Independent Music

Indie Week: In Conversation With Hanita Bhambri

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Hanita Bhambri is no new name around the Delhi live music circuit. She has been playing around for over a year but finally dropped her debut single last week called “Let Me Go” which received wide spread love and support from all over the independent music industry as well as Universal Music on the major front.

For those who do not know, Hanita Bhambri, an upcoming female singer-songwriter based out of New Delhi. Her single “Let Me Go” was released with a powerful video show by Delhi based film maker Ishani Das. The powerful video song sees Hanita embrace her insecurities and weaknesses and use her voice to fight the judgmental people she is surrounded with.

Hanita’s band features artists such as bassist Danik Ghosh, Anisha Uppal on keys, guitarist Vignesh Iyer and drummer Aditya Dutta. Her single and upcoming EP was produced, mixed and mastered by Kolkata-based Miti Adhikari, who has credits on music by everyone from Foo Fighters to Coldplay to local acts like Parekh & Singh.

Check out Hanita’s single below

In Conversation With Hanita

1. What is Hanita Bhambri’s story?

Music never came to me naturally, I don’t come from a family of music and the first time I sang on stage I was a complete disaster. Yet, the voice in my head sounded beautiful. Extremely shy as a kid, I would crawl under a school bench and spent all of my day writing. I spent my early adulthood learning marketing from College of Business Studies and brand management from MICA, and soon enough realised that the corporate rut isn’t for me. Risking it all for a dream, with my shaky hands, post midnight – I wrote a Facebook message to Miti Adhikari sending him a few of my songs. And what were once shabbily scribbled lines went on to become these lush productions that still retain their original intimacy and vulnerability.

2. What was the planning process of launching yourself as an artist?

After opting out of placements I spent a long time just immersing myself into learning music. I had been disconnected from the creative space for so long so I was happy to finally find my feet. Adhiraj Mustafi, mentored me through my entire journey and in developing my artistry, performance, musicianship and songwriting. During my time there he also introduced me to Srishti Das who guided me about music business and pushed me to not sit on my work. That night I went home and wrote September 2018 – debut release on a white sheet of paper. And here I am in August with my first release. Before anything else, I started looking for a producer and a team of musicians who understood my sound and vision. I was lucky enough to find Danik, Vignesh, Anisha, Aditya, Divakar and Anahita who really helped bring my music to life. I started working on my branding early on – deciding on the visuals that work with my brand – the right logo, the colour palette – applying a lot of the concepts I learnt at MICA. During this time I started touring across the country for intimate shows to build my listener base and forge genuine connection with people who could later become advocates for the music. With one month to go for recording, I dropped the shows and we were rehearsing every single day – arranging all the songs, always taking feedback from Miti and Adhiraj. I knew I wanted to record at Ferris Wheel Studios because it’s one of the best spaces for an artist to record in Delhi NCR. In hindsight, as stressful as recording was – it was the easy part. I took the month after the recording to take a break – I travelled and got back to writing. During this time I started thinking about the artwork I wanted, pondered over video-concepts and took it one step at time working closely with Loya and Ishani. I would write every task down and just finish it. The month leading up to the release was extremely tough, a few days before the video shoot for let me go I lost my 8 month puppy. It broke me completely, I was about to cancel everything because I didn’t have it in me to soldier on. I somehow found the courage to make it happen, because of him and what he taught me in his brief time with me. I have dedicated my EP to him, because his strength inspired me to fight. The month of July is a bit of a blur because I was working for a dream when I couldn’t grieve. I just did what I could to make sure I make him proud. And that meant telling the world that I have arrived.

 

3. Did you think Let Me Go would receive such a great response?

I honestly hadn’t anticipated this kind of a response, I always dreamt of it – always believed that my music is good enough for people to appreciate it but to have this kind of massive support from people was humbling. People from all over the country were sharing it, influencers were talking about me and industry honchos were taking notice. The most rewarding thing for me though was that complete strangers and acquaintances wrote to me sharing their insecurities and gave me the privilege of being their vulnerable safe space. I had no idea, that right in the beginning of my journey, my writing could help me find connection with so many people.

4. How has life and your dreams changed after Let Me Go?

Life is still the same, there’s still the same grind, same fight, same soldiering on. My dreams are still to leave a legacy – give hope to someone who has lost all sense of any. Comfort, warmth. I want to save lives through my stories. The one thing that has changed is my self belief and faith in my small community, which as it turned out isn’t that small really.

5. What is next for Hanita Bhambri?

We are working on the release of the next single. This next song will only set the benchmark even higher!

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