I sing a vast repertoire of bhakti, sufi and nirguni traditions from across South Asia. Abhang, Kabir, Nath, Vachana, Baul – these are some of the streams that converge in my music. Stylistically, the music draws both the folk traditions I immerse in, and the classical training I have had over the years. I also collaborate with different artists and instrumentalists to create a rich and diverse listening experience.
The warikari tradition of Maharashtra and the Kabir traditions of Madhya Pradesh have formed the core of my practice for the last 7 years. I sing both traditional songs from the oral tradition, and songs that have disappeared from sung traditions, but that exist in text. Songs by women, marginalised communities, and songs which are different from our assumptions of tradition are ones that I am especially drawn to, and ones that I need to compose and arrange in order to perform.
My practice is rooted in tradition, but constantly looks to question notions of both the self and the world. This often means a change in form, presentation, interpretation, or more internally, process. With co-musicians and co-artists, I strive to make work that is inclusive of their signature style, and try and collectively work towards a new song or production.
I regularly perform both in India and abroad, at festivals and concert halls, but also at house baithaks, black box theatres, and intimate outdoor settings. I have performed to vastly varied audiences – from village melas, academic settings and spiritual gatherings to gender circles and music conferences. It is delightful to see how the music, coupled with poetry, can mould itself to different settings and trigger both deep joy and thought.
I have been a grantee of the India Foundation for the Arts, and been awarded scholarships, fellowships and residencies by Sahapedia, Art Omi and Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship. My work has been critically acclaimed, and I have been interviewed by most leading press houses in the country. All these have enabled me to expand the breadth of my music. My commitment towards deepening my practice has taken me to some of the finest folk-spiritual musicians and teachers of this country, mostly in rural areas from Maharashtra to Malwa to Bengal. I continue to learn and teach, and shine a light on some of the finest music rooted in this land.