Melbourne R&B singer Pania has always had global ambitions, and with the release of her new single, proof, she's well on her way to realising those goals. It's a song that captures the pain of not being enough for someone, and her velvety vocals on the track glide over Melbourne producer HAMLEY's production. You'll struggle to get this one out of your head.
To celebrate the release of proof, we've taken a look at Pania's musical journey, and how she approaches her songwriting. She's an artist that's representative of the explosion of talent coming out Melbourne, and she's proof that Australian R&B is in an extremely exciting place heading into 2022 and beyond.
Who is Pania?
Pania's Indian and Māori heritage feeds into her music, which is deeply personal. Growing up, music and culture were key parts of her life, and she's channelled those experiences into her songwriting. She uses music to look at past situations in different ways, explaining, "Sometimes I like to write from the perspective of someone I’ve been with, or someone I’ve hurt in the past. In a weird way, it helps me find clarity."
Speaking to Acclaim about the impact that music had on her growing up, Pania says, "Around the house, it was always Polynesian-reggae or hip-hop and R&B music, and this was when R&B was thriving. I was watching artists like Usher, Missy Elliot and Ne-Yo! The first album I bought was a JB album, haha I was a funny kid. But my favourite hard copy album was Rihanna’s Loud, I’d play it every day after school and just tune out! I’ve always been a huge Rihanna fan."
What does her music sound like?
Pania's music draws from 2000s R&B, as well as taking inspiration from artists like Erykah Badu, Pharrell and Amy Winehouse. If you're a fan of going on long late-night drives, then her music is the perfect soundtrack for that - it suits those times where you're deep in quiet contemplation.
Speaking about her approach to writing her latest single, proof, she says, "My music is how I feel when I’m most vulnerable, it’s like a diary to me. All the toxic thoughts, the vulnerable ones, the simp nights, the things we all feel but sometimes might be afraid to say.
"Proof is about reassuring a lover and making them feel like they’re the only one. I’m pouring my all into them, even though it never feels like it’s enough.” It's a song that'll resonate with those that have experienced a one-sided relationship - you can give it your all, but if you're with the wrong person, you'll never feel like things are reciprocated.
What's next for Pania?
2022's looking like a big year for musicians, as the world returns to normal, and Pania is no exception. She's planning to release her debut EP in 2022, working alongside HAMLEY, and if proof is anything to go by, it's set to be a seriously smooth project. Keep an eye out for more music from Pania on the way soon - she's an artist that's destined for big things.