Priya Minhas: A Story From Behind the Scenes of a Producer, Director, and Writer

Priya+Minhas%2C+a+woman+of+many+talents%2C+works+to+share+her+stories+with+others+through+her+writing+and+videos.+%0A

Photo used by permission of Priya Minhas

Priya Minhas, a woman of many talents, works to share her stories with others through her writing and videos.

From behind the camera and through words carefully crafted in articles, Priya Minhas tells a story. Working with artists such as Yungblood, Doja Cat, Ella Mai, and Anik Khan, amongst others, she brings her visions to life and onto everyone’s screen. If you asked her, Minhas would claim that it was almost sheer luck that she ended up on her career path – a life of producing, directing, and writing. “I thought that it was a series of wild accidents that I ended up doing what I do,” said Minhas, “but then I look back and see all the little things that kind of led to this moment, and it actually makes perfect sense.”

Minhas never consciously pursued a career in writing or directing; she took one opportunity after another and worked diligently at the tasks at hand, which opened numerous doors leading her to where she is now. With her writing, Minhas had works published on sources such as The Good Immigrant, Buzzfeed, The Burnt Roti, and other notable publishing platforms. “I started writing largely with the goal of trying to make sense of my own life and so that I could help others do the same,” stated Minhas. “I just set up my own blogs and pitched to small DIY magazines, and that led to me getting other opportunities.”

As for directing, Minhas had initially begun her journey with production, interviewing artists and creating content. Through her job at Vevo, Minhas ventured deeper into the world of production and directing, playing a larger role in creating the ideas for how things should look and feel. As time passed, she quickly progressed from directing short interviews to live performances to larger productions, and most recently, music videos. “I definitely had to learn by just diving into the deep end, which is a blessing and a curse sometimes,” said Minhas, “but I’m extremely grateful, because it opened my eyes to a whole new career path that I wouldn’t have considered myself right or qualified for if I hadn’t just jumped in and tried it.”

Throughout all her work – videos and writing alike – Minhas has a single motive: to tell a story. “Writing is, in a way, a response to that hunger that I felt of wanting to see myself reflected back in the things that I consumed,” said Minhas. “Everything that I do always comes down to some version of storytelling, whether it’s telling my own or helping others to tell theirs.”

When telling her own story, Minhas begins from her adolescence. Growing up in the United Kingdom, just on the outskirts of London, Minhas had attended an all-girls school for a couple of years and formed some of her closest friendships there. “We were all women of color, and that really helped me to normalize my version of growing up when I wasn’t exposed to the same kinds of experiences that most of my peers had,” said Minhas. A couple of years later, she moved to New Jersey with her family at the age of twelve, remaining there for two and a half years before returning to the United Kingdom. This change marked a pivotal milestone in her life; Minhas found the difficult adjustment to be jarring and isolating, experiencing culture shock while unable to communicate with those back home. While her family returned to New Jersey after a few years, Minhas remained in the United Kingdom for college, traveling between countries as much as she could.

While she submerged herself in the different cultures of both countries, Minhas also kept nourishing her relationship with her heritage. “I’m a second generation British Indian, so I feel like that alone gives me such a multi-faceted history,” said Minhas. “For me, it starts with a deep love and respect for my family and learning our personal history and our values.”

As she was growing up, Minhas’ mother had tried to teach her children as much about their culture as possible. They had lived in a predominantly white neighborhood, so her mother made sure her children were taught their language, knew of cultural practices, and spent a lot of time with their grandparents. Even with this enriched environment, Minhas admitted that navigating her identity was difficult. “It’s hard to be proud of your history or even want to spend time understanding it when you’re so worried about ‘fitting in’,” said Minhas, “so I definitely went through years of feeling like my heritage wasn’t important or something that I wanted to minimize as a kid.”

As she got older, however, Minhas reached a place where she wanted to learn more about her culture and unlearn the negative aspects that she internalized in her youth about what it meant to “be Indian.” There was a constant struggle between identities – the feeling of not being “Indian” enough or being too “British” – but after her time in both the U.S. and the U.K., Minhas realized “there’s no right way or one way to be anything.” She began to appreciate the nuances of her identity more and more over time, the result of her exposure to different cultures. “I think moving between countries for periods of time really forced me to recognize identity as something that’s fluid,” said Minhas.

Along with her nuanced identity, Minhas’ family is a major influence on her and the stories she wants to tell. “I come from a very female dominated family, and I grew up with really strong female friendships. I think that’s something that I’m continuously inspired by in my work,” said Minhas. “I always gravitate towards certain themes or towards certain stories, and I think that’s because of the rich history that I’ve grown up around, of seeing through the lives of the women around me.” Minhas also touches upon her grandparents, who had immigrated to the U.K. in the 1940s. Their lives made her interested in learning more about the waves of immigrants entering the U.K., and so Minhas spent her time studying literature and films on the subject. “That’s been really inspirational in driving me to want to continue to document those histories and how it’s evolved since,” said Minhas.

When looking to the future, Minhas stated that she wants to continue creating more music videos and, eventually, her own short films. “I’d love to direct something that I wrote myself,” said Minhas. “I want to continue pushing myself to tell stories that I believe are important and underrepresented.” Minhas also mentioned how she wished to prioritize friendship, traveling, and life experiences to keep herself inspired. She wants to continue sending the ladder back down to those who are looking for opportunities; she has received help over the years, and Minhas recognizes that she is in the position to offer it to others now.

Enriched with culture and self-discovery, Minhas’ story is far from being over. As the years go on and as her career progresses, there is still a vast world of possibilities for her to uncover. Whether it is through writing or directing on a screen, Minhas will continue to share the stories of her and others for all to see.

To learn more about Priya Minhas, check out her website, HERE.

“Everything I do always comes down to some version of storytelling, whether it’s telling my own or helping others tell theirs,” said Priya Minhas.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email