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At 21, she's hit the high note

Ruchira Talapatra, Jan 06, 2015, DHNS 0:38 IST

Youth Band

She may have just hit 21 but Kamakshi Khanna is already out there with her band, performing across the city and even in some parts of the country too. Music bands in India may have become too competitive yet Khanna is undeterred.

The singer/songwriter has independently formed a group called the Kamakshi Khanna Collective in 2013, “The collective was my idea. I was a bit hesitant at first, because new is always scary but I always wanted to know how my songs would sound with a band. I got the band on board for The Gig Week 2013 and ever since we’ve been working and gigging together,” says Khanna.

The band has performed for WILLS India Fashion Week, Rock For Child Rights, Outlook Traveller Awards, The Business World Marketing Book Launch, NH7 the scene, Capsule X Festival, DIY DAY and at venues like Turquoise cottage and Hard Rock Caf.

“I have also performed a few acoustic gigs at venues like Lodhi Garden Restaurant, The Area 79 festival at Blue Frog and The Olive. Very recently, we launched our Debut EP ‘Much Mellow’ at The Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre on the 28 December, 2014,” adds Khanna.

The young artiste brought together musicians like Tarana Marwah on keyboards, Pranav Pahwa on guitars, Ishaan Gandhi on drums and Anugrah Pandey on bass in order to perform the songs composed and written by her. The aim is to make music that speaks to and stays with people. The genre is chamber/baroque pop. She has worked with several choirs such as The Mozart Choir Of India, an initiative by Pt Ravi Shankar and Austrian Grammy-winning composer Gerald Wirth, Artistes Unlimited, The Yellow Brick Project and has worked as a backup vocalist of India’s leading band ‘Euphoria’ for a period of over two years.

Khanna says, “My melodies were inspired by situations I stumbled into in my life. Seeing them turn into songs is a remarkable feeling. For me, quiet is the new loud and the feeling that you get when you listen to a simple, mellow tune that speaks to you, is large and truly has much too it.”

Currently the collective has around five originals and a few covers and Khanna is ‘set to work towards making a fully original album.’

“Being an independent musician in India is a struggle and investment. And for me the biggest hardship was to find the motivation to do that. There are very less external motivating factors but what really pushed me to do this was a voice inside me constantly telling me to create something of my own and the faith and belief that I have in my songs,” says Khanna.

On 28 December, 2014 at the India Habitat Center, Khanna participated in the opening act of Mildly Offensive Content, Delhi’s first Slam Poetry group, a bunch of poets belonging to different parts of the world, seeking to spread the art of Spoken Word all across the city. They performed a wide range of poetry, from politics to extremely personal accounts, from dealing with mysteries of the world to much more. To listen to songs from Kamakshi Khanna

collective, visit: https://soundcloud.com/kamakshi-khanna/sets/much-mellow.

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