Ghalani of The Growth Eternal Describes Meaning of Growth, Emotional Fulfillment

Ghalani, known for their solo work under the name The Growth Eternal, is a talented musician whose experimental and non-conforming stylings have garnered them a wide audience.

In a recent interview, I had the privilege to speak with Ghalani about their project with longtime friend Adam Pickrell, their perspective on navigating a commercialized music landscape while maintaining artistic integrity, and their contemplation of eternal growth.

Currently, Ghalani is working on an album with longtime friend Adam Pickrell. The pair made up one half of OG Garden, a Dallas-based outfit that released Revive Me, an EP, in 2017.

Whereas OG Garden enlists an upbeat, consonant, slightly psychedelic sound, Ghalani’s solo work is a slow dissonant burn in which melodies are built, disassembled, and put back together again.

Ghalani compared their latest record, PARASAiL-18 to this new album with Adam, tentatively named Altered States of America.

“This feels, in a way, much more lucid, more intent” Ghalani says. “I feel much more decisive.”

Speaking on PARASAiL-18, their album from 2022, Ghalani described creating the album as an escape.

“It felt in a way very cloudy and very obscure and opaque, not a bad way, but just that’s what it was,” Ghalani says. “There’s me, like, wanting to get away from all these painful things; trying to run away from it through music. [I’m] escaping trying to find that catharsis through getting away from it.”

Ghalani went on:

“It’s honestly less experimental than most of the other stuff I’m doing right now, which is probably refreshing for me and other people,” Ghalani said with a laugh. “It still has, of course, experimental elements to it. But it’s also mixed with a lot of 70s inspired soul and the Brazilian singer-songwriter movement, like Milton Nascimento-style chords.”

It’s powerful that Ghalani is able to jump between projects and musical styles, finding emotion and meaning in the variety. It’s especially notable because of their tenuous relationship with jazz in an academic setting

“It feels so clinical and institutionalized and commercialized,” Ghalani says. “You don’t think of commercialization when you think of jazz… but the intersection between jazz and education came out in a way where this is for pragmatism and profit. I get why it’s needed because we have to eat. But at the same time, it felt like this isn’t why I got into this. If I’m gonna feel this soul-less, I might as well be a coder, you know, and make eight times as much.”

That soulless commercialization of such an emotionally deep experience is part of what spurred Ghalani to don the name The Growth Eternal. Ghalani says there’s an aspirational, admirable, and empowering implicit in the name.

But despite that, Ghalani knows that The Growth Eternal has its limits as a praxis.

“I want to keep giving people that [empowerment], but I feel disillusioned because the world is literally on fire because we have this ideology of infinite growth,” Ghalani says.

“I’m still trying to reconcile that right now,” Ghalani says. “How do I keep people feeling empowered and empower myself, but then not go down this path of the illusion of infinite growth that leads you to a destruction of yourself and your family and your society and the people you care about most? Or care about least; they’re still people.”

Carefully considering the way Ghalani communicates their values to the world is honorable and speaks to how seriously they take their craft.

If one thing is for sure, Ghalani is sure to be a force for a balance of deep love and critical analysis through their many musical pursuits.

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