Indie Fem/NB

By Audio Pervert - 8/01/2022

Post 2020, the indie music scene in India is witnessing ever new female presence. The rise is not stupendous in numbers, however clearly audible and diverse. Bit by bit, the numbers are positively impacting gender inequality. These self-empowered resilient females are stepping out of the previous bounds and definitions. Individuality, introspection and agency taking precedence. Values rarely felt or seen with the previous generation of indie starlets. In hindsight, perhaps there was little uniqueness in the erstwhile ruling roster of female singers, like Neha Kakkar, Shreya Ghoshal, Monica Dogra etc. However talented, media savvy and beautiful, their tunes were mostly made to serve the formula, hedged by the industry and always produced by men. The change we hear, from new female artists based in India, is about creating personal narratives, dealing with change, making their own sounds, mixing, producing and most of them self-publishing. FEMWAV, arguably India's most active radar for female and non-binary music, has been consistently putting out features and interviews of these new artists. Here we present six exceptional ones. However there are many more female and non-binary emerging as we speak. Our work is never over...

Rushaki Ghosh is wielding stormy little narratives around the music. Her debut album (She Speaks) is loaded with 11 songs, co-produced by Rushaki and Bharg Kale. Written by Rushaki  and mixed by Bharg Kale. The album is an intersection of post-Hip Hop, Sampling, 'snappy trappy electronica' and shades of lo-fi and Soul. Clearly influenced by African American aesthetics of R&B. Very minor! The lyrics dwelling on melancholia, existence, dreaming, drugs, party, society and being lonesome. "She Speaks is about my experience with anxiety, doubt and neuro-divergence. It is about my growth, from being a sheltered teenager to a self-sufficient adult. She Speaks is about evolution" states Rushaki in a recent interview by FEMWAV.

Damini Chauhan a.k.a Krameri, is a singer and producer, yet not staying true to genre or writing catchy tunes. Constantly oscillating between the dark and light. Swinging between trap, electro and ambient. Betwixt of many fleeting emotions expressed in the sound. Having worked at A.R. Rehman’s studio for a while, now Damini directs her creativity at producing beats, mixing tracks, coloring the voices etc etc. Taking up the producer's seat, has been a step by step process for Damini, to a point where she feels confident to cull out the sound which stands as her own. Listen to Krameri's new tune "Drug$ Mafia"

"Aditi Iyer becomes the youngest Indian global chart-topper" declared TH, one of India's leading newspapers in May 2020. Her new single, titled 'Deleted Your Number' produced by Rohan Solomon, shot to #1 on the World Indie Music Top 100 and the Euro Indie Music Charts. A double whammy for Aditi Iyer! All this within a few weeks of releasing the electro-pop striker with a curious little title. "Gutsy lyrics and the feeling of resilience, of moving on, erasing the negative, transcending towards higher ground" (FEMWAV interview). As a young artist, Aditi Iyer is clearly a contemporary example of an Indian girl excelling in the global music arena. A good ten years of vocal training (opera) has taken wings. The sound is akin to EDM and her following climbing steadily. Listen to Aditi Iyer on Soundcloud

In her songs, Rayna contemplates those "restless feelings that we all feel from time to time". Her new song "Boat Of Soul' is a curious little waltz, oscillating between hope and despair. The bare little tune, which brought her into the indie limelight, reflects a pensive lyricist at work. Some of previous her tunes also pursued an existential direction. She has collaborated with producer Brent Tauro (pop-rock band Strike Three) for her new upcoming EP. While speaking to FEMWAV recently she revealed her current motivation, based on nature and her desire to address climate-change as an artist. Close your eyes and listen to Boat of Soul

"It’s important that non-binary artists get more opportunities and listeners. One way to do that is to include queer artists in creating queer content. I have rarely ever seen a queer individual featured in a queer film or involved in the making of ‘pride anthem’, for example. Queer artists through their art or other forms of expression can help so many people make sense of their sexuality, gender and an overall sense of identity" says Prakriti Nanda speaking to FEMWAV. Based in New Delhi, Prakriti has evolved as a trans-artist and as a songwriter. She draws inspiration from children's story books, introspects on the intricacies of language, words and the empathy that enriches our inter-personal relationships. Listen to Prakriti Nanda's first hindi tune 'Saavan' (2022)
Parul Arora a.k.a Kaali was a troubled teenager, until she stepped into the overwhelming universe of electronic music, which compelled a transformation. Her irate energy and moods giving way to creativity and music. Kali (sanskrit: kalika) the ancient goddess, the divine custodian of death, time and change. This rebellious young artist also evokes certain darkness and volition to change and progress, while constantly grappling with her changing definitions of the world. Three years ago Parul was clueless about synthesis and synthesizers, but now she is wielding far out sounds (and noises) on the VCV (virtual modular). Her debut single titled 'Malang' is "cinematic, is doomy, call it a little anthem... awash in a raga and synthesizers run amok!" Listen to MALANG by KAALI featuring Jagtinder Singh Sidhu

Images by FEMWAV Read complete interviews of the above artists + new Indian female musicians at

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