The fall of Kabul to the Taliban in the past fortnight has shaken many people around the world. So, when singer Sona Mohapatra had to shoot a music video for Dholana last Sunday – a saucy wedding kitty she had recorded a few months back for composer Neeraj Sridhar – she shared her inner struggles through a sartorial statement. Decided to represent while still doing his job. But the atmosphere was not right. bindi songs
I trembled to wear pinks and pastels and be beautiful. I decided to react to the current atmosphere of conflict,” said Mohapatra, 44, in a telephonic conversation from Mumbai. So she let her hair out in a crew cut, wearing a jacket with military insignia, and styled it with a blue and khaki saree from the Indian Air Force and Police.
She did it all in a single with a rose in her hair. Paired with a bindi with a military beret and combat boots and reached the sets of the music video which was to be directed by Anand Mishra.” I am glad she made me dress her way and sing with a wedding in the background. The music video let me express what I was feeling despite the set,” she says of the song—a lively North Indian piece with confetti cheer and all the excitement in place.
“It has been an uncomfortable feeling these days, the pandemic has taken our lives hostage. Handing over the reins of Afghanistan to the Taliban has brought back a terrible fate for the women and children of that country… It’s hard to put into words, but at this time we need to express our freedom, our happiness, and more. Need to be more firm. And our identity as free citizens of a proud democracy,” says Mohapatra, who has been dealing with struggles for identity, equality, and pigeonholing for some time.
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Sona Mohapatra has a hectic pandemic – creating and producing original music, recording videos, trying to study different sounds, and collaborating with other artists. She also started making music videos again – an idea that is old but has been resurfacing with quite a few artists over the past few years.
The playbook for indie-pop has now been changed, thanks to streaming platforms and a plethora of music from different genres finding its way into people’s lives. Mohapatra has grown with the times but is also an old-fashioned pop artist at heart, creating original music and her own trajectory.
Agar Mainu Hire Aakhe, Munda Lambdaan Da (Look, the village headman’s boy addresses me as Heer) poem by iconic author Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Diljale – composed by husband Ram Sampath and produced by the duo’s company Omgron Records – a The song was distinctive, heartbreaking 90s style, but with a contemporary soundscape. Then there was Neelamani – Sambalpuri Blues, a traditional Oriya piece Mohaptra re-worked with Sampath as a tribute to Amphan-hit Orissa, to shine the spotlight on folk artists who were finding it difficult to survive but still continue their work. were going about.
The videos showcased and celebrated the 1,200-year-old tradition of Goti Pua dancers from Orissa, Patachitra painters from Raghurajpur, and carvings and temples from the state. He sang this song to Neelamani, who is known as Lord Jagannath. He appealed to Jagannath again – when the Yas cyclone came, Mohapatra sang the 400-year-old hymn Ahe Neela Shaila, which is still sung in the state. There was also Ray Bawri in Bijoy Nambiar’s Trish composed by Govind Vasanth of the famous Kochi-based band Thaikuddam Bridge. Recently, Mohapatra made his Billboard debut in New York’s Times Square, with Spotify placing him as part of its ‘Similar campaign’. “I don’t get pushed by a label. There is no lobbying for me. Picking an independent artist like me was a brave choice for Spotify,” she says.
Mohapatra’s journey as a musician has seen many twists and turns. In times of conflict, when there’s no resolution in sight, the music manages to do what many other things can’t—”It clarifies the thought process,” she says. Music is what Mohapatra has adopted in times of joy, sorrow, excitement, and peace. She has been consistent with putting out new, original music. It may not always hit the sweet spot with everyone, but Mohapatra repeatedly goes back to the drawing board and tries another and yet one and goes out again and shows off his shiny new song to the audience.
Mohapatra’s life and career have been full of battles for equality, war of words, and controversies. She has spoken against Salman Khan and Anu Malik in the past and raised her voice regarding some relevant matters. His irreverent and non-conformist views have often rubbished the industry unfairly.
“After the thumping success of Ambarsariya, it took me four years to get Naina (by Amaal Malik). Till then not a single song. I was wondering what was the matter. Was it because I was speaking about issues, was I not working hard enough? The simple truth is that songs are not being made for women musicians. Most of the female singers are singing the chorus in male songs. How many songs are being made keeping women singers in mind asks Mahapatra? Arijit Singh, who debuted in Tum Hi Ho (Aashiqui 2) the same year, got almost every male playback after that.
Mohapatra says she would rather be an acting artist than cage herself as a playback singer. Right now she’s making songs one after the other, all with different stories, just like old-fashioned pop stars used to do.
“In India, the music scene has been such that pop music is only film music and playback singing is the last thing. But I have always aspired to be an artist. I admired pop stars of the 80s and 90s who had individual personalities. But I saw him fall by the side of the road and get swallowed by the monster of Bollywood,” says Mohapatra. She further adds that despite the few hit film songs that she shows kept on giving and thus, money, she didn’t want to stop making her songs. Mohapatra, who is aiming to release music from other up-and-coming artists through her record label besides working with folk artists, says, “I will put up songs that represent myself.”
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The music landscape is changing dramatically. Mohapatra is keeping an eye on these numbers. “Only people between 18-28 are trying to find new songs. It makes me think that they are making their mark with mature poetry and melodies. If you’re going to do good work, the audience will find you,” says Mohapatra, who laments that it’s hard to even compete in a world where “an artist will buy millions of views by selling some land in Punjab.” “The Punjabi community is also the kindest when it comes to make contemporarythe idea of its folk and other artists,” she says.
Her upcoming song is called Roti Machine, which is a tongue-in-cheek perspective about women working from home and handling more than they can. There is also a collaboration with sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee which will soon hit the charts. bindi songs
Mohapatra has been a lesser musician who is slowly emerging as a popular force. But will she become a leading star in the years to come? it remains to be seen.