Creative, authentic, and unrestrained would be three appropriate adjectives to describe Romana. The Toronto-based South Asian artist is not just a singer and songwriter, but also a painter, installation artist, and experience designer. As a true creative, Romana feels an obligation to use her art as a platform to raise awareness about issues that are not typically addressed within the mainstream media. She is particularly focused on issues of identity, belonging, and healing with a 1990s-inspired R&B sound that is further influenced by her experiences being raised in a desi household. What separates Romana from her fellow artists? Easy; the unrivalled authenticity that she exercises through her creativity and power of free expression.

In April, Romana released her latest single “Holding Space.” The R&B-infused song is not just any other single; it carries with it a strong message that Romana has been sharing with the world as of late through her official Instagram profile. In conjunction with the release of “Holding Space,” the singer started a performance and discussion series wherein she features insightful, innovative, and influential female guests from various industries including film, writing/publishing, and education. The series has received a lot of positive reaction for its wisdom and honesty in the fragile times in which we are currently living. The final episode in the series will take place on June 3rd at 8 pm EST and will feature actor, host, and influencer Kiran Rai.

In celebration of “Holding Space” and her intuitive Instagram series, Romana has joined us today for a Top 10 in which she describes poignant ways you can begin “Holding Space” to become a better version of yourself.

1. Create Boundaries

“I know it is not easy, especially for women, and even more so for children of immigrants who grew up in families where boundaries never existed, but you gotta! You don’t necessarily have to start by drawing massive lines in the sand, you can start small by refusing a second helping of biriyani at a family function because the first plate you fixed was already enough!”

2. Go on a Date with Yourself

“Now I don’t mean that you need to set up a romantic candle-lit dinner for yourself, but carve out some solo time for yourself to do something you love. On a nice summer day, I like to take a blanket and some snacks to High Park (in Toronto) and just chill and write by myself.”

3. Meditate/ Practice Mindfulness

“So, I have never been the type that can sit cross-legged in silence with my eyes closed, I am way too antsy. I have learned however that meditation is simply mindfulness and focus. My meditation is chai. Every morning I wake up, make my chai and sit in silence for at least 20 minutes. I can’t start my day without it.”

Artwork for ‘Holding Space’ by Romana

4. Take Baths/Relax

“If you don’t have a bathtub, don’t worry! Bath time is really just a time to indulge yourself. Whether you are in the tub or not, light some candles, burn some sage, sip some good tea and just take some time to relax, you deserve it! Take a book with you too if you think you can manage to keep the pages dry.”

5. Nourish Your Body

“I used to hear this a lot growing up, you are what you eat. I am surprised I am not a giant pizza yet, even though there are so many pizzas named after me (look out for it!). What you put in your body impacts your energy, your mood and even your emotions. Be mindful of what you are putting in that body, after all, we have to be in these same bodies, well, forever!”

6. Cancel The Noise

“With so much more to look at these days than ever before, we are constantly inundated with messages, some of which are not always positive. If there are accounts you are following on social media or people that really trigger you or bring you more sadness than joy, unfollow, unfriend or block!”

7. Create

“I believe that creation saved my life. Even before I was a professional artist and musician, my art was always mine and how I chose to express myself. There are so many ways to create. I don’t love cooking, but once in a while I will choose an unusual recipe and let myself really surrender to the art of cooking!”

8. Get Outside

“Apparently the amount of sun you get directly impacts your circadian rhythm which actually impacts your sleep amongst other things. Try to step outside of your space at least once a day. It does not have to be for long. I just recently planted a small garden in my backyard and now I have a reason to be outside every day, and I kind of love it.”

9. Schedule It

“One thing I started to do for myself a couple years back was send calendar invites to myself for ‘me time.’ I have a monthly recurring right now for songwriting. This acts as a reminder to yourself but also lets others who are trying to book your time know that you are already busy.”

10. Sleep

“Over the last few years of my life, nothing has become more precious to me than sleep. Make sure you are getting the sleep that you need to be your most optimal self every day. And don’t get down on yourself if one day you just don’t want to get out of bed, your body always knows what it needs – listen!”

Publisher, CEO, and Co-Founder - Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.