Webster’s dictionary defines collaboration as ‘working with another person or a group to achieve something or do something’. But a young talented music duo have quite successfully managed to give this word a whole new spin!
Nirali & Kartik collectively form the sensational Maati Baani. There are few projects as fresh as Maati Baani. They have made waves in the independent music scene and on social media platforms with their one of a kind sound and jaw-dropping process. Religious worshippers of music, they aim to break down any form of superficial boundaries, be it geographical or lingual.
They have collaborated with several musicians across the world solely via the internet. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. They search for musicians with distinct, quirky and baffling sounds on the internet, manage to contact them, discuss at length about the space they want to enter with their music and put out a beautifully weaved musical masterpiece.
This is definitely one of the acts you absolutely need to know about. Just to give you a snippet of how cool these guys are, below are few things you need to know about Maati Baani :
- First off, they are a YouTube sensation. Their massive reach along with a loyal fan following have led them to perform at the YouTube Fan Fest, twice.
- Talking about YouTube sensations, they have also collaborated with Superwoman.
- Through their platform, they have raised concerns about several issues including the environment. Which reminds me, they happen to have Russel Brand in one of the editions of their video-logs ‘Horn OK Please’.
- Having a series of beautiful collaborations, one of the earlier one’s that stood out was with another YouTube sensation, Shankar Tucker. They happened to have collaborated with him again.
- This fantastic music duo are married. Kartik first saw Nirali on, I-kid-you-not, ‘World Music Day’. I mean, how cool is that?
- On International Women’s Day, they dropped a stellar collaboration consisting of female musicians from India, New York, Brazil & Germany. And it’s a banger!
Before you go into a all crazy Maati Baani binge after being enamored by these cool facts, here’s our insightful interview with Nirali which you simply must check out!
Q1) ‘The Music Yantra’ is a global musical collaboration consisting of artists across the world. What inspired you to start this project?
Kartik and I come from vastly different musical backgrounds and hence our canvas to paint our imagination was vast. What inspires us is the need to constantly come up with new and original music.
From our very first single that came out Mitwa, we have had one or more collaborators. The idea of collaboration felt so refreshing, we continued with it and expanded it to a bigger scale with The Music Yantra. The uniqueness that each artist brought to the songs, made this project one of a kind. Moreover, we love surprising ourselves and our fans by presenting a fresh sound each time we come out.
Q2) After working with countless musicians, what do you think is the most important aspect to a creative collaboration?
Each artist should be on the same page and aligned with the concept.
Many a times, collaboration over the internet, which has become ‘our’ style of collaborating with artistes from other countries, it may take quite a few days. And of course, the changing time zones add to our difficulties, However it’s the dedication and willingness from each artist, which is of utmost importance. Luckily, we have never fell short on that!!!
Q3) You guys have travelled a lot and collaborated numerously. Could you share some interesting memories during this journey?
There are countless memories associated with each song in The Music Yantra but there are a few we remember particularly. Bart and Jesse, the musicians from Amsterdam that we are collaborating with, their forte is in the western Balkan and Gypsy Jazz genre; nevertheless, they learnt Indian classical raag to perform in our song based on Sarang. We were so impressed!
Also, while shooting for our song Lagan Lagi on the subways of New York, a photographer was passing by and he started clicking our pictures! As a small token of this memory he presented us with prints of his pictures which now hangs on our studio wall, reminding us of that sweet incident.
Q4) What do you think is the state of Hindustani Classical music in today’s times?
Indian classical music forms the root of all the music that a lot of composers do. And I think it’s a great way to avoid being the prototypes of musicians in rest of the countries of the world. Both Indian Classical and Folk music forms the musical identity of our country and it adds such uniqueness in the sound. There are many musicians in Indian Classical who passionately pursue the art and it’s going to be here forever because it is based on scientific principles and all of it is present on paper, hence it is called Shastriiya sangeet 🙂
Q5) You guys found several of your collaborators via the internet. How do you think the internet has changed music and musicians alike?
Ah! what would we do without this invented blessing of internet! We have found our best collaborators through the internet . Yes, the process of creating music with a musician from an entirely different country and considering that it’s a stranger at first, the final result makes all of it worth it! In fact, it has changed our outlook on creating music, for the better. When we get to work with a musician from a certain genre where it actually originated, we get the authentic sound. It’s like having a Gujarati thali in Gujarat versus, a Gujarati thali in Chennai. The authenticity is what we crave and want to present to our audience!
Q6) Nirali, what advice would you give to young female musicians?
Music is a full time job – if you want to pursue it professionally then there has to be complete dedication towards it.
Using social network and making your presence felt on it is important but also do meet people in person because that’s when the work comes to you, not only through sending messages.
And of course, never miss practicing!
Q7) What change would you like to see in the Indian Music Industry?
In the Indian Music Scene there is vagueness in the monetization and collection of royalties – every other country has it and because of this, a lot of times, the musicians cannot monetize on the content that they should rightfully have. That’s one thing we would absolutely like to change.
Q8) What’s the future like for Maati Baani?
We will keep on fascinating people who have loved our music. Maati Baani is here to stay. 🙂
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