In conversation with the musical artist Aditi Ramesh

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Former lawyer turned musician, Aditi Ramesh has many hyphens to her name. She is a singer-songwriter-producer-musician, and her genre of music can only be described as a hybrid of jazz-blues-R & B-Carnatic music.

She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved to India when she was 15, but neither influenced the path she chose. Although she trained in Western classical piano and Carnatic singing, once she quit her job at a large law firm in 2016, she began her relationship with music.

“After I left law, I was sitting and writing a song. It struck me that the scales in jazz music – the notes and the intervals – were similar to some Carnatic ragas, ”Ramesh said. “In traditional fusion music, the western part and the Indian part are always separate, both elaborate but detached. I thought, “Why not merge them organically? And it just became his own thing.

His first EP titled Auto-correct was released in 2017. Since then, it has been a great journey of concerts and multiple projects. Ramesh performs his original music live with an ensemble of 4 musicians, is part of a group called “Ladies Compartment” and an acapella group called “Voctronica”.

“Everyone is a different version of myself,” Ramesh said.

Her most recent song titled “Heal” turned heads because of its “straightforwardness and relevance to the national lockdown in India. Surprisingly, the song was written and recorded in just three days during Phase 1 of the locking.

“I wanted the message to get to people immediately because people weren’t taking the restrictions seriously. People were negative and complacent, ”Ramesh said and continued,“ Yes they were going through a lot of hardship, but a whole part of us is privileged and must recognize that in times of crisis. I wanted this message to reach them.

The song gets right to the point: “If you hear this song, you’re privileged” and follows it with “If you take a step back, spend your time at home,” adding to the chorus of people asking people to stay at home. house for everyone’s safety.

“That’s right! If you listen to this song you are privileged, you have the internet, you have a phone and although we may have our own struggles, it is important to be thankful for what we have,” said Ramesh.

But how do you write and record a song at home in just three days? Ramesh solved this problem by creating a vocal booth in her wardrobe. Due to the confinement, she ended up working with new people.

“The producer, Tre Ess, was from Ranchi, the backing vocals, a young singer and saxophonist from Bangalore whom I discovered when she took over my music, and another old friend and talented singer from Shillong and finally the bassist. , a London resident I was scheduled to perform in April as part of a London tour that was eventually canceled, ”said Ramesh.

“Literally the limits of collaboration have just been pushed back because of this time and everyone is ready to create now. This spirit of collaboration is what made Heal such a special project. “

Ramesh clarifies that she too is more privileged than many people living in India before explaining her impact on artists like her.

“Our income as artists has really plunged,” admitted Ramesh. “I had gotten used to earning decent amounts for a short performance and now I have to put in a lot more effort to win a number of missions paying small amounts which together are still a lot less than I did before. . It’s humiliating !

But just as she hums in Heal – to take note of what you’re grateful for – she adds a note about the positive effect of locking on her creative process.

“Before the lockdown, our metrics for success and why we were doing what we were doing were very different. It was based on festivals, international tours and stage performances for large crowds. I like this part too, but realized that this is all incidental and not the point. It reminded me of the satisfaction of making art and creating for itself, ”said Ramesh.

Ramesh has done his part in the battle against COVID-19 by organizing a fundraiser in the form of a masterclass.

“It wasn’t until after taking the course that I realized I really enjoyed teaching and had something to offer! I will now be teaching a few students to make up for the loss of income I am facing without live performances during this time, ”Ramesh said.

“I produce music in Tamil from home, do some collaboration projects with a saxophonist and clarinetist from Australia, and am working on a Hindi single that I wrote as part of the music that I made for Aditya Kripalani’s upcoming independent Hindi film ‘Not Today’, concluded Ramesh.

You can check out his song Heal on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube and follow her on Instagram for live sessions and updates.

Aishwarya Viswamitra

Aishwarya is a science journalist completing her Masters in Biology in Punjab. She hopes to bridge the gap between citizen and science through various forms of science communication, including podcasts. She performs spoken poetry, makes stop motion films and teaches English in her spare time. Having lived in Bangalore and raised in Arkansas, culture clashes have become the common thread that connects her unscientific writing as she learns to navigate India, in traffic and all.

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