It has been a while since my first candid interview with Rani Joshi from Raine Music Management/Raine Records and how things have changed since then. Last year, Rani moved from Milton Keynes to London and back. She released her first single called ‘Play This Game’ and discovered what was missing in life. I caught up with Rani on a sunny Saturday morning at the Westfield Centre in London a few weeks ago over a lovely French breakfast. I wanted to speak to Rani about not just music but how she discovered spirituality and how this bought her peace. But first let me tell you what single Rani looks for in a man, her worst and best date and her dating style:
“I’d love to meet a man who has a great sense of humour, makes me laugh and who is understanding. I love a great smile and a man who is creative in life (although not always essential), someone who is ambitious but grounded at the same time and knows family is important.”
The worst date I’ve ever had was when I met a guy online. He seemed nice so we had arranged to meet in Notting Hill. First of all he had turned up late and had told me to go and sit in a pub alone. He was talking about totally different things, so maybe he had me mixed up with a different person. He didn’t pay much attention and called me a cheap date, after we had gone to a restaurant, which by the way he had chosen, as the bill didn’t come to much! To top it off we ended up in a gay bar! Suffice to say I didn’t see him again.
The best date I have been on hasn’t happened yet so the best is yet to come.
“I’d say to girls reading this that on a date dress conservatively but still glamorous. A good first date is casual drinks and I’d say wearing something like smart jeans, nice top, boots/shoes, blazer and some dainty jewellery is perfect.”
How has life changed since I last spoke Rani…
After the release of Play This Game in September 2011, I lost my uncle to cancer whom I was extremely close to, so at the time it was extremely difficult for me to develop my music. I didn’t get enough time to push the song and then my granddad passed away soon after that in December and things were tough.
These situations changed my life because if we go back to October, materialistically, I felt I had everything – a good job with great family and friends but I didn’t know who I was. When my granddad passed away one of the hardest things I had to do was tell my gran that her husband wasn’t going to live. The last conversation with my granddad was really sweet; he said to me ‘it’s my time to go now but remember I will always protect and look after you’ my granddad was like my father and I was one of the closest to him, he shared a lot with me. I believe him and my mum are my prominent guardian angels.
I then moved to London in December to start caring for my gran and there was so much going on, I felt I wasn’t able to dedicate myself fully to being a manager for Arjun. So that all came to closure and of course he signed over to a mainstream management company – which is amazing. I love him like a brother, we keep in touch regularly and head for a local Chinese when we can – very proud of him!
Soon after I resigned from my job, the travelling to Leighton Buzzard became too much. There was so much going on, personally, that I hit rock bottom, basically. That’s when I knew I had to make changes in my life. I’ve always received what I had truly prayed for, although those were the things that made me unhappy. The saying; be careful what you wish for’ became a reality.
I then decided I needed to get away and did some solo travelling to Rhodes in Greece. It was the best thing I had ever done. It was the first time I had entirely been alone, I only contacted home in the morning and evening to let them know I was okay. I actually spent my birthday alone for the first time in an amazing country with some lovely people.
My advice to other people thinking about doing solo travels are: to try and find a nice hotel and possibly an all-inclusive resort so that you are safe. You can book excursions through the hotel and go out and explore as well as making new friends. Most resorts have their own private beaches so you don’t have to worry about weird people being around. Let family members know you are ok on a daily basis. Have common sense, know when to not be silly and not to get drunk all the time. Don’t let anyone take advantage. I was blessed to have met some really nice people and by the end of the trip I had a group of 10 lovely people around me. Even though I didn’t ‘find’ myself on holiday it helped me to re-evaluate things, discover a new place and learn to spend time alone because for a long time I had felt alone. You know that saying ‘alone in a crowded room’ and that is how I had felt. The music had stopped and I had developed writers block and everything had fallen apart. Even though I had been successful not in terms of money, its always true that some people want to see you suffer and that is disheartening.
When I returned I didn’t have a job so was freelancing, my gran went to America so I had some time alone. In September I had a job interview in Maidenhead – everything had gone wrong for me that day – there had been a burst water pipe, there was traffic and I just cried. The interview didn’t go well so I decided I wasn’t going to go home so instead I went to Windsor. For the past few weeks I’d had this calling to go to Church. I had always been fascinated by churches and the architecture in them. I was just aimlessly walking around and ended up outside this church which had a sign outside that said ‘welcome to our parish church’ so I went in and saw a table with lentils on it. On the table it said ‘what is weighing you down in life?’ I began to cry and couldn’t stop. I went and I lit a candle and said a prayer. I sat down on a pew carried on crying and asked god to ‘take away the fear and pain’ within seconds I felt that someone had put their hand on my chest and taken away the pain. I felt at peace. I felt I had a one to one with god. I was born a Hindu and there is no disrespect to that but to actually feel god, have the pain lifted away only happened to me personally in church. I’ve never felt alone since that day.
When my gran came home I made the decision to move back to Milton Keynes and started going to church. I did an alpha course – every time I went to alpha I felt closer to god. So since then god’s presence has been so immense. My family has actually been really great about it too as 4 of my aunts are baptised Christians. God could’ve called me to any religious place of worship – a gurdwara, mosque, mandir but he chose to call me to a church and all that matters is my faith in God. God has impacted my life immensely – since I turned to God I don’t feel alone anymore – I used to feel alone and thought a man was the answer but in truth until you feel full in life and believe in yourself, it doesn’t matter who comes into your life you won’t appreciate them because you’re not looking for the missing part in them, you are looking for the missing part in you. I was looking for was myself, not a man. A man or woman should be an enhancement to your life.
The next step…
I now work for an amazing UK based Children’s charity as a senior digital fundraiser – I love my job and the fact I can help those less fortunate. I’ve left my life in God’s hands and slowly but surely, bit by bit God is piecing my life together. The only difference now is that I know who I am and I don’t feel alone as that presence is always in my life. I do feel like I need to move on with my life and possibly move abroad, I’m still searching for my purpose in life – and that’s okay. I am continuing with my music but there is no rush. I love to sing in church and have a soundcloud account and do something called ‘Soul Sessions’ which helps me to share my voice with you all. I am also looking for a guitarist so if you are one please get in touch!
Lastly, if someone wants to read an amazing book I recommend Nicky Gumbells Questions to life – and remember that you won’t find what is missing in someone else; you will find it in you.