Interview: Kashmiri singer Aabha Hanjura on her new release, Khanmoej Koor
1. Tell us about the song ?
Khanmoej Koor is a very personal song for me, it ’s traditionally sung at Kashmiri weddings, towards the end of mehndiraats. The track captures the anxiety in the bride’s mind as she nervously embarks upon the journey to her new home. Its features her shyly imploring her brother to bid her adieu as she takes the long walk towards a new life, her feet and soul burdened by the weight of memories
2. What kind of various instrument are you using in the track ?
We’ve gone for an arrangement that’s a radical departure from the way the song is traditionally sung & have also recomposed it.I first heard the song as a 14 year old at wedding & when i decided to pick it up for the album,Sound Of Kashmir, I truly wanted to make the song my own-the poetry written by Lt Nazir Das, speaks to me, and is very moving, hence we created a mood that’s full of pathos & used a piano & string arrangement, keeping the track minimal but impactful. The vocals lead the mood of the song & I've rendered them from a very personal space in my heart.
3. After the success of hukus bukus do you think khanmoej koor will cross its success?
Each song is different & has its own destiny. For me all my songs are like my babies, so i want them all to do very well!While Hukus , was an uptempo happy track this song is radically different one in emotion, but the audience response has been overwhelming. People who don't even speak the language are connecting to the song, because the poetic translation in the subtitles aids them with the essence & the meaning of the song. My own brother has written the poetic translation. While, it’s too early to say but I feel this song will reach far number of people, as the emotions in the song are universal-every girl goes through them at some point in her life.
4. Do you prefer live performances or playback singing?
I think i was born for the stage! I love my time in the studio, but the joy i feel on stage is unparalleled. Additionally, I definitely enjoy composing & writing my own songs a lot -that’s a process that's cathartic for me.
5. What is the inspiration of Kashmir you bring to the song?
In the album, Sound Of Kashmir, the sound design is largely focussed on bringing forth the lesser heard instruments of Kashmir, like the rabab, santoor,tumbaknari to the forefront & create a unique new age sound with blending modern, contemporary genres with it, having said that, all songs have the essence of Kashmir in their own unique way either with the poetry, or the instrumentation.
6. Tell us about the collaboration with Qyuki?
Ive been glad to partner with Qyuki, we started our association with Hukus Bukus, and have grown from strength to strength.I look forward to a fulfilling association with the young & vibrant team at Qyuki.
7. Will we get to see you doing a playback for a movie?
While my focus is largely on my own independent music, you never know, if the right opportunity comes by, I would be glad to sing for films as well.
8. How is your inspiration while curating music?
I am inspired by everything around me. Most tunes/songs come to me while i am driving :) so it can be any day/anywhere - you just need to not look for it. Music chooses you, you don't choose music.
9. As a YouTuber what are the challenges you face to create a space in the music industry?
the digital world is cluttered, while the platform gives you the opportunity to showcase yourself- the opportunity is not unique, there are tonnes of content coming in every hour, and to navigate through ,what sells, what's working or is commercially the right thing to do & still do the music you believe in ,takes a lot of courage. You have to stick it out, keep yourself motivated & keep up the hard work.
10. Any singer you plan to associate with to create your future track ?
there are some interesting collaborations in the pipeline, and will be making some interesting announcements very soon!