World Music Day 2024: Delhi-based artiste Kamakshi Khanna opens up about her latest EP, Heartbreak 2020

"This EP is deeply personal and each song reflects a lesson that I had while dating in my 20s," she shares
World Music Day 2024: Delhi-based artiste Kamakshi Khanna opens up about her latest EP, Heartbreak 2020

Navigating the perplexing landscape of modern love and heartbreak, indie singer-songwriter Kamakshi Khanna unveiled her sophomore EP, Heartbreak 2020 — an exploration of modern loneliness and heartbreak.

Already captivating fans with singles Love Is Not A F**King Game and I Blew It!, this EP transforms her engaging lockdown Green Room Sessions into lush productions.

An honest reflection on finding love digitally, Heartbreak 2020 promises relatable insights into romance’s complexities. Ahead of World Music Day, we speak to the Delhi artiste about the theme of the upcoming EP and the emotions she intends to evoke with the same.

Can you share more about the personal experiences that shaped the songwriting for this project?

Each song in Heartbreak 2020 is about a different type of heart - break and the process of reflecting on it and healing from it. From awkward dates to mind games to short-term relationships to unrequited love to somehow still finding a tiny little place of hope to one day finding something that you can hold on to, there’s a little something there for everyone.

If you could rename your EP something other than Heartbreak 2020, what would the new title be and why?

Since the songs were written in my home studio and were all featured as a part of the Green Room Sessions, the alternative idea we had was The Green Room but that’s a project I want to build more and I can’t wait to share with my audience what we have in store!

How important is it for you to be vulnerable and honest in your lyrics?

I find myself to be the most honest version of myself when I’m writing my music. This EP especially is deeply personal and each song reflects a lesson that I had while dating in my 20s. My hope is that anyone else who has been through something similar feels less alone.

EP artwork
EP artwork

Can you take us through the creative process of transforming those initial versions into fully-produced tracks on the EP?

I generally spend too much time overthinking every aspect of my music, the production, the visuals, the social media plan etc when releasing it, but with all of us having limited resources and options during the lockdown, it gave me the liberty to just release raw, homegrown songs without the pressure of ‘perfection’ or rather the illusion of it.

As an independent artiste, what have been some of the biggest challenges and rewards of pursuing your musical journey outside the mainstream industry?

As someone who has been in this industry for almost 10 years now, I think the biggest challenge is that the music industry is everchanging. Just when you think you know how it works, it challenges you to expand your perspective. I come from a generation of releasing your records on a CD and printing covers at Nehru Place, where social media and DSPs weren’t the be-all and end-all and major labels were the ultimate goal. So much has changed ever since and I’m honestly so grateful that I stuck to this and for all the incredible opportunities that exist today.

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Your music spans both English and Hindi. How do you approach songwriting and lyrical expression in different languages?

I love music in Hindi and English both equally, it’s just a matter of which language you end up conversing with yourself with and that has always been English. Writing lyrics in English comes very naturally to me but writing in Hindi is a beautiful challenge that I’m excited to keep embracing!

Who are some of your musical influences, both within the indie scene and beyond, that have inspired your sound and approach to music?

AR Rahman, Sara Bareilles, Lizzy Mcalpine, Lianne La Havas, Sza, Tori Kelly and Tiny Habits are some of my favourite artists right now. In the Indie scene, I am inspired by Komorebi, Mali, Frizzel Dsouza, Abhilasha Sinha, Dot, OAFF & Savera and many others!

Describe your music in three words.

Comforting. Relatable. Bittersweet.

Music aside, what’s one interest you have that might surprise people?

Apart from music, my interests are hobbies that I may not be good at but enjoy thoroughly — like cooking, baking, and gaming — especially board games and word games and dancing.

Lastly, what’s next for you? Are you already working on new material or planning any tours or live shows?

I have some really exciting collaborations that I can’t wait to share and a nationwide conceptual tour!

Heartbreak 2020 is streaming on all audio platforms.

Written by Jaanhvi Nagpal

indulge@newindianexpress.com

@indulgexpress

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