Kamakshi Khanna has reached new heights as a vocalist and musician since she started off as an 11-year-old. The singer and songwriter speaks to The Daily Guardian about her origins and influences, the future of live music and staying inspired during the lockdown.
Q. You rose as a solo singer and formed your collective in 2013. When and how did you start and realise that music was your calling?
A. I started singing when I was 11. That was just for fun though, not as a professional. But I was part of a choir when I was 13. It was an initiative started by Pandit Ravi Shankar and we toured places like Austria. I also wrote songs in college. I have had some great friends who encouraged me to release my music, which led me to perform at events like The Gig Week. That is how I started as a live musician.
Q. But concerts and live music have taken a real hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. How has it affected you?
A. It is very weird, but I guess this is the new normal. I really miss being on stage but it is important to remember that this is a difficult time for everybody. I am trying to adapt to the situation, and prioritising accordingly. I am training in classical music right now and learning about streaming and recording music.
But I am mostly focused on making and releasing new music. As long as you are being creative, you have a lot to be grateful for. We are lucky to have technology within reach.
Q. Technology has also brought musicians closer during the lockdown in a way though. Are you also collaborating with people for performances?
A. Yes, it has. I am actually finding it easier to stay in touch with people. We only need to not be lazy and start our laptops and reach out. So there are some positives to this definitely. I collaborated with several artists from India; I sang with a friend, Abhilasha Sinha, and Rashmeet Kaur more recently. I also collaborated on this music video with Tejas Menon, which was about conference calls!
Q. What is your take on artists performing online, for free mostly, during the lockdown? There are concerns about them losing money which previously came from ticket sales and sponsorships.
A. This is why clients need to be more sensitive to artists right now. There are performances, for instance, live sessions on Instagram, where channels expect artists to come sing without pay. I am not up for things like that. Artists need to be clear about what they deserve and want. This is our bread and butter. For the same reason, I am learning more about streaming and production. Music can be recorded or used with other forms of media. If we research well we can find out how to make these into opportunities for revenue.
Q. What does the post-Covid future of concerts and live performances look like to you?
A. Concerts will probably be much smaller. Performances will have to be more curated, in that sense. Venues will change, people will have to be safe and seated, most likely away from each other. This will be very different from a usual live performance where the crowd is a like a single unit, just feeding off of each other’s energy.
Q. How have you been keeping yourself inspired at home? Who have you been listening to during the lockdown?
A. It has been difficult and I have been struggling to find inspiration. But I am trying to create new things. My music comes from personal experiences, besides which consuming art and learning from friends keeps me motivated too. I have been listening to Lianne La Havas a lot through this time.
Q. What do you have in store next?
A. I have been working on new music. A new single is scheduled to be released this year, and an album next year. I’m still writing it right now. We had also planned to shoot a music video this year, which could not work out. We will look at alternatives for how to do that now.
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FARDEEN, RITEISH’S ‘VISFOT’ GOES ON FLOORS
MUMBAI: Fardeen Khan and Riteish Deshmukh-starrer ‘Visfot’ went on floors on Tuesday. The film, which marks Fardeen Khan’s re-entry into Bollywood after an 11-year-hiatus, is being directed by Kookie Gulati and also stars Priya Bapat in a pivotal role. ‘Visfot’ is the official remake of ‘Rock, Paper and Scissors’ (2012), Venezuela’s entry to the Academy Awards that year for the Best Foreign Language film section.
The story of ‘Visfot’ oscillates between the chawls of Dongri and the high-rises of the city of Mumbai and will be shot in real locations. Fardeen and Riteish were last seen together in ‘Heyy Babyy’ and will be teaming up for this film after a gap of 14 years.
‘Visfot’, presented by T-Series and Sanjay Gupta, is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Anuradha Gupta and Sanjay Gupta.
‘THE WHITE TIGER’ FAME ADARSH GOURAV BAGS INTERNATIONAL PROJECT
WASHINGTON: After entertaining the viewers with his role in Netflix’s ‘The White Tiger’, actor Adarsh Gourav is now all set to feature in the international project ‘Extrapolations’. As per Deadline, ‘Extrapolations’, which is currently in production, tells the stories of how the upcoming changes to the planet will affect love, faith, work and family on a personal and human scale. The climate change anthology drama series will also feature renowned actors like Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, David Schwimmer, Sienna Miller, Tahar Rahim, Matthew Rhys, Daveed Diggs, and Gemma Chan.
However, Adarsh has not officially announced the project yet. For the unversed, Adarsh earned a nomination at BAFTA for the Best Leading Actor for his performance in ‘The White Tiger’. He will also be seen in Zoya Akhtar’s next ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’.
RANI WRAPS UP SHOOTING FOR ‘MRS CHATTERJEE VS NORWAY’
MUMBAI: Rani Mukerji has finished her shooting for ‘Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway’.
Shot extensively in Estonia and in some parts of India, the film’s team celebrated the wrap on the sets. Several pictures have been doing the rounds on the internet, in which Rani can be seen sharing smiles with the producers.
Talking about it, Rani said, “It’s a really sweet coincidence that I wrapped the shoot of Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway on the same day that my first Hindi film ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat!’ ‘Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway’ is an inspirational story about a mother fighting a country for her children and I went through a rollercoaster of emotions shooting this film. I’m hoping that this film will resonate with everyone who wants to see an entertainer with a brilliant concept at its fore.”
TEASER OF ‘RADHE SHYAM’ TO RELEASE ON PRABHAS’ BIRTHDAY
MUMBAI: 23 October is going to be a special day for Prabhas’ fans as it will mark the actor’s 42nd birthday. Also, on his birthday, fans will also get to see the first official teaser of Prabhas’ most awaited film ‘Radhe Shyam’.
On Wednesday, Prabhas took to Instagram and shared a new poster of the film, revealing that the teaser will be out on Saturday. In the poster, he can be seen giving a serious intense look. Interestingly, the previous promotional materials showcased him as a mild-mannered and romantic hero.
“Who is Vikramaditya? Meet him on 23rd. Enjoy the #Radheshyam teaser in English with subtitles in different languages,” Prabhas captioned the poster. Helmed by Radha Krishna Kumar, ‘Radhe Shyaam’ also features Pooja Hegde. It is scheduled to release on 14 January 2022.
HAVING STRONG MUSCLES IS NOT A MAN’S DOMAIN: TAAPSEE
MUMBAI: ‘Girls should only do cardio, lifting is for guys’, ‘You won’t look like a girl if you build muscles’ — it’s 2021 and women are still facing such stereotypical fitness-related remarks. Taapsee Pannu is completely against the common notion that having a muscular physique is a man’s domain.
“Unfortunately, there’s still a stereotypical outlook towards women’s fitness. It’s extremely sad. Who has made this rule that women can’t have muscles? I find this to be a big myth which all of us must have heard and maybe in the beginning when I was trying to lose weight at a point in life, I also heard that ‘just do cardio and don’t do weightlifting’. I paid attention to that stupid advice because I did not know any better and I was not that open-minded at that time that I would question it, but slowly with time I realised it’s absolutely wrong,” said Taapsee.
According to her, it’s baseless to body shame any woman for having muscles. Like many others, Taapsee also recently fell prey to body shaming. A section of social media users trolled her for her physical transformation for ZEE5’s film ‘Rashmi Rocket’. Many described her transformation as manly.
Talking about the same, she said, “People would have drooled over my look if I had put up a bikini picture. There would be comments like ‘whatta body’, ‘so hot’. For me, the body that’s worth appreciating is the one that has been worked hard on.”
EMRAAN HASHMI’S HORROR FILM ‘DYBBUK’S’ TEASER OUT
MUMBAI: Makers of the horror-thriller ‘Dybbuk – The Curse Is Real’, which stars Emraan Hashmi and Nikita Dutta, have launched an intriguing teaser of the upcoming film. Written and directed by Jay K, the Amazon Original film is the official remake of the Malayalam film ‘Ezra’.
Emraan shared the mysterious teaser on Instagram and wrote, “A mysterious box, an ancient key. If you open this #Dybbuk do you know what will be set free?” It will premiere on 29 October.
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