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Photos by Savanna Reudy; Make-up/Hair by Yasmein Abdulla


Giving Talent A Voice: Hasitha Guhan

February 23, 2024 | Haley Hsu
In what is known to be a turbulent industry, Hasitha Guhan – Cherry Pop Records’ newest signee – continues to leave a dynamic mark in the music scene with her undeniable passion and desire to spark change.

The third-year music industry student grew up surrounded by music her entire life: her mom is an I classical carnatic artist and taught Guhan this singing style when she was younger. Driven by her love for music, Guhan dove headfirst into musical theater a few years later. Her first ever production was Tarzan, but Guhan’s personal favorite was Mary Poppins where she played the titular character. When asked about how musical theater made her feel, Guhan said “it was such a big experience when I was younger… I liked the performative aspect but liked singing my own music more,” which prompted her to start writing and releasing her own music in high school.

Guhan’s style of music is “very pop – no matter where it’s leaning.” Her love for the genre transpired in 9th grade when she discovered Ariana Grande. This inspiration has stayed with Guhan all this time, hence why she has started incorporating riffs into her own songs. Guhan names Lady Gaga as another one of her big inspirations, citing that despite her “treacherous journey into the music industry… she still managed to get to where she is today.” Beyond that fact, Gaga’s ability to “pour everything into her music” is something Guhan wants to replicate in her career.

Guhan has experimented with various sub-genres of pop, ranging from bubblegum pop to pop punk. However, she has a soft spot for deriving the happy sound from the early 2000s and 2010s. She said “so much of the music now is rage and sadness, but we need to have some music where we can lose ourselves and dance,” which has prompted Guhan to make music to fill this void. Looking ahead, Guhan would love to collaborate with Timbaland because she is heavily inspired by his innovative sounds and looks to recreate that in her own music.

Despite still “being in the early stages” where she hasn’t put a “full body of work out yet,” Guhan’s vigor and zest makes it impossible to tell. Her immense passion for music is further reinforced by her unique creative processes. Guhan said she has four methods to write music: starting with a lyric, finding a melody, sitting at a piano and writing, or collaborating with a producer to “come up with a vibe or beat off of what I’m feeling.”

Guhan humbly admitted that the music industry is a game of luck, where someone has to be at the right place at the right time to really achieve a breakthrough. Nevertheless, such uncertainty builds character because “it’s so unpredictable that you gotta keep going.” That being said, Guhan candidly pointed out that “ever since I’ve been doing this, I’ve noticed that there’s this drought of mainstream South Asians in Pop especially.” This little discussed topic is exactly what drives Guhan to keep going in order to “bridge or fill in that gap and become a form of representation for South Asians.” Ultimately, she hopes to “give talent a voice not based on the color of the skin”.

Moving from Northern Virginia to LA has benefited Guhan immensely. She has most recently signed with Cherry Pop Records, for which she was previously a staffer for, in hopes to further her career beyond the Westwood music scene. Guhan previously struggled with managing every single aspect of her career– ranging from meeting with producers to hiring videographers for her music video shoots– while being a full-time student. She is extremely excited to have signed with Cherry Pop Records because they will not only “be helpful in assisting with a lot of those responsibilities” but she would also be “associated with the name Cherry Pop Records as they continue to integrate themselves into the UCLA, Westwood and LA music scene.”

Her experience in the music industry in harmony with her major and her previous experience in Cherry Pop Records has allowed her to “meet so many people I can collaborate with,” which makes Guhan extremely excited to continue working with these people. She is most looking forward to “finally releasing a body of work with a group of people behind it” as well as “hone in on my aesthetic and brand.”

Guhan’s next few months are surely action packed: she’s planning to release music in mid-2024 and has a couple of performances in the LA area that everyone should keep an eye out for! She will soon be accomplishing one of her goals: performing at Whiskey a Go Go on January 26th, 2024. Soon after that, Guhan will be performing at Breaking Sound LA on February 21st, 2024.

With such tremendous energy and passion, Guhan will continue to be taking Los Angeles by storm with her bubbly, hardworking and bright personality.




 
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