Interview: Singer Avanti Patel debuts as a composer and lyricist with Saiyaan Bina
Mumbai-based singer Avanti Patel — a student of vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande from the Jaipur Atrauli Gharana — known for her mellifluous classical renditions just debuted as a composer and lyricist with an interesting indie classical track Saiyaan Bina. A thumri about love and longing between two people, this song is traditionally rooted yet beautifully inclusive in interpreting the word ‘Saiyaan’ (beloved). We chat with the young artiste about the same and more.
What was the inspiration behind this song?
It’s my love for the thumri as a genre. I grew up appreciating Hindustani classical music, which most of my friends couldn’t appreciate. As an artiste, I saw this as an opportunity to bridge this gap.
This is your first independent project? How difficult or different has it been?
It has been difficult for multiple reasons. My musical training didn’t really prepare me to create music that was ‘mine.’ Most singers here are taught to be just singers. There are very few mainstream role models of successful women composers, lyricists and artistes here. But I’m glad I took the plunge and decided to be vulnerable. The second and more obvious reason is the pandemic. Right from having to upskill, optimise my home studio setup, to working remotely with artistes, I did it all.
Do you think the indie scene has become more dynamic due to the pandemic?
I definitely think people have started listening to indie music a lot more. The popularity of audio streaming platforms like Spotify is also one of the reasons. The pandemic has made us acutely aware of our limited entertainment options.
What are the other projects you are working on?
I am currently working on a few independent projects mainly in the area of ghazals and Hindustani classical music. A few interesting collaborations are in the pipeline as well. Streaming on all major music platforms.