"I have always been a trouble child, having difficulty with absolutely everything in my life... music was the only consistent thing that calmed me down. It helped me through many difficult times. So it was a no-brainer that I want to pursue music, all my life as a meaning and what gives me a purpose..." says Kaali, reflective and poised, modulating layers upon layers of sound, weaving her music. Her debut single titled 'Malang' is cinematic, is doomy, call it a little anthem, which features the voice of Jagtinder Singh Sidhu. Reincarnating a raga, heightened by lush synth sounds and cascades of Tabla, noise and psy-kicks, Malang does not care for genre - instead it speaks of Kaali's vision and flight.  

Kali (sanskrit: kalika) the ancient goddess, the divine custodian of death, time and change. The artist evokes a certain darkness with sounds, while grappling with her own changing definitions. FEMWAV spoke to Kaali recently - about making music, about not talking too much (cheeky pause) about overcoming personal battles and the world of sounds that she loves to dwell inside.

How did you make a connection with music?
My journey with music began when I was going to the therapy...my sister insisted I should try learning vocals, that it would help me a lot. I started about 10years ago and haven't look back since.

Would be OK to say that your music reflects your personality?
Absolutely, I think about music like fluidity... it flows in front of me, like feelings that come up, my trail of thought and emotions. Music is my language in which I can communicate better than words. I don't talk much, so yes for better, music does reflect my personality, my desires... to make 'myself reachable' without telling.

Tell us about your workflow, how do you go about creating music, sounds, melody, etc?
Usually, I go with the melody first, once that is in place, things start layering up, with bass, synth plus small bits, that sums up with the vocals. Now, vocals don't necessarily mean words, it's the voice... could be Alaap, Taan, or Dhrupad style. Simply put, the vocals have to "tell" what I'm trying to depict, without words. A convocation perhaps... Since I come from Hindustani classical background, I construct sounds or tones, in ways which heighten feelings, not just staying within the bounds of the notes defined by a given Raga.

As an independent artist, What challenges do you face? in terms of distribution, outreach for your music.
I did face challenges in the beginning, like many do... things I did not know, how to go about...where, to ask for opportunity. Over time I found distribution companies...it was actually easier than I thought. Now that I found means of distribution, the real challenge came up when i wanted to promote my music on platforms where people would listen. While I signed up with CDBaby, there are several newsletters, blogs they keep sending via mail. That helps independent artists like me to an extent. What comes in really in handy... is your budget, your promotion plans... pick a few steps and work on it.... I want to add, that having connections, friends, other artists, who are willing to listen and help, is an ideal situation. Luckily I do know a few people who assisted over time. True that it can be difficult on your own, believe me when I say because its easier when someone is lending a hand to help... in that case don't be shy, come forward and ask, find out.

And what is Malang all about?
Malang is about rising above the material world, towards self discovery... Its about knowing the self, say better, making peace... The word signifies a nomad, a wanderer, someone who is content and doesn't need material pleasures and habits, to be happy. The inspiration behind Malang, the feelings, it hit me one day (pause) when I realised, that all my life I wanted to be someone  'perfect' , so ideal for all of them to see... Yet in reality I just wanted to be heard, be myself... who I am without being judged. It occured to me, that way life is so much better -  that if I made peace with myself, be who I am (pause) better, not for someone else but for me...Thank you!