Kanika Patawari: ‘It is important to be honest about who you are’

Kanika Patawari: ‘It is important to be honest about who you are’, the vie

The singer speaks of her latest song ‘Runak Junak’ and sustainability among other things

Musician-entrepreneur Kanika Patawari released her new song, ‘Runak Jhunak’ (Warner Music), recently. Born and raised in Belgium, Kanika has been visiting India since she was a child and feels connected to the country. She says she feels like she has a home in India, Belgium and the United States. “You can find me in one of these places.” Over a video call from Mumbai, the 27-year-old singer speaks about her song, music, sustainability and more.

Edited excerpts:

We see traces of Rajasthani culture with a fusion of folk in ‘Runak Jhunak’. How did this idea come to you?

As a musician, it is important to be honest about who you are when you create your music. Given that I grew up in a Rajasthani household, I recreated what I had heard and seen in my childhood. Since my external experiences are Western, my song became a mishmash of Indian with Rajasthani flavours and western music.

Your video features rustic and urban women and children. What does this represent?

I wanted to highlight the idea of freedom and liberation. There are set notions about women, who wear heavy jewellery that is native to Rajasthan. I wanted to use the same idea in a different light. I wanted to show modern Rajasthani women in traditional clothes, who are ambitious and free.

Tell us about your initiative, Music Recycle?

It is a platform for a collaboration between music and sustainability. I realized there is a lack of awareness and information on this and came up with Music Recycle.

We made music out of sounds from a metal yard with the message of one man’s waste is another man’s instrument, to talk about sustainability and climate change. With Plastic Surgery, we create awareness about single-use plastic. We are a small team, mostly active in America. We have plans for India too.

Are women discriminated against in the music industry?

There is a difference between the West and India in terms of how the music industry operates. In the West, there is an artiste culture as opposed to the film-centric music scene in India. I hope that the idea of artiste culture grows here too.

The gender issue is a worldwide problem. While women are often singers or performers, they are rarely involved in the technology part of it. It is changing, but we still have a long way to go. Music production, music therapy, film scoring, video game music are some of the areas dominated by men. Initially, it was challenging for me to learn technology and produce music.

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