Type to search

Armaan Damani: The Come Up


Hanging out with fifteen-year-old musician/songwriter/producer Armaan Damani one Saturday morning as he shoots his latest music video for “Just Dance” is a blast. The San Diego sun is shining as always, the palm trees are swaying in the light breeze, and Armaan and his sister, Ria, are full of energy, which I can only wish I could match. 

I have shown up at the set to learn more about this teen who is about to release his debut EP, “Lost in the Process,” a collection of titles blending EDM, pop, and sing-rap. As I sit off to the side, I watch as Armaan, his father, and his sister, stop for a moment to review a take and discuss whether the lighting is right. It’s clear that the three work well together and that Armaan has a vision for what he wants to achieve. They converse for several minutes before his father says something that makes Armaan laugh before he breaks away to sit down next to me for our interview.

“I love doing this,” Armaan says, looking at the set with satisfaction. “Making music is so fun, and it really speaks to my soul. Writing lyrics for my songs in particular taps into my thoughts and feelings, allowing me to express my true self.”

I ask Armaan how he got his start in music, and he explains that the roots lie all the way back in grade school. “That’s when I started playing the violin,” he says, stretching out on the grass beside me. “I then started to write, which I’ve been doing for seven or eight years now. Since then, I’ve branched out over the last few years into playing the piano and singing, and that’s taken my musicianship to new depths.”

His voice is what I am most curious about, as I have heard Armaan sing and want to know how he developed such a mature sound. That makes him think for a moment. “Like many things, a singer’s voice needs repetition in order for it to become better,” Armaan says. “I try to make a habit of performing my vocal exercises and singing as much as I can throughout each day. I may actually sing more than I speak, so my voice has strengthened in part because of this.”

Armaan’s father joins our conversation. “You should hear some of the covers he’s done,” he says. “Especially ‘Lose Somebody’ by Kygo & One Republic. That will show you the control he has over his voice.”

I make a mental note to check out the song, then ask, “How are you able to get the word out about your ability? It can’t be easy to jump into a world already full of stars and performers.”

Armaan agrees. “You’re right. In this day and age, you can make a song and easily release it, so there’s no shortage of content already out there. That means I have to work even harder to build a following. I have started to build my audience on TikTok, Triller, and Instagram, but I have to persist in releasing engaging content so that I grow my fanbase. My marketing efforts have pretty much been nonstop this last year, as I realized that needs to be my main focus.”

While it is a lot of work, Armaan believes marketing his own songs has taught him business skills that will be very useful for the rest of his life. “I’ve learned how to create an image and present myself in a way that will convey a certain impression to those around me. I already understand how to sell and promote myself, and that is definitely going to be useful over the years to come.”

I gesture towards all the video equipment, curious how he learned to use it. Armaan explains that while there was a learning curve in the beginning, he taught himself to navigate all of the software and hardware. “I am basically a producer, songwriter, engineer, and singer all in one,” he states. “I am capable of doing the work that is usually split up between 3-4 people during the process of creating a song.”

Making videos, Armaan continues, has only convinced him that he is meant to be in this industry. “The beauty of making a video is that I can use the setting, my clothes, my body movements, and my facial expressions to add more meaning and depth to the lyrics and the melody. It has taken my talents to a completely different level and shown me that this is the career for me.”

Armaan stands up so that he can return to shooting his video, but before he goes, he leaves me with this idea: “Many people would say that it is not possible to do what you love, especially when you’re so young. They would say that you have to settle for something less than achieving your dreams. My question is this: why? Why can’t you go after your dreams? All you have to do is take the first step. Then the next one. Then the next one. Last year, I was learning how to operate complex sound equipment. Today, I am shooting a music video. What will I be doing at this time next year?”

As I watch Armaan return to discussing the video’s lighting and the next shot, I have to wonder what the answer to that question will be. With Armaan’s talent and drive, I suspect that he will only continue to deepen his musical ability and that he will settle for nothing less than accomplishing his dream of being a well-known, respected musician.