Ananya Birla met Sean Kingston by chance at a cafe in Mumbai. Birla, known for being the first Indian musician with an English single to go platinum, introduced herself to Kingston and he quickly invited her to open for him at his upcoming show in Goa. Their collaboration continued from there and resulted in Kingston asking Birla to collaborate in the studio. What came of the exchange was their new single, “Day Goes By,” which dropped this September.

The song is a feel-good hit, with Kingston’s unmistakeable vocals mixing with Birla’s verses, expressing straightforward preoccupation and desire. When asked about the concept behind the song, Birla told Kajal, “There’s always something or someone that we think of every day—it could be a memory or a dream, anything. We thought we’d write about that.”

The single is part of Birla’s dream to expand her base globally. She’s benefitted from success and recognition among Indian audiences since signing with Universal Music India. She’s driven, she says, by the gratitude that she has for her fans and followers, and she focuses on this gratitude in her day-to-day. Balancing working on music with work for a mental health organization, MPower Minds, Birla is focused on how she can use her platform for good.

“I hope to be the voice that I wish I heard while I was going through hard experiences,” she said.

Having struggled with mental health issues herself, she points to hard times as motivation to make use of the energy she now has. She juggles commitments with creative process, and points to artists who have found strength in their vulnerability as inspiration.

“Day Goes By” is Birla’s sixth single, and as she continues to write and release music to a global audience, she hopes to infuse more of this vulnerability and honesty into her lyrics. And she continues to ground herself in gratitude, saying that each day she spends working on music is living out her dream.