Indo-American singer-songwriter Subhi has released her new video song called Cage, which is dedicated towards all artists who might have reached a block during this ongoing COVID lockdown.
She combines the worlds of Hindi folk and American pop to create a captivating sound that is poetic and contemporary. Her new song 'Cage' defines what it takes to deal with this quarantine, especially through a writer's point of view.
She has worked with leading digital platforms Y-Films (Yash Raj Films) and TVF (The Viral Fever) in India. Her song 'Lovely' was recently featured in the short film 'Sunny Side Upar' produced by the prominent producer & director Anurag Kashyap. The film is now a part of an Anthology of short films that Sikhya Entertainment has curated and released on Flipkart Video platform.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, Subhi spoke at length about her new single, dealing with writer's block, lockdown diaries and more.
Tell us about your new single Cage. What was the idea behind it.
In today's situation, everyone is in a cage of some sort. For me, Cage is about experiencing a writer's block. I am happiest when I create and I feel caged if I can't create. As a songwriter, there were times when I felt as though my thoughts, ideas, and emotions were blocked in some way. That's when I came up with this song. In times like these, we are all somehow caged both physically and mentally.
Is it difficult to deal with writer's block?
Writer's block is something that I have run into every few months. Sometimes I get too involved with my music and need a little breathing room to step away and look at it with a fresh mind. It is not easy to deal with writer's block and it also shakes your confidence to an extent every time it happens. I have a few hacks that I go to during such times - taking a short trip, even just a weekend trip to a place close-by with a change in the scene helps me a lot! I also love going on long walks and being a part of nature. When I can't think straight anymore, I take a long walk and just wander about in my neighbourhood and it's an instant mood lifter.
What would you prefer the most? Singles or Bollywood playback singing.
This is a tough one. My first love is writing and composing songs. That has always been the most exciting part of my musical process. Bollywood is in my blood and I would love the opportunity to sing for other artists and composers.
How are you dealing with the lockdown?
I am currently in NY with my family. We are safe, healthy, and comfortable. But, psychologically, it has been rough. For most of March and April, I did not write or create a new song. Just seeing so many people getting sick and dying all around the world has been depressing. Mentally, I just needed time to adjust to this new normal. I used that time to do other things - figure out artwork for my upcoming songs, practice piano daily so I could play my songs live, cooking, binge-watching shows on my bucket list, etc.. Since May, I have started working on creating new music. This pandemic is forcing me to think outside the box - get out of my comfort zone and come up with new ways to reinvent what I did earlier. I am trying to use this time creatively towards improving myself as an individual and an artist.
The entertainment industry has taken a low blow due to lockdown, several people have lost their jobs. How do you see it?
It's a rough time for everyone especially for folks in the entertainment industry. During these uncertain times, the most important thing is to stay healthy and safe. I feel the folks most affected by these times are daily wage earners in the Entertainment Industry. I feel celebrities who have the power and influence to make a change should come together and create a platform (or a fund) where people can donate money to support the workers who have lost their jobs and means of supporting their day to day expenses. These are not easy times for anyone and we need to find positive ways to uplift people around us and make a change.
What's next in store for Subhi.
I have a lot of exciting things coming up this year and next. My goal is to release one song per month for the rest of the year. After Cage, I am releasing another single 'Nakaab' which is a song about unfulfilled desires. I also plan to release my debut English EP in Fall 2020.
Watch Subhi's latest video song Cage here: