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S.J. Jananiy releases Believe in You (single)

The single release “Believe in You” from Indian songwriter/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist S.J. Jananiy has clear commercial appeal from the first note. You’ll hear a rising swirl of synthesizer reaching out from the mix and, if you pay attention, wildly inventive bass playing pulsing through the aforementioned swirl. The bass maintains a strong presence throughout the course of the tune, the production giving it fat and warm purchase in the arrangement, but there are other musical elements defining the song as well. The percussion presence in the song is light but substantial and the seeming gossamer-like presence of ghostly guitar strumming deep in the sonic stew. “Believe in You” has a number of musical high points but most discerning listeners will gravitate towards its deeply felt and elegantly turned chorus. The song has an overall appealing sound from the first seconds, but goes much deeper.


It goes deep on the backs of Jananiy’s singing. She has an astonishingly voice and deceptive range – a brief perusal of her professional résumé might suggest, to the uninformed, that she is a singer whose sound is strongly connected to the Indian world, but that’s not the case. Jananiy has a voice ready for the global pop stage, capable of intense emotional shifts, and flawlessly tuned into the song’s musical demands. Many listeners will marvel at the control she exerts over her vocal instrument and, despite this being a studio recording, you finish a first listen as certain as possible she could consistently reproduce the same vocal for live audiences. There’s never a second when it sounds like Jananiy is self-consciously leading the way during this performance – singer and musical arrangement move and evolve as one throughout the course of the song.

There’s breathiness to certain points in her vocal that embodies well the song’s swell of feeling. Even listeners with  hardest of hearts will find themselves fully involved with her avowals of faith and the aforementioned strengths of her voice fill those key moments in the chorus with a near religious fervor, albeit understated. Despite the lushness of the song’s arrangement, there’s never any instance you can identify when it seems like Jananiy is wasting listener’s time and the same feel pervades the lyrics too. The words, instead, are cut from the same artistic cloth as the musical arrangement – aimed towards a specific end and sure of how to achieve its goals with a minimum of fuss.

“Believe in You” announces S.J. Jananiy’s arrival to the world at large. This is talent that disrespects any borders or societal divisions. Many have often claimed music is the world’s universal language and Jananiy’s new single “Believe in You” is as fine of a litmus test as any for the continuing validity behind that theory. This is fully realized pop magic from a singer and songwriter with an abundance of experience already and continuing to grow. Her numerous appearances on Indian and Far East television, extensive academic training, numerous laurels from a variety of musical bodies and institutions, are all evidence of prodigious gifts. 2019 promises to a banner year for S.J. Jananiy on the basis of “Believe in You” and the equally memorable songs and music certain to follow its release.


Mindy McCall



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