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Girl Power

Friday, December 07, 2018

In a short span of time, Mumbai based vocalist Aditi Ramesh has made a remarkable rise in the Indie music scene. The 27-year- old exudes girl power wherever she goes, as Verus Ferreira found out

Can you tell us how you got into music?

I learnt Western classical piano from the age of 5 to 15 and then finished school, went to law school, practised as a lawyer and didn't play piano for 11 years. During the same early years I learnt Carnatic vocals on and off, but always resisted it. Towards the end of my law career I had a strong feeling that I'd lost touch with music and if I didn't get back in touch, I wasn't going to be happy. When I started out I was  jumping into an industry I had no idea about. There were challenges regarding how to go about recording, learning how to handle myself on stage and breaking into the scene when no one knew who I was.

What kind of music do you usually perform?

With my act I perform experimental fusion music inspired by jazz, Carnatic, soul, R&B, folk and funk music. With Ladies Compartment we perform a lot in the soul/R&B space while also experimenting with genres like folk, progressive rock, blues and jazz. With Voctronica we perform a capella music with drum and bass influences along with vocal instrumentation and vocally produced electronic sounds.

How do you approach your songwriting process?

Each song comes about organically, so there isn't one process I follow. Sometimes the chord structure drives a song, sometimes it’s a melody line or topic I have something to say about. I approach my songwriting process by not being bound by a single approach and being open to experimentation.

You released a debut EP Autocorrect. What’s it all about?

Autocorrect is an exploration of the space between genres. Fusion is often about showcasing a range of styles and techniques. What I attempt to do with this EP is begin to find common overlaps between Indian and Western musical traditions and use these spaces to seamlessly transition between styles; to in a sense 'fuse' them. The lyrical content is meant to be relatable, at times using my everyday experiences as a lens through which macro-level ideas and the larger picture and are viewed.

You said you also jam with a band, Ladies Compartment.

Yes, I started Ladies Compartment with the aim to celebrate female musicianship and for all of us to grow together in our instrumentation and composition. The band is known for our layering of vocal textures and harmonies along with groovy drum and bass. All of the band members play an instrument and sing and there is no one lead singer in the band.

Do you think it's possible to survive in the industry with just a full-time creative job?

It is definitely possible to survive but it takes time and slow growth before a creative job becomes fully sustainable on its own. I personally feel it’s been helpful to me to have a day job, initially full time and now part- time to take the burden of survival away from my art form and allow me to pursue music primarily for artistic satisfaction. As you grow as an artist, it is then possible to slowly reduce the amount of non creative work you do.

What are your future plans?

I’m looking forwarding to releasing a lot of new music next year, recording an album, an EP with Ladies Compartment, a few singles with Voctronica and, of course, collaborating with various other artists from different genres.

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