Music Interview: Amritha Shakti – ‘The Process’ EP

Amritha Shakti
Amritha Shakti

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Amritha Shakti

Tell us about yourself?

Hi there! My name is Amritha; I was born in India, grew up in Australia and studied in the U.S. One thing was always constant for me tho – music. I am a trained vocalist who started learning Indian classical music as a young child, and I have pursued my love story with music ever since. In my twenties, I discovered jazz, soul and the blues. I write songs that bridge these two worlds. 

At the core of my art is the belief that music truly is a pathway to the soul, to bridging our differences. 

What is your songwriting process? 

I usually start with a feeling. I’m a deeply sensitive and emotional person, so I feel and process things in a very intense way – I can often tap into an emotion, become fully present with it, and write melodies from that space. I then work with my incredible group of jazz musician friends to bring the piece to life. 

Tell us about your latest release? 

My latest release is ‘Because they told me to’ the first song off my debut E.P., ‘The Process’.

This song is essentially all about the pressure we put on young women to “Hurry up, find a guy, and settle down” – almost above everything else. 

Marriage/ relationship pressure is something I have personally dealt with – and it’s been insane. I think growing up as girls; we’re always taught that the greatest day of our life will be our wedding day – but what if that’s not what we want, and what about the other facets of who we are? Our accomplishments, our dreams?

I think we still live in a society that continues to tie the worth of a woman to her looks and her relationship status – and we need to change that. We need to empower our girls and women to know that they get to choose what they want in their lives. They have a choice – and their choices must be respected. 

Essentially, this is an anthem for women, to empower them to take their own life decisions and to block out the noise and societal pressures going on around them. 

My favourite line is: “What is it about a woman that makes you feel you can tell her what to do with her time?”

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?

I hope it conveys a sense of power – a sense that, no matter who you are, you are entitled to feel worthy at all times. You matter, and your voice matters. 

Who are your musical influences? 

My influences reflect my varied upbringing – they range from classical South Indian Carnatic artists and Indian composers such as AR Rahman, all the way through to Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Leon Bridges, Jhene Aiko and H.E.R.

Who are your non-musical influences? 

I’d say India inspires me in really deep ways. I feel like I have a soul connection to that land, and a spiritual bond – so whenever I need to realign with my sense of purpose, I can do that by transporting my mind to India and meditating and aligning with that energy and frequency. 

What’s the best gig that you have ever played? 

I did a private concert for all my close friends in Sydney last year, and it was magical. I think to be able to sit in front of people who have touched your life, with whom you’ve shared precious memories, and offer up a part of your soul in the form of art and your original music – that’s priceless. I remember every moment so vividly; it was a beautiful and touching evening!

What is your funniest gig moment? 

Gosh, this was both funny and terrifying, but I remember halfway through a set, there was a song that I was supposed to start acapella, and I started the song off on the wrong key. For about 30 seconds, I was singing in one key, and the guys were playing in another key, and we just kept looking at each other terrified and confused. Eventually, I made a joke, and we got back in sync, but it was definitely one of those moments you never forget!

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today? 

You know, I think social media is both a boon and a challenge. I think being an artist today requires you to also be able to navigate the online world – and as much as that can help you get your voice heard, sometimes I find myself getting so obsessed with the numbers and the followers and the likes that I forget why I sing in the first place. I think creating and being true to yourself, while also navigating the madness that is social media is actually a pretty big challenge for artists these days. 

What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out? 

Block out the noise – this is not an easy journey, and the last thing you need is to be surrounded by friends or people who underestimate you and your dreams, or offer up unsolicited and conflicting advice. Build a support system of friends who truly have your back, and of artist peers whom you love and want to grow with – and keep your eyes on your own lane. 

What are your hopes for the next two years?

You know I’d really love just to make more original music – if I can drop 2-3 more E.P.s in the next two years and collaborate with some incredible and positive people, that will make me pretty damn happy!

FV Music Blog July 2020

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