Listen to 'bored as fuck': Hanita Bhambri's Latest Single

Photographer: Deeksha Rathore

While Hanita packs an enormous amount of drama and emotion into her music, she manages in parallel to reinforce the inward-facing sensibilities of her songs, achieving emotion without sounding maudlin. This is in part to her remarkable voice and unshowy singing style, but also in great measure due to a style of songwriting that is relatable without becoming corny.

Her latest single 'bored as fuck' goes a long way in further establishing her musical and emotional sensibilities. On it Hanita croons conveying the devastating angst that arises from the emotional drain of giving too much of yourself in relationships out of balance. Words like "I pour myself in a cup for all... They drink all night" express a bitterness and exasperation born of grinding yourself down to the ground to allow space for others to express or bloom - a sentiment all women are well familiar with.

We had a quick chat with Hanita about the song, her music in general, and the indie artist experience at large in India. Here's what came of it:

I understand you write your own songs. Could you tell me a little more about your songwriting process?

I love writing songs more than anything, I think it’s evolved a lot over time. It’s a very calming process for me mentally, cause it’s helps me bring all my thoughts and feelings to surface and make something of value out it that brings comfort or joy to others. I mostly like writing the words and the melody together and if I have an instrument around, I work on the harmony along with it. It’s a very intuitive process and I let my emotions guide the writing instead of focusing on technical things. And I write what I want to talk about and things that matter to me in the moment.

Is the single linked to a full-length release sometime in the not so distant future?

It’s a one-off single, it’ll not be part of a record. I will be releasing an EP/album (not sure what it will be at this point). The record will have completely new songs. I’m also working on another project with another singer-songwriter and we’ll also be releasing songs as a new act. So I’m pretty excited about all the music I’ll be releasing this year :)

I notice almost all artists involved with this single are women, with the exception of Miti Adhikari, who you have collaborated with previously as well. Was this deliberate choice or did things just pan out this way? How different has this experience been than when working with male collaborators?

I really trust women a lot more cause they really treat your art with more care. With my previous indie releases as well, I’ve preferred working with women on artwork, direction cause they are bloody talented. Their work has genuinely spoken to me more. With men, sometimes it’s harder to communicate so whoever I work with, I make sure we get along as friends first cause you cannot create something if you can’t be honest and comfortable with each other. And thankfully most of the men I’ve worked with have been very kind and open to feedback.

You made your Bollywood debut last year and you are releasing a single independently to kick off 2020. I understand both approaches shape your identity as an artist but which speaks to you more? How was your experience working on a Bollywood project?

Definitely working on my own is way more fulfilling cause I get to control the narrative, I really like being super involved in what I put out. And I know as I grow as an artist, I’ll have to pass the reigns on to other people, but I really like being as involved in all creative aspects of a release - branding, marketing, artwork, video scripting. That way the song truly represents me. Working on a Bollywood project was something I honestly did not see coming, this song had been recorded and shelved for more than 2 years and I wasn’t sure what will come of it. But they liked it and wanted to feature it, it was very exciting for me. The very fact that a label like T-Series wants to release an English song means Bollywood is slowly opening its doors to more non-Hindi, indie sounds. So it’s a great time to be an indie artist.

What's next for you in terms of upcoming projects - more music, collaborative efforts, performances et. all? What can we expect?

Oh! There’s so much that’s on its way. A lot more music. I’m dialing back a little on performances in the next few months cause I want to focus more on writing and recording. And tours honestly are very exhausting and I want to work on building the vocal and physical  stamina to get through them without tiring myself out. Hopefully the EP/album I’ve been working on, will out in part before the year end. I’m looking forward to how this year pans out!

At this juncture in your progress as a musician, what type of support or resources do you think you can use to advance further?

There are of course monetary resources that would benefit me but more than that I feel if I get the opportunity to work with a supportive label or artist management agency then I can really benefit from it from a strategic point of view. They would definitely be more experienced than I am at navigating the industry and that way I can focus more on the art side of things. Sadly even independent labels are very gated and it’s hard to get through to them without garnering a huge fan base for yourself, so I’m focusing on making music that really speaks to people. And I trust that the rest of the things will follow.

Listen to Hanita's beautiful new single here:

Written by Uvika Wahi