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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.

Lexi Anand’s new single ‘Say It’ is the perfect sad girl summer anthem

Vanderbilt rising junior Lexi Anand discusses the release of her latest single and goals for the future.
Cover art of “Say It.” (Courtesy of Lexi Anand and Kathy Thomas)

“Say It,” a song about saying “I love you” with an empty heart, is anything but heartless. Rising junior Lexi Anand poured her soul into her latest work, which was released on June 7.

“There’s this sort of awareness in the song that saying ‘I love you’ can’t preserve a relationship that’s already left,” said Anand. “That’s the essence of the song.”

With a soft piano intro, gentle strings and Anand’s gorgeous opening vocals, “Say It” is the kind of song that demands the listener to stop and truly feel. Its soft-pop style is reminiscent of Anand’s single from last summer, “Exit,” creating a cohesive discography, but also has its own distinct story that will captivate listeners.

The chorus is as catchy as it is beautiful, but the bridge, where Anand sings, “Am I here because I’m scared / or am I scared because I’m here?” stuck with me. It perfectly portrays the frustration of a relationship that has run its course — when there’s no love left, there’s no clear reason as to why you’re still there.

Anand’s dream of being a singer-songwriter has always been a crucial part of who she is. From listening to The Beatles in the car with her mom, to writing her first song at six, to growing up and facing the challenges of the music industry head-on, Anand has always felt that this is the path for her.

“In my second-grade yearbook, they asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and I said a singer-songwriter,” said Anand. “It’s just been something that I’ve always been super passionate about, and I love to do it.”

The work of Anand’s musical icons gave her a lot of inspiration for how she approached “Say It” while maintaining her original sound. 

“I’m inspired by the lyrical detail that Alanis Morissette has in her songs and the acoustic feel of Carole King’s work,” Anand said.

Anand’s personal style is a timeless and heartful sound that fits well with the music of modern young artists such as Gracie Abrams, Lizzy McAlpine and Olivia Rodrigo.

While “Say It” is coming out just in time for a sad girl summer, the single was actually written in a co-writing session with another Nashville musician Leland Grant last summer. Anand discussed how “Say It” went from an idea to a released reality.

“I always like to prepare an idea before I have a co-write, so I was figuring out what idea I was going to present to Leland,” said Anand. “I started playing this chord progression, and the main hook melody just kind of fell out naturally for me while playing and humming along. I came up with the lyrics and that melody, which I brought to Leland, and that became our chorus.”

Anand gave some insight into the timeline of producing a song. In September, instrumentalists came to add to the demo. Grant then produced the track, and it was a matter of timing for release.

“I’m an absolute perfectionist,” said Anand. “Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Is it ready?’ I think some of it is a bit of overthinking on when the right time will be to release it.”

However, a big part of the decision to release this June was based on Anand’s plans for this summer to further her musical career.

“I felt like I had more energy and the right amount of time to really promote [the single] during the summer,” said Anand.

As far as balancing college and her career, Anand seems to be well-adjusted to the challenge, especially at Vanderbilt.

“It’s been amazing to be doing both things at the same time,” said Anand. “It lends itself to a packed schedule, but I’m definitely someone who thrives in busyness and chaos. Vanderbilt is right next to Music Row, [there are] so many concerts, so many people in the music industry, so many alumni. It’s a balance that I feel like I’ve really been able to manage well.”

As Anand enters the second half of her time at Vanderbilt, she will continue to focus on furthering her music career and her achievements in the industry.

“I definitely have a bucket list of places I’d like to perform and a bucket list of career goals, but I’d say simplistically, my goal is to continue to write music that people glean something from,” said Anand. “My overarching goal is to continue to write music that connects with people and makes them feel like [there are] other humans in the world that understand and relate to whatever they’re going through.”

With songs like “Say It,” Lexi Anand is sure to be an artist who gives her listeners a piece of her heart in order to connect with theirs.

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About the Contributor
Chloe Whalen
Chloe Whalen, Staff Writer
Chloe Whalen (‘27) is from Herscher, Ill., and is studying communication of science and technology in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Deputy Life Editor. In her spare time, she enjoys running, listening to multiple genres of music and podcasts and doing jigsaw puzzles. She can be reached at [email protected].
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