When fifteen-year-old Armaan Damani agrees to let me interview him and then show me his recording studio, I am not sure what to expect. With most teens, you have to shove against their bedroom doors to get them to open, as their floors are strewn with clothes, books, sports equipment, and whatever else they haven’t yet put away.
Armaan’s door, however, easily opens, and as I follow him and his father into Armaan’s inner sanctum, I immediately notice one thing: this is not the bedroom of your typical American teenager. Instead, this is the workplace of a musician, songwriter, and producer who is serious about his craft.
I turn slowly around, following Armaan’s description of his artistic space. “I have several paintings that represent who I am” he says, pointing to a few. He stops to pick up a basketball, idly spinning it. “And I’m into sports, as you can see. Mostly, though, I am all about music. The walls have sound paneling so that I can play my piano or violin at all hours of the night and not bother anyone who is asleep.”
Armaan’s dad laughs at this. “That was important, of course. We’re all secretly thankful he isn’t into the drums. Seriously, though, we wanted to give Armaan an inexpensive place where he could be creative and express who he is. This studio is 100% his.”
Armaan, as you’ve guessed by now, is more than your average high schooler. While many people his age are going to parties or playing computer games, he is creating music for his brand, Damani Records. “I blend rap with EDM and pop,” Armaan explains, sitting down next to his recording equipment. “The music I create is very urban and uplifting, and I do 100% of the work on all of the tracks I consistently put together each month.”
Armaan agrees to play a little for me on his keyboard and sing, and as I listen, I am struck by the quality of his voice and the ease of his playing. He’s been singing and playing the piano for only a few years, yet he has already developed both skills to a high level.
When I ask how he accomplished this, he turns thoughtful. “I had been playing the violin for ten years, so I already knew how to read music,” he says. “Singing and playing the piano were natural extensions of the skills I already had, so I guess my music ability just continued to deepen.”
Writing lyrics, he says, has come naturally to him. “I started writing poetry when I was in the fifth grade, which is when I found my passion for songwriting. Now I can’t stop writing. When I am in the process of creating a song, I will jot notes down in my phone and carry in my head the melody of the song I’m working on.”
While Armaan has always been passionate about music, his father states that during the 2020 pandemic, he became even more driven to create lyrics and melodies. Armaan agrees. “I was already a musician, of course, but when the lockdown happened, I needed something to do.
I turned to writing music and taught myself how to navigate all the software and hardware. I write my own music and lyrics, produce and engineer the track, and market it.”
I ask Armaan more about how he creates a song, curious about how this teen can do the work normally done by multiple adults. “I improvise with different instruments and words to come up with melodies and lyrics,” he explains, running his fingers across the keyboard. “It all gradually comes together as I figure out what is right for the track.”
Armaan goes on to say that each track has a natural flow and vibe but that it also follows commonly used formats. “I create music that is structurally solid and includes hooks and melodies that are intertwined in a professional way throughout the track.
Part of the fun is engineering each song. I like to edit the volumes and add effects to the vocals and different instruments to make them pop.”
Armaan and his father are especially excited about his debut EP that will feature 4-5 of his recently created tracks. “It has catchy melodies that blend EDM with sing-rap,” says Armaan. “My EP is called ‘Lost in the Process.’ The title reflects my complete immersion in the creation of my art.”
Marketing is part of the job of any true musician, and Armaan takes the promotion of his work very seriously. “I market my music on all platforms and recently started to create covers of top billboard songs on TikTok and Triller to showcase some of my talent,” he states. “In today’s society, it’s challenging to make a name for yourself because there’s already so much content out there.
The music industry is flushed with new artists constantly trying to break through. It takes a lot of hard work to bring your music to the public. Accordingly, I am always putting together novel content on various social media platforms to demonstrate the unique aspects of my music and the skills I’ve developed over the years.”
As we wrap up our interview, I ask Armaan to play one more song for me. While I stand back and listen, his father murmurs to me, “You can see who he is through the passion he puts into each song. It is hard to believe he is only fifteen.” I have to agree with him.
As a fellow musician, I appreciate the heart he is able to express in his songs, and I suspect that over the next few years in particular, we’re going to hear more about Armaan Damani, a multi-talented teen who is only beginning to tap into the potential he has to captivate listeners with his music.