Jain, describing her EP as “explosive.” 

“It grabs you by the collar of your shirt,” Abraham said. “It drags you along this roller coaster ride the entire time. It shakes your soul to the core, and it makes you just want to dance, get up and scream.” 

Ever since she was young, Jain said performing brought her joy as a way to engage with audiences. However, Jain said she began creating her own music due to a push from family members, as well as a realization that she wanted to see more representation as a woman of color in the music industry. 

“I realized that I had my own ideas for what I wanted to hear on the radio,” Jain said. “That’s when I said, ‘OK, I’m going to start writing my own music.’”

Psychology junior Riya Patel said not only does Jain’s music bring comfort to her as a listener, but it also allows her to connect to another person with roots in India. 

“There is magic in this video, and the magic is (Jain).” Patel said. 

Combining self and cultural expression, Jain said she uses her music to romanticize her life, reinvent herself and connect with others. Jain said her EP’s theme stems from her experiences in finding beauty and love in both good and negative experiences.

“If you’re bold enough to love someone, that’s a big deal because you’re opening up your heart to someone brazenly.” Jain said.

As a close friend to Jain, Patel said she believes Jain possesses the creativity and work ethic to make it in the music industry. 

“Her mind is so creative that if she wanted to go literally on the moon, she (could).” Patel said. “It’s really important for her to grow because (it) ensures that she is sharing her authentic self and staying true to her vision.”