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Mahima Dayal Mathur’s BawariBasanti, nu-Indian Classical Fusion

A folk singer, recording artist and songwriter from Delhi, Mahima Dayal Mathur’s work would have reached your ears even before the release of her solo releases. Recently being featured on Seedhe Maut’s ‘Pankh’, Akshay Johar’s project Mojojojo and various other collabs which span from Brazil to France, Mahima’s first single as BawariBasanti ‘Chalein Kahin’, from her debut EP Underwater is a testament to her artistic expression, the want to create something truly your own.

Chalein Kahin, featuring Sarangi player Ejaz Hussain and guitarist Sean, is an amalgamation of Bawari Basanti’s free-flowing Indian classical roots and the blend of new-age electronica. A strong female voice that soars over a mix of ambient Sarangi sections and minimal beats track, Chalein Kahin does not fail to capture one’s interest. “The vibe is bittersweet; a mix of hope and baggage. It flows from a space of hopelessness, to the consciousness of self-love which leads to understanding the power of emotional independence” says Basanti.

Shot by Saurav Nanda

Mahima started to learn music at the young\age of nine, when her grandmother, Late Smt. Lalita Dayal would take classes for classical music in their family home. A culturally rich environment at home provided the foundation for her art and nourished her creative abilities. She later studied Hindustani Music under Jyotika Paust at Sri Ram Bhariya Kala Kendra and then at Prayaag Sangeet Samiti. She went to Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music to learn performing arts from Raphaelle Brochet.

Chalein Kahin, BawariBasanti’s first release from Underwater, marks a new shade in the Indian classical fusion genre in Delhi. Heavily dominated by bands like Advaita, Raagleela, Anirudh Varma Collective, centered mostly around rock, Mahima’s work is going in a different direction. Incorporating pop elements like electronica and simplified lyrics, Mahima is trying to create a new breed of fusion. “I am trained in Hindustani classical music, but my approach to composing songs has never been genre-bound. It’s purely about recreating emotions which cannot be defined with words, so I can remember them long after that feeling has left me. For this, I make my writing as colloquial as it is melodically poetic and simplify raag-based melodies to make them hummable, so that anyone can feel what I feel when I sing. Each song from this EP has a different vibe. Chalein Kahin can be bracketed as a minimalistic pop song, while Underwater has a Hindustani-soul-meets-electronica vibe. Izehaar, which will be my first rap song against moral policing in India, to be released on the 15th of August, has a classical meets hip-hop vibe. Yet, they all have one thing in common, they tell a story which is relatable and palpable.”

Hear the track :

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