This music blog series explores musical takes and narratives on different themes. We specifically make an attempt to shine the light on some exceptional indie artists across the country.
Whether we agree or not, we live in a ‘society’, that for years, has been knowingly & unknowingly oppressing women in the name of irrational supremacy. Feminism advocates for gender equality & is a belief that women shouldn’t be deprived of social or economical privileges. However, it has been given a distorted definition in recent times by those who still want to keep the patriarchal roots intact. This week we are portraying some stigmas surrounding the female species & their enduring resilience through 7 women empowerment songs.
Our society has a threshold age for a woman to marry, which varies by caste but is no more than 25 on an average, an age after which her profession/work ceases to matter & in order to validate her life she is constantly pushed to get married. Mumbai-based Aditi Ramesh who is a lawyer turned musician went through a similar trauma once she crossed 25 & decided to pen it down in a sarcastically funny manner for her debut EP Autocorrect. ’Marriageable age’ offers Aditi’s Carnatic flavoured vocals coupled with Dee MC’s spitting rap which is entirely satirical at large.
Bold, fierce and punks, this under-appreciated 1st all female hip hop collective from Aamchi Mumbai comprises of 7 acerbic yet honest rappers – Krantinaari, Hashtagpretty, Pratika (MC PEP), MC Mahila, JQueen, Demyth, and FlowRaw! I do it for the hip hop is like an introduction to all the members, their diverse hood and the rebellious journeys that these ladies have covered so far. The 5-minute track is back to back verses in English, Hindi & Marathi showcasing the inner goddess of the collective.
The Northeast region of our country always produces some of the most promising acts in the indie music scene. The pioneer of all is the Blues-rock outfit Soulmate, straight outta Shillong, Meghalaya. Voodoo Woman is a track from their latest LP Give Love, in which Tipriti Kharbangar (1/2 of Soulmate) claims herself to be somewhat of a badass magical woman who stands strong on her ground & can spot dry land through muddy water. Rudy Wallang (Other half of Soulmate), as usual, stirs up the song with his gliding guitar solos & riffs that are almost eargasmic.
Delhi-based Swati Bhatt who is a classically trained musician is known to play around with her vocal textures & produce catchy harmonies. Veiled, from her debut EP is a story of a woman’s journey of self-conflict and how she manages to break free from a dead marriage that has left her betrayed and alone. She finally finds her voice and the fortitude to change for the better, both for herself & for those who deeply care about her.
Assam-based Contemporary Pop artist Synicah Baishya’s sophomore single slowly builds up the hype with the cinematic soundscapes & dream-pop beats until it reaches a crescendo & tosses in an orchestral chorus that will send shivers down listeners’ spines every time it is heard. The song talks about the warriors that never back down and face adversities with their heads held high. Synicah even offers to help those in need while she is on her way to conquer it all, as beautifully narrated in the phrase “On my way I will help you find your peace”.
Acclaimed singer Apeksha Dandekar’s collaboration with Gaurav Balani, bass guitarist of Indian Rock band Parikrama & current founding member of Inalab, is an impactful serving. Inalab is an experimental orchestral act based out of New Delhi that collaborates with multiple artists on their records. ‘Help me Fly’ is about raising awareness against women violence that most of the time goes unnoticed in our country. The track is written by Apeksha herself whose voice glides across the melody with ease & compliments the beats provided by drummer Jai Row Kavi.
Maalavika Manoj a.k.a Mali has been experimenting with her sound since her debut release in 2017. She celebrates womanhood & the troubles that come with it. Cabaret is a retro charged pop ballad in which Mali’s raspy vocals are emphasizing on the slow marathons that give better results as opposed to the fast, shiny lifestyle that becomes toxic with time.