Photo by Shravya Nandyala, Courtesy of EASHA.

Responsibility is not a trait I typically associate with creativity, but to Easha, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter, it is everything. 

“It’s definitely a discipline thing,” she said in an interview with The Daily. “I think as soon as you name yourself anything, like, as soon as you name yourself, like, I’m an artist, or like, I’m a writer, it comes with the responsibility of … literally just doing it.”

Every day, she writes songs. Whether these come from a quick flash of inspiration, or her building it from the melody up, she works to keep at it. “Creativity … people say it’s like a muscle,” she told me, one of those classic truisms that seem trite — except for the fact that it’s an accurate and difficult rule to keep. People who stick to a creative regimen deserve a little cliché now and then.

Easha has found an audience for her creativity largely through social media. Her sound is dreamy and nostalgic, starting out mostly on guitar but taking on a bedroom pop sound in production. Her top song, “Dying Is a Beautiful Thing to Do,” has over a million hits, after gaining popularity on TikTok and Instagram. Among her fans are well-known artists like Jacob Collier and Lizzy McAlpine — their attention was something she admitted to freaking out about when it first happened, especially since they both followed her Instagram on the same day.

“I was like, ‘What the fuck?’” she said. The moment of being able to tell her friends that someone famous followed her was a landmark memory for the Stanford University student.

Easha returns to the theme of responsibility while discussing her audience. “I think that you have a responsibility to yourself as an artist to, you know, bring your ideas to life,” she reflected. “Especially now that I kind of have an audience, I do want to, like, feed them,” she said, giggling slightly.

However, she maintained that she did not keep her fans in mind when writing songs. “I think it’s almost a disservice to them as well, because … they put their trust in me.” This is certainly a point worth considering as she grows in popularity: Staying true to the music she made before the fans started to accumulate is another cliché that is also true, and more difficult than it sounds.

One particular question I had was about the title of her breakout single, “Dying Is a Beautiful Thing to Do.” At first glance, it seems controversial from a mental health standpoint. It was popularized on platforms like TikTok, where many go to openly discuss their mental diagnoses. However, upon listening to the lyrics, one hears “Dying is a beautiful thing to do / By your side.” Her breathy delivery draws out the romance intended when writing the song.

Easha talked about how she learned from other writers about “a hook” — the twist that catches you off guard, something clearly used in this song. While a love tune is not what you expect after reading the title, the dreamy style of the popular piece integrates the romance throughout.

It’s easy to forget with all of her success that Easha is still in her freshman year of college. She spent a gap year in Nashville gigging, performing and making connections until it was cut short by the pandemic. The transition from the Nashville audience to the online one was abrupt.

“A lot of times when you’re in Nashville, and you’re in the music scene, everyone there’s a musician,” she told me. Online, fans gather because they have a genuine appreciation of the music, even with an untrained ear. It is a simpler kind of enjoyment, and a bit more natural.

Easha makes it easy to connect with her music, whether on an understanding, empathetic level or just through surface-level daydreaming. With social media giving her an increasingly bigger stage, I can only wonder where I’ll hear her next.

Daily Arts Writer Rosa Sofia Kaminski can be reached at fiakamin@umich.edu.