Meet Avanti Nagral: An Artist Breaking the Boundaries of Entrepreneurship
As the 2018 TiE Boston Annual Gala fast approaches, we had a chance to speak with Avanti Nagral, a singer-songwriter who is passionate about Global Health, music and entrepreneurship. She is also the young woman who will be providing the entertainment during our event. As she redefines what it means to be an entrepreneur, she is simultaneously leaving the world a better place through music, philanthropy, and education.
When you think of a traditional entrepreneur, a vibrant singer and songwriter pursuing a dual degree at Harvard and Berklee probably isn’t the first person who will come to mind. To Avanti Nagral, this duality of her work speaks to the theme of duality present throughout her entire life. Avanti spent half of her life in Boston and the other half in Bombay, India. She effortlessly balances her life as a student and her life as a professional artist, and as she says, constantly switching between using her left brain and using her right. At graduation, Avanti will be the first person to have graduated from a new dual degree program between Harvard University and the Berklee College of Music.
Both music and entrepreneurship have been a constant thread throughout her life; she says that “[she] has been doing music since [she] was in utero.” Avanti grew up in a household where music and entrepreneurship were at the forefront through her mother’s love of devotional music and her father being an entrepreneur. Since her youth, Avanti has been curating a robust musical repertoire from Christian music to traditional musical theater. She got her start in theater and Broadway and ever since has known that she is meant to be a professional performer. Avanti got the push that she needed during her gap year between high school and college. It was during this time that she found her voice as an artist and decided to pursue her music career full time. In this time she also made the conscious choice to pursue her passions without giving up the opportunity to advance her knowledge through higher education.
While she certainly has more going on than the average twenty-year-old, she remains humble when speaking about her busy schedule. She laughs about juggling it all saying, “if Obama and Oprah have the same number of hours in the day that [she does, she] can afford to balance everything.” She uses an entrepreneurial mindset when talking about all that she does, something that she is very familiar with through her father. Many do not realize how much of an entrepreneurial spirit musicians must possess; in Avanti’s case, she is the brand, product, and business all wrapped into one. Social media has played a pivotal role in getting her to this point. While this isn’t entrepreneurship in the traditional sense that the world has come to know, Avanti’s work still mirrors that of an entrepreneur.
Avanti also understands that it is important to always be on the forefront of innovation, something important to many entrepreneurs and those working in the startup space. She was the first person to release a virtual reality music video in South East Asia. She is also focused on creating music that has meaning and heart. Her latest song “The Other Side” speaks a lot to identity. Avanti says that “the song has resonated particularly with a lot of immigrants and first-generations, who find themselves being stuck between different aspects of their identity, with half of their hearts “on the other side”. From an entrepreneurship angle, it’s often difficult to balance the multiple roles and hats you have to don, and this song is about finding all the aspects of “your other side”.”
Musical career aside, Avanti has also recently started her own digital entertainment startup called Golden Milk Media with the mission to create socially responsible and inspired digital content centered around music, film, and other creative endeavors. She is also a passionate advocate for women’s health and youth education, particularly in South East Asia and India. Avanti has spent time running initiatives and collaborating on research projects with many different schools and professors namely, Harvard.
Avanti is able to focus herself in so many areas because she has built a supportive group around her, not only within her friends and family but her team of management, graphic designers, videographers etc. She makes a great point when she talks about the importance of building out a great team, not only to help assuage mental health issues that may arise in her work and offer support but also to have people there to delegate tasks. This team aligns with her vision and helps her work progress in the way that she envisions. Often times entrepreneurs do not spend enough time building out the best team to help them, and it can cause a number of problems to arise.
The office is so excited to have someone like Avanti perform at the 2018 TiE Boston Gala event. With her passion for her art, business, and social responsibility, she truly embodies the spirit of an entrepreneur that we aim to support at TiE Boston. She is actively helping to build the next generation of entrepreneurs who will go on and positively impact the world around them. We are so excited to have her perform at our Gala event and to see where she’ll go next!