GFM recently had the pleasure to chat with Esnavi who is preparing for the release of her album Exit E which is due out in October and to lead the project Esnavi dropped the single “Unexpected Love” yesterday on iTunes and other Digital Music Outlets. It was a welcome surprise in prepping for this interview that I heard “Unexpected Love” on Sirius/XM so the word is definitely getting out around and about Esnavi.

One is definitely struck by the uniqueness of Esnavi as she describes the origins of her moniker as evolving from a studio session:

Esnavi: “The first project that I worked on with a producer was an underground project prior to Exit E and I decided that I didn’t want to do the first name/last name thing… I just felt like my spirit and music and myself as an artist was beyond something typical. So we were playing around with just a rhyming game… Swadavee, Tutasee, Esnavi that’s how it came out and I was like wait, that one has a ring to it.”

I didn’t have to press Esnavi at all to connect the dots for me, she is the type of conversationalist that, in speaking to her, you can hear or feel the several steps ahead that she is going to take you to, she elaborates…

Esnavi: “I analyze things a lot and for me whatever I do has to make sense. I’m not really a person or an artist who does something just to do it. So I was like ok, if I work this out and adopt it as my stage name then it has to make sense. So I looked at the letters, Esnavi well what does that mean?

I have a degree in marketing and that’s one thing that I always look at the branding and if this going to be my name and my branding how can I make sense of it? I looked at all the letters E-S-N-A-V-I and thought it would be dope if I could come up with an adjective for each letter that represents myself as a person and represents the musical spirit within me that I encompass and that’s how the Eclectic, Soulful, Natural, Authentic, Vivacious and Intriguing came about because all those adjectives describe me as a person and an artist.”

In listening to the album and something about the title Exit E just kept coming to the forefront and I gathered from that a feeling of Exit E not only being a musical project but a destination?

Esnavi: “Probably around the 4th song that we were working on for the album I said that this beginning to sound like a musical journey because each song was coming from a different place… it was cohesive in the sense of the production and execution because I used a lot of acoustic guitar on the album, so that was the glue that stuck the songs together.

But, the content, production, vocal delivery, arrangement of each song is completely different from song to song. I was like wow, this is starting to sound like a musical journey. As the songs began to grow and more songs were added to the project, I was like this is definitely like a trip. I couldn’t say “E Trip” because the first thing that would come to someone’s mind would be like Ecstasy, so I was like how can I… it just hit me one day and like the letters and the way it looked I was like Exit E ahh, Exit E! This is my stop on the musical highway! You’re going to get off here and experience Esnavi.

I have this whole thing… like I exist on Planet E. I have this whole thing I’m not an earthling to a certain extent and we don’t have to get into all of that right now. I live in my brain and my brain is Planet E. I exist here on earth but mentally I’m not here with most people. I don’t live or think like most people. Planet E (from the album) is my introduction to the whole trip.”

The recurring theme in our chat was all about purpose. Esnavi is an artist who constantly and consistently revisits the purpose behind all of what she does. The driving force behind the purpose is an incredible work ethic. A self-professed hardworker and go-getter who has at times held down multiple jobs since her youth, Esnavi gives you the feeling that she is not someone who is content to sit around and let things happen… she is the active ingredient in her own success.

Esnavi explains that she has now been blessed to have an incredible team of folks behind her including her manager that share her work ethic and vision, but she remains as active or even more active than before and not content to rest and just let the team carry out the work. The consummate hands-on artist.

When asked about what element in nature best describes her sound?

Esnavi: “I would line my sound up with the sound of the breeze that flows through the trees… it’s like that feeling of the breeze that flows through the leaves on trees. You know how it feels when a breeze comes by and it just blows through your soul? It hits you and you don’t recognize that it’s there, but you feel it and it feels good. And as you bring up nature I feel connected to nature and the universe, the marvelous things on earth, that’s one of my of inspirations… I don’t know if you read that in my bio, but I am inspired by the universe: the sun, the moon, the sky, the clouds, the trees, the birds, nature. I’m glad you asked that question.”

For all things Esnavi and Exit E make sure you hit up www.esnavi.com

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.