Releasing singles is a stepping stone for most upcoming musicians. But for renowned artists, it’s always an eager welcome by fans. We, at The Indian Music Diaries scout for the latest single releases by upcoming, and known artists when we curate each compilation. We are open to all genres, styles, languages for our compilation. The only rule? Make good music and we aim to recognise as much talent as possible and give a push forward to the musicians in the independent music scene of India.
1. Quietly by Tanmaya Bhatnagar
Singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar released her latest single Quietly. This track is an introduction to Bhatnagar’s debut English EP. The song intends to give meaning to the immense loneliness of not having someone around who could instantly make sense of all the emotions brimming inside without having to express them in words. Just like all her previous songs, this one too has Bhatnagar’s vulnerable raw vocals that leave you with a feeling of melancholy, paired with a minimalist piano composition. The video, where she is surrounded by a bed of flowers symbolises a perfect world–a contrast to the emotions she expresses in the song.
2. Boom Box by Lohigh
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and indie-experimental artist Daniel Beck who goes by the moniker Lohigh released his sophomore single Boom Box. An ear candy, this song has a retro soundscape along with dreamy synths and vocals, predominantly driving the track. This song talks about the feelings of being hopelessly in love in an almost child-like manner, making the listener feel bright even on a dull day.
3. Kamikaze by Naisha
Mumbai-based model and artist turned singer-songwriter Naisha released her debut single Kamikaze. This dreamy pop track is light and breezy with Naisha’s smooth vocals. The song celebrates her indulgence in self-love, self-appreciation, and her identity as a brown girl. The track along with the video by Lendrick Kumar is a love letter to herself and all women out there about self-love.
4. Patient with Me by Brecilla
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Brecilla D’souza who goes by just her first name released her sophomore single Patient with Me. This song is an acknowledgement and acceptance of vulnerability. It is an honest conversation where D’souza expresses her feelings about trust, fears, past trauma and self-growth. This song comes from a place of genuine emotions that are conveyed through her mature vocals.
5. Underdog by SanjeevT, RANJ
Renowned music composer, producer and musician SanjeevT collaborated with Ranj for his latest single Underdog. It is the fifth single from his lofi album Future. The track also features Carl Fernandes (Benny Dayal) on bass and Grammy-winning engineer Deepak PA who has mastered the track. The song speaks of the underdog–who perseveres the tides whilst truly identifying themselves through unique expression.
6. Fu*k the Pandemic by Fakeer
Bengaluru-based artist Fakeer, who is also part of jazz, hip-hop trio Fakeer and the Arc released his latest single F*uck the Pandemic. Fakeer wrote this song while stuck at home during the second lockdown and brings out the feeling of helplessness and anger. It is a reaction to all the suffering which was around him, along with his world as an independent artist being turned upside down. Wanting the beat to represent his roots, he picked up a folk song sung by the women of the Barela tribe, residing in the Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh and flipped it. The video shot on iPhone brings out the effect which the pandemic has on a city and how we humans are still pushing through and surviving.
7. Sanskari Hoe by Pallaví aka Fijiana & MadStarBase
California-based Fijian musician Pallaví aka Fijiana collaborated with MadStarBase, a Delhi-based production and DJ duo to release Sanskari Hoe. With this song, the Fijian artist reclaims autonomy and sexuality back to a woman’s perspective in a largely patriarchal society. This Fiji-Hindi and English song has Bollywood elements and sensual lyrics by Pallaví who is known for challenging the idea of what is considered normal.
8. It’s Christmas by Rohan Solomon
Delhi-based singer-songwriter, composer, vocal coach, audio engineer and frontman of alt-rock band Cyanide–Rohan Soloman released his latest single It’s Christmas. This three-and-a-half-minute sing is enough to transport you into a room full of lights, a bonfire, a cup of hot chocolate and sweets. With pop tunes and a catchy melody, it is the perfect song to bring in the Christmas spirit!
9. SOS by Manchild, Best Asok, Izanimates
Manchild is the alter ego of Kochi-based singer-songwriter Sachin Rajeev who is also the founding member of the fusion prog band Chidakasha. He collaborated with producer Best Asok for his single SOS. This song is about hope, persistence and reassurance that it is okay to start over sometimes. With this project, he experiments with Indian sounds of Hindustani and Carnatic with western electronic and acoustic sounds infused together. The song also has an animated video by Izanimates.
10. Blame by Anusha
17-year-old indie artist Anusha recently released her sophomore single Blame. This contemporary pop song is based on the idea of letting go of someone you loved before. What starts as a lo-fi piano composition paired with Anusha’s mature vocals reaches a crescendo of an electric guitar solo. The song points out the elements involved in the process of letting go.
11. Fly by Dhruv Visvanath
Singer-songwriter and producer Dhruv Visvanath released his latest single Fly. Having spent a majority of his time in his bedroom, Visvanath, through this song talks about the feeling of being trapped. The song, with a catchy chorus, speaks of one’s desire to break free of the cage that holds us in, and, fly. The intro of this song gives the impression of a mystery scene in a movie and supporting that is the stop motion video by Arsh Grewal which explores the journey of an egg and how it learns to break through its shell and emerge as a stronger individual.
12. Saavan by Prakti
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Prakriti Nanda who goes by the alias Prakti released her debut Hindi single Saavan. The song captures the human need for desperately holding on to the hope of healing and growing through unbearably difficult circumstances. Nanda shares her worries about not being able to preserve her strength and motivation as she waits for a better future. Known for her expressive and emotive songwriting and vocals, this song too, makes you confront your feelings with her lullaby-type acoustic song.
13. Fallin by Mukkubhai ft. pho
Kanpur-based Mukund Gupta who goes by the moniker Mukkubhai collaborated with Delhi-based singer-songwriter Akriti Lal who goes by pho who is the vocalist of their latest single Fallin. This song is about leaving a life behind & experiencing the fear & unfamiliarity which comes with it. The song is written from a guy’s perspective who finds himself stuck between wanting and letting go of the romantic relationship he has with a girl and contains metaphors directed toward the feeling of indifference in the relationship. This dreamy track, which is dominated by synth features silky vocals and a guitar solo towards the end.
14. Umar21 by Mohak, Prithvi and Katoptris
Mumbai-based hip-hop artist Mohak Kukreja released his latest single Umar21 in collaboration with Pune-based artist Faizal Jamadar who goes by the alias Katoptris and Mumbai-based producer Prithvi Shetty. This contemporary boom-bap track has personal poetic lyrics. The track pays homage to Kukreja’s most monumental year of his life as an artist and a growing individual. The year he graduated, started working and realised plenty about life. The video consists of symbolic elements like balloons and a birthday party aesthetic, something we left behind as we all grew up and these things stopped exciting us.
15. Why by Crimson Gates
Jowai, Meghalaya-based thrash/groove metal band Crimson Gates released their debut single Why which is part of their upcoming debut EP, set to release his 2022. This three-piece metal band attempts to create awareness through their music regarding racism and all kinds of discrimination prevalent not only in India but around the world. Metal music is known for being loud but the first minute of this song had a message on how our religion is humanity in sign language and it later led to the song with clean guitar riffs.