Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Thanya Iyer

The South Indian-Canadian artist on the unrestrained joy of a US saxophone icon.

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Thanya Iyer is an enigmatic songwriter who crafts sparkling experimental pop music. Her live trio, with Pompey and Daniel Gélinas, wields acoustic and electronic instruments to flesh out her serene, spiritual compositions.

Her wonderful 2020 album KIND was inspired by years of touring and connecting with community in a live setting. Released earlier this year, new latest EP rest is more reflective and introspective, composed predominantly during the pandemic, and explores existential themes through the prism of contemplative pop, folk and jazz.

For her One Track Mind selection, Iyer has selected a life-affirming jazz cut from the American saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter.

Thanya Iyer on Wayne Shorter – Ponta de Areia

“When this Wayne Shorter/Milton Nascimento banger hits I just can’t help but feel joy explode in my heart and the sun shine on my face (whether it’s sunny or not). The dancing piano! The groove! The saxophone! All of it! I love Milton Nascimento’s warm buttery vibrant voice that is all over this record and feels like a big big hug!

“This song was my morning alarm clock for a very long time and oh my it really wakes you up (with pretty much all good vibes set for the rest of the day unless you really didn’t get enough sleep – then we skip alarm) But the breakdown in the middle is perfect when you’re still in the middle of that dream and need to snooze a bit longer.

“Wayne’s sax melodies take you on such a journey. The whole tune is a glorious adventure and I’m here for the ride. Thank you Wayne and Milton for everything you’ve given this world <3”

Thanya Iyer rest is out now