Indo-American singer-songwriter SUBHI recently released her song Naqaab. SHALINI SAKSENA chats her up on her plans and the person behind her musical journey
From Delhi to Chicago, how would you like to describe your journey?
It’s been an amazing journey. It has helped me grow as an individual and an artist. Living in Delhi, New York, Mumbai and then Chicago — each city has its own characteristic and I have gathered so many stories from my stay in all of them. These stories are reflected in my songs and music.
Which language do you think is the most preferable either to converse or even in music?
I love speaking in Hindi because it makes me feel closer to people. Hindi for me has a certain nostalgia and warmth to it. In terms of music, I enjoy songs in both Hindi and English so I can’t pick one over the other.
What is the inspiration behind your achievements in this musical journey?
When I was eight years old, encouraged by my grandmother, I started learning Hindustani Classical music. Every evening, my grandfather would recite some of his favourite poems (Hindi and Urdu) and explain their meaning. My childhood instilled a love for poetry and music in me. Since then music has always been a part of my life. I am a storyteller and am inspired to tell people my stories and what I’ve learnt from life.
You’ve sung solo songs, what about collaborations?
Collaboration is definitely something I plan on doing this year. I have done a lot of solo projects and am looking forward to learning and growing as an artist through collaborations with other indie artists and musicians.
From Cage to now Naqaab. What made you choose such names and even write on it?
Every song I write has a story to tell and lyrics are a very important part of my story. That is why every song is very personal to me as I try to describe my experiences through it. My writing is inspired by Gulzar who always uses meaningful words in his poetry. I think subconsciously I tend to use meaningful words as well. Like my latest release, Naqaab, is a song about unfulfilled desires. The song talks about unmasking your desires and letting the world see the real you.
Any future projects you would like to talk about?
I have a lot of exciting things coming up this year and next. I am currently working on my debut English EP with producers in LA and India. The EP will be out later this year.