Before internet, indie music was ‘more or less’ restricted to certain groups because in popular perception, music was largely seen as a companion to Bollywood films. But there has been a drastic change in the way we consume music over the past two decades. Internet has made the music industry more democratic not only in terms of reach but in terms of content as well. Many indie artists chose to remain independent from major record labels to keep creative control over their music.
While male voices continue to dominate the indie circuit, female artists have gradually created their own space with experimental and introspective music. They are coming up with more stellar music catching the attention of listeners across the country. Here is a list of seven female artistes who are making a splash in the world of indie music.
1) Pragnya Wakhlu:
Wakhlu is a Delhi-based indie musician who quit her corporate career after she found her true calling in music. She was initiated into Hindustani classical music at the age of six. Later on, she learnt Sitar, harmonium, and the guitar, also took up Western vocals. Her training in eastern and western music helped harmonise traditional and contemporary musical sensibilities with relative ease. She relased her first album, Journey to the Sun (2012), sold well on eMusic. Her second, Kahwa Speaks, released by music sharing platform Songdew in 20117, won her critical acclaim. Wakhlu recently latest creation ‘Song of Hope’ is one of the six songs in her new album Lessons in Love, which will be out around in June.
2) Aditi Ramesh:
During her early years in Buffalo, New York, Aditi was trained in Carnatic music as well as Western classical piano. A law-graduate from Hyderabad’s NALSAR University, Aditi quit her job as a corporate lawyer to pursue her passion. With her musical inpirations as diverse as Etta James and MS Subbulakshmi, the music virtuoso is known to seamlessly blend genres. Aditi can dabble from a classic jazz number to Carnatic Kritis with elan. The 31-year-old is a part of several bands including Ladies Compartment and Voctronica and has performed at several prominent gigs abroad and in India. her prominent releases include EP albums Autocorrect (2017) and Leftovers (2019)
3) Anisha Uppal:
The Delhi-based vocalist who is popular as Anisha AOD, is another artist making splash in the indie circuit. The 28-year-old finds solace in playing piano and writing poetry. Last year, she had been busy with a handful of releases. While, Broken explores the territories of dark-pop which combines, an emotional tone, excellent arrangement and some truly great production, Skin, with its soaring lyrics and folksy melody, talks about embracing the ebb and flow of life’s movements with grace,
4) Abhilasha Sinha:
The New York/Delhi-based musician has made a name for herself through her through her silken voice and refreshing compositions. Her stirring debut single-Mothers captures the essence of mother’s protective love and how much they sacrifice. Last year, she also released video for the song that featured over 400 vintage pictures fans sent in of their moms. She has been an key part of bands RIVER with Kamakshi Khanna and Tarana Marwah. She is currently with No Honey band with Keshav Dhar and Suyash Gabriel. Her latest single, Honey Bee is a warm and wistful song exploring the theme of love in the lockdown.
5) Banat Kaur Bagga
The 25-year-old has a penchant for music since her childhood. Bagga released her debut single-Moon in 2017 when she was a final year law student. With her lyrics and vocals, the music was produced by by Coshish’s lead guitarist Shrikant Sreenivasan. The popularity of the song emboldened her resolve to become a musician. Coming from a Punjabi background, she easily gives some nifty twist to Hindi and Punjabi songs. Based out of Mumbai, she was a regular at open mics and poetry slam before the pandemic struck. Her cover of Chal Diye by Pakistani band Zeb & Haniya is an absolute watch. The singer-songwriter’s EP ranges in genres from pop and rock, to neoclassical and folk.
6) Anouska Mashkey:
Sikkim-based singer-songwriter Anoushka Maskey made her debut EP during the Coronavirus lockdown. Her debut EP ‘Things I Saw In A Dream’ has seven tracks and touches upon the need to appreciate the human sensibilities and the little things life has to offer. ” I was locked up in my Bengaluru apartment initially and these pieces were literally my emotions translated into songs,” she was quoted as saying by The Indian Express . With her music receiving laurels from across the world, she dropped a second EP, C.E.A.S.E. in September with four new compositions.
7) Bawari Basanti:
Mahima Dayal Mathur who is more popular as Bawari Basanti released her first single, ‘Chale Kahin’ from her EP Underwater in June 2019. Through her music, she tries to explore the ideas of identity, doubt and dreams in a dystopian state. Know for her powerful and evocative vocals, Bawari has the ability to transport the audience to an emotional state. Her popular single Izhaar questions the inhibitions regarding public display of affection in Indian society.