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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

VH New Music Fridays: An interview with Lexi Anand

I sat down with first-year student Lexi Anand, who discussed her musical roots and how her music career has evolved since coming to Vanderbilt.
Lexie Perez
Happy New Music Friday! This week, Lexi Anand. (Hustler Multimedia/Lexie Perez)

CORRECTED: This piece incorrectly stated that Lexi Anand performed at the Grand Ole Opry instead of attending an awards ceremony there; it was corrected on March 17 at 9:53 p.m. CDT.

One of my favorite things about going to school in Nashville is that you can hear live music by simply walking five minutes in any direction — including within your own dorm. At Vanderbilt, we’re blessed to be surrounded by talented musicians anywhere we go. 

Sometimes, when I’m walking down the hallway of West 4 on the way to fill up my water bottle or knock on a friend’s door, I hear Lexi Anand toying with some new melodies or her old favorite tunes on voice and guitar. Most people hate when someone’s speakers can be heard blaring music through the walls, but it’s hard to be annoyed when you get to hear the first inklings of a talented musician’s future releases. I sat down with Anand and learned more about her musical journey and experience as a college musician in Nashville.

In her home in Naples, Florida, Anand wrote her first song at age six, calling it “When I Wake Up.” She was always singing — she was enrolled in her first Kindermusik class when she was just months old, and she later discovered her mother’s old guitar in the closet. She began to teach herself guitar and naturally put the two together to create her first song. 

Anand now realizes that her 30-minute morning drive to elementary school with her mother and older sister helped determine the artist she would become.

“Every morning, all three of us would drive there, and we would listen to artists like The Beatles and Sting, and I feel like that really developed me musically, especially as a songwriter,” Anand said.

Anand continued to write music throughout elementary school and joined Camp Broadway, a performing arts program, in middle school, which allowed her to showcase her talents in New York. As a high school freshman, she started working with a New York recording studio, through which she released an EP entitled “Young Possibilities” during her senior year.

Even though Anand has been heavily involved in the music scene from a very young age, coming to Music City for college helped fuel her ambition and deepen her engagement in the industry. She only applied to schools in major cities such as New York, Nashville and Chicago because of her goals in entertainment.

Lexi Anand performs at a Vandyville tailgate, as captured on Oct. 8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Lexi Anand)
Lexi Anand performs at a Vandyville tailgate, as captured on Oct. 8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Lexi Anand)
(Lexi Anand)

“Vandy worked out and it was perfect,” Anand said. “I feel like this is the best situation that could have happened.”

Anand plans to pursue an individually designed interdisciplinary major that would allow her to take songwriting and vocal performance classes at Blair School of Music paired with business and economics classes in the College of Arts and Science. As she was describing her academic plans to me, I could hear the excitement in her voice while she thought about the educational experiences she has had here so far and those that are to come.

“Vanderbilt has allowed me to really work on my craft, especially songwriting,” Anand said. “Deanna Walker is my songwriting professor, and she is such an amazing teacher — I can’t say enough good things about her. She really cares, and she provides me with amazing feedback and critiques of my songs that actually help me grow as a writer.”

For Anand, the songwriting process comes naturally.

“My favorite thing in the world is to write a hook,” Anand said.

She begins by sitting down at the piano or with a guitar and playing around with her vocals until she finds a melody. Then she pairs the melody with lyrics, and voilà — a song is born.

Anand’s long-term goal is to write and perform her own songs as well as write songs for other artists, emulating people like Ed Sheeran and Julia Michaels who make a living as both singers and songwriters. She currently interns at Blackbird, a recording studio in Nashville famous for recording Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, The White Stripes and many others. 

Anand has also gotten started early on the performance side of things. She has performed at various music festivals in the past and is now signed with Three 13 Management and MMG New York. In addition, she has performed at Vandyville tailgates and the Listening Room and attended the Josie Music Awards ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry. Later this semester, she will be making an appearance at Vanderbilt’s Lights on the Lawn festival.

Like any aspiring music artist, Anand wants to spend as much time in Music City as possible. Over the summer, she will be staying in Nashville to work on her latest single dubbed “Exit” which will be coming out at the end of the summer. While her first EP is upbeat electropop that makes use of funky digital effects, Anand is looking to branch out for this new release.

“My music coming out in the summer is definitely a lot more acoustic, a lot more indie,” Anand said. “I really like people like Gracie Abrams, and I’m trying to tap more into that acoustic-pop vibe.”

Keep your eyes — and ears — peeled for “Exit” this summer. Whether she decides to turn to more indie, R&B, pop or rock, I’m excited to see what new styles Anand will try out with her music — maybe I’ll even catch a sneak peek through my dorm walls. 

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About the Contributors
Isabella Bautista
Isabella Bautista, Life Copy Editor
Isabella Bautista (‘26) is double majoring in mathematics and psychology and minoring in biological sciences on the pre-medical track in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Easton, Pa. When not writing for The Hustler, she can be found spending hours alone in a piano practice room, photographing Vanderbilt squirrels with her Canon camera or poring over research papers in the lab she works in. She can be reached at [email protected]  
Lexie Perez
Lexie Perez, Graphics Editor
Lexie Perez (‘26) is from Northern Virginia and is majoring in climate studies and human and organizational development and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She enjoys listening to 70s and 80s pop music, doing the daily Wordle and rooting for the Nashville Predators and Cincinnati Bengals. She can be reached at [email protected].
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