Musician-entrepreneur Kanika Patawari recently released her new song “Runak Jhunak” (Warner Music). Born and raised in Belgium, Kanika has been visiting India since she was a child and feels connected to the country ”. She also adds that she feels at home here in Belgium and the United States with “You can find me in any of these places”.
She tells us about her song, her music, sustainability and more.
We see traces of Rajasthani culture with a fusion of folk in Runak Jhunak. How did you get this idea?
As a musician, it’s important to be honest about who you are when creating your music. Since I grew up in a house in Rajasthan, I have just recreated what I had heard and seen in my childhood. Since my external experiences are Western, my song has become an Indian mishmash with flavors of Rajasthan and Western music.
Your video features rustic and urban women and children. What does it represent?
I wanted to put forward the idea of freedom and liberation. There are fixed notions about women, who wear heavy jewelry that are from Rajasthan, and I wanted to use the same idea in a different light. I wanted to show modern Rajasthani women and tell them that you can wear traditional clothes and still be ambitious and free to do whatever you want.
How can we encourage folk in mainstream music?
I congratulate Warner Music and their Maati label for promoting folk and regional music. Especially after the pandemic, it was difficult for many folk musicians. We need government support for folk musicians and people to support our culture.
Tell us about your initiative – ‘Music Recycle’ …
It is a platform for collaboration between music and sustainability. I realized that there was a lack of awareness and information on this subject and so I proposed “Music Recycle”.
We made music from the sounds of a metal building site with the message “one man’s waste is another man’s instrument”, to talk about sustainability and climate change. We did something called “Plastic Surgery” to raise awareness about single-use plastic. We do this by creating experiences so that people are receptive to change.
It’s a small team, mostly active in America. We also have plans for India.
What is the situation of women in the music industry? Can it be more inclusive?
There is a difference between the West and India in terms of how the music industry works. In the West, there is a kind of artistic culture as opposed to the film-centric music that is made in India. I hope that the idea of artist culture will grow here as well.
The question of gender is a global problem. Women are often singers or performers, they are rarely in the technological part. This is changing, but we still have a long way to go. Music production, music therapy, film music, video game music are fields dominated by men. At first it was a challenge for me to learn technology and produce music. I took the time to understand my sound, and the trip has been amazing so far.
What are your upcoming projects ?
There is a lot of music to share. My goal is to bring “Music Recycle” to India and am building a studio in Mumbai to build a community center to nurture artists and create a platform for musical collaborations. It will be a platform to promote and share music.