Aditi Ramesh blends Indian and Western musical traditions in her new EP, Leftovers
IT HAS ONLY been a little over two years, since songwriter and jazz/blues, Carnatic vocalist Aditi Ramesh started her musical trajectory professionally, after quitting a career in corporate law. The months that followed could only be described as a phenomenal climb to relevance for the performer. Perhaps, one of the most distinct voices in the fusion music scene today, Aditi has a soundscape, so exceptionally diverse, that it would be wrong to pigeon-hole the artiste into one particular genre.
The vocalist has a rich background in Carnatic music, and seamlessly blends Indian and westerns traditions, along with elements of funk, soul and folk music. Aditi recently performed at Kolkata’s TopCat CCU (on July 4), as part of her EP tour, and we caught up with her just a few days before her gig. “I haven’t played in Kolkata before with my band (Ishan Jadwani on drums, Anthony Cammarota on guitar, Bijit Bhattacharya on bass), but I’ve played once with Ladies Compartment (the Mumbai-based all-female, multi-genre music project she’s a part of). This time, we will be playing songs from my new EP Leftovers, and tracks from Autocorrect (my debut EP from 2017) as well as a few unreleased songs. We also plan to collaborate with a couple of musicians from Kolkata who will be guests on our set,” reveals Aditi.
Her newest four-track EP Leftovers is a compilation of all the music she has written recently, but wasn’t able to record, and has a connect with her narrative as an artiste. “The songs have grown and evolved in flavour, just as the spices slowly soak in a curry and it tastes better the next day. The themes are meant to be everyday topics which are relatable to the listener. My sound has evolved since Autocorrect, with the coming together of my band as a family. It has become a tradition for us to eat a home-cooked meal together at my house before practices and the food analogy of Leftovers is linked to this as well,” the singer tells us. Though Aditi’s sound is inspired by and rooted in Carnatic music, it is shaped by contemporary jazz, soul, R&B, and funk.
Aditi tells us that she likes to blend various genres organically. In fact, one such lyric-heavy number from her EP, titled Folders, was inspired by a conversation Aditi had with her flatmate about balancing her day job and music career. The live recording session of the track on YouTube features some of the finest tonal intensity you’ll find in a fusion number. Though Aditi has had a prolific career and she has been part of some of the most interesting line-ups, the artiste does feel that indie artistes deserve a better pay structure and compatible means to sustain themselves. “I would like to see it be less of a monetary struggle to be an indie musician. Better rates for gigs, travel expenses being covered, and some way for brands to support the recording of music financially, to begin with. There are so many talented musicians in the indie circuit creating fresh, unique, and original music. Yet, they are greatly deterred by the difficulty of survival and the high cost of recording and gear,” claims the singer. Available on SoundCloud. — UR