Plastic Parvati

By Audio Pervert - 3/01/2019

Plastic Parvati is an artist based in Kolkata, India. She is a composer, producer and guitarist leaning on the ambient, glitchy, left-field, lyrical side of electronic music. At times haunting, lilting, ghostly and sometimes skipping along funky synth-lines, beats and ranting introspective lyrics. Her music contains many aspirations and influences, situated somewhere between an experimental and pop sensibility. A brash and bright voice, as is the case with some emerging composers in the Indian electronic music scene. We spoke to Suyasha (Plastic Parvati) recently, about her background, music and views about the Indian scene. Her Soundcloud profile reads "I sing/write songs/play terrible guitar for a band called The Ganesh Talkies which is based in Kolkata, India. This is my collection of random ideas and impulsive decisions..."

What inspired you to take up music? Why Plastic Parvati?
I grew up in a very bengali household in Calcutta in the 90s, which meant that there was a lot of varied music playing even when I was in utero. When I was growing up, there was a lot of emphasis to not just excel academically but in extracurricular activities as well. I think, somewhere deep down, I always knew I’d want to pursue music. Plastic Parvati started as a journal which I was using to track my progress when I started venturing into music production. Gradually, it became my main outlet.

What's your production process like?
For me an initial idea is what gets me going. Sometimes it’s a groove or maybe a lyric, which I then build upon. I enjoy doing most of my writing/creating out of my room in Kasba, Calcutta. There’s often a manic phase when I write songlets and record skeletons of multiple songs, which I then build upon. Some make the cut and the others are stashed away for a rainy day or abandoned.

What is your live set-up / approach like?
I have been playing my album live recently, but since I’m still transitioning from being in a band, where I’d sing/play guitar, to a “solo” performer, I’m still tweaking my setup with each gig. For now, I’m keeping it very simple with an Ableton session, a controller and an interface.

What do you make of the gender imbalance in the music scene in India?
I visited Berlin last year, as part of an exchange when it really hit me how skewed the ratio is in India. I guess we don’t realise things like this till we step out of our bubble. While it doesn’t bother me that the majority is mostly straight men who have nothing new to add to the narrative, what irks me is how condescending they can often be. But over the last couple of years, some brilliant musicians have been trying to infiltrate the space and that excites me.

As an artist, based in India, what do you make of the global electronic music scene?
In India, we still don’t fully understand the extent and the complexity of electronic music. Our association of it is often just edm or “that stuff they play at clubs”, globally it’s very different, there is something for everybody. Personally, I feel like a kid as I’m discovering new genres of electronic music everyday. Trying to stay off the popular trendy things we usually see on the mainstream.

Future plans ... New Music?
I want to release an EP around the end of this year, so I’m still writing. Hopefully I’ll procrastinate a little less the next few months and start my editing process. Till then...

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