In conversation with Naari about her new EP, Everything Is Everything
Artiste Neeraja Narayanasamy was born in Bengaluru, raised in New Delhi and is now based in Berlin. She goes by the moniker Naari while making her soul, folk, garage-psychedelia inspired music. Her new EP, Everything Is Everything, touches on themes such as depression, community, social-media based anxiety, monogamy and love. Her raw and jazzy vocals give life to the songs in the EP, namely Versatile, Visionaries and Linear Control. Indulge catches up with her over email but what fans can expect from the EP and how the lockdown is treating her:
1. Tell us a little about your music?
My music is very vocal-based, lyric-based and varies between soul, folk and garage-psychedelia.
2. Why did you choose the name, Naari?
I used to perform under my birth name however I found it was too familiar to people. It put me in a box, visually, ethnically and sexually. Using a moniker like Naari helped me be more fluid with these things; and in effect more confident about the music I'm making. Naari also means woman in Hindi and I like that.
3. If you had to, which genre would you put your music under?
I wouldn't but if I had to alternative-soul.
4. And what drew you to this genre?
Well, I sing very soulfully, however my arrangements can be a bit riff heavy. The chord progressions can be a bit dissonant at times; so basically it's not completely soul. I also like to experiment with pedals sometimes and with post-production. So yes, the left of centre soul is just where I went.
5. We loved the EP’s raw and intimate quality. Tell us about how it was conceived?
This EP has kind of been lying around for ages, to be honest! I wrote and recorded it almost three years ago when I just came to Berlin. They were the first three complete compositions I wrote in this city. Gradually I let go of my perfectionism; experimented with post-production with my producer, Ettore and decided to put it out. I had to reflect the small voice that helped me navigate the big crazy place that is Berlin.
6. What is your songwriting process like?
Usually I have bursts of inspiration. Those times I usually write. However, that would just be the skeleton. The arrangement and instrumentation also takes up thinking and planning. Some songs need more, while some less. Also working with others and writing with them is a whole different process. I guess my process is finding the inspiration, getting the skeleton, and then everything after to gradually make something memorable.
7. And how personal is it?
8. What are some of the themes in your music?
Winter depression, community, social-media based anxiety, ideas of monogamy, love, and the search for enlightenment and meaning.
9. How has the lockdown been treating you?
I am finishing school at the moment so I'm busy writing essays. I feel lucky because it's very mild here and I can still go outside to breathe. Still creative but more reflective.
10. Since tours and gigs are out of the questions for a while, how do you plan to promote the EP?
I would really like for people to hear it and enjoy it. I'm trying to make a few videos to promote the EP. I will do live videos too! At this point I'm only looking to give out more content.
Available on online streaming platforms