Indian musician and songwriter Pragya Pallavi has announced the release of her forthcoming indiscriminate and multiple genre debut album ‘Queerism‘ – which is set to be the first LGBTQIA+ themed album to be released from India by an Indian queer artist since the legalisation of homosexuality in the country in September 2018, presenting a new and original talent to the global stage.
Her first single ‘Lingering Wine‘ is a sensual jazzy homage to love, as sung to a same-sex lover, composed by Pragya with lyrics written by Deepa Vasudevan. Discouragingly, despite a breakthrough in progressive attitudes, the video for the track has already caused a degree of controversy in her native land as the same-sex kiss caused offence to some and was forcibly removed.
Thematically, Pragya has dedicated both her debut single and the album to the LGBTQIA+ communities of India and the world. Having long since sought to overcome barriers both as a woman and a queer gender fluid lesbian in India, let alone one trying to break through into the music industry, Pragya is every bit as innovative and talented as this ambitious project suggests and demands.
“I am a person who is not confined to any single genre, nationality, religion or gender… I want to bring together Indian and Western, contemporary and traditional musical influences in a way that all types of people can relate to. And I want to be an inspiration and sing for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people all over the world.”
As a brilliant vocalist and songwriter with a powerful, unique voice, Pragya has brought her Hindustani (Indian classical) training to the fore. Drawing on diverse musical influences such as pop, hip hop, rock, jazz, Indian folk and Sufi music, she has proven herself to be comfortable composing and performing in multiple genres. Bringing a number of styles, the record explores several genres from disco, EDM, hip-hop and jazz soul, to Indian-fusion, funk, and dancehall.
Her debut album ‘Queerism‘ is due for release this May, and will be comprised of nine tracks addressing topics such as social justice, global warming, millennial feminism, suicide prevention and love. As an indie artist, she has collaborated with other musicians from all over the world and is currently working on a number of singles and videos from her various collaborations. The album features English and English/Hindi compositions, including partnering with National Award-winning sound engineer K.J. Singh and Indian DJ and “Mother of Electronica” Ma Faiza.