FOR PEOPLE WHO LISTEN: BAWARI BASANTI
Some excerpts from this article have been taken from an interview conducted by our writer on Instagram with the Artist.
We introduce you this week to probably one of the most soothing & unique voices from the world of music. She creates a world visible through the sound of her music, tells stories that make you think with her lyrics, they enthral you with her singing and if you’re willing, she invites you to explore the extremely personal space her music comes from. Ladies and Gentlemen, we present you to, ‘Bawari Basanti’.
Bawari Basanti is inspired mostly by really old recordings of Hindustani Classical and Ghazal singers from our sub-continent and after some prodding, she graciously shared her playlist with us.
The musical influence may be classical but the lyrics are not. Just have a listen to her song Izehaar, where she combines some soothing musical melodies with insightful lyrics about the moral policing around public displays of affection, conventional imagery in old Hindi movies, and then just takes your breath away with her singing. Izehaar can easily pass off as a Hindi movie soundtrack with a firebrand female lead. (Read: Taapsee Pannu movies)
‘Khabar Mein Raho’, a song about being in the news, and the writer here believes that explaining any of the songs of Bawari Basanti is a disservice to her and the songs. And we don’t do that here.
So, Bawari Basanti is a brilliant singer who produces great songs, writes probably some of the most thought-provoking lyrics outside of the Indian Hip Hop genre, and yet we’re pretty sure this is the first time you’re hearing of her.
And that is truly our fault as listeners. We’ve been conditioned so much by repetitive hooks, dance numbers, and club songs that artists like Bawari Basanti remain in the hearts of only a few people. Maybe, not everyone who listens to her music will like it which in this writer’s opinion is damn near impossible but the point is everyone should have the option of not liking her music.
There is a multitude of reasons for this but we’ll focus on two reasons and these are reasons we can work on. The first one is our laziness to not search for new songs or artists. We increasingly depend on algorithms for songs to shuffle through our ears and most of the time our ears don’t pay attention cause the shuffle always plays cookie-cutter songs based on location and the songs we’ve listened to.
The second is our inherent hesitation in songs and playlists. There is a vague justification about private for this but even that is hypocritical considering people share almost everything as long as it guarantees share likes. What we’re trying to get at is we need to stop being apathetic with our taste in music and artists in general.
Now it would have been very easy for me, as a writer convincing you to listen to Bawari Basanti by comparing her to a random female music icon who makes commercial songs from the west and say that Basanti is way better than that artist but as I said, we don’t do that here.
Now, it’s up to you as a reader to take what you want from this and if you go back and search for new music then the rant was worth it.
Coming back to Bawari Basanti, she has collaborations with the best hip-hop duo in India currently Seedhe Maut and has collaborated with DJ Anyasa Music.
When asked if having a pursued journalism is what helps her in writing the lyrics she does, she replies, “It’s just the effect of life.”
We hope she continues to make songs that affect us as listeners making us a little more literate in music, one tune at a time and according to our sources, Bawari Basanti herself we don’t have to wait that long.
She has EP on the way. It’s called Aarzoo with the three long tracks, Aarzoo, Ude & Sundarva and two more tunes which we can’t reveal yet. We don’t know either.
We’ll listen to those tracks when Bawari Basanti invites us to listen to them with her signature ‘Aajao’.