When Kalyaani Sakkarwal quit the corporate setup and moved to Mumbai two years ago, the singer-songwriter dove right into the deep end of the indie music pool—no safety nets. She knew what lay ahead of her—some serious struggle and a bouquet of songs. She grew up in a couple of cities around India owing to her father’s job, and education was always the priority. The studious young girl cracked the entrance of a prestigious Hotel Management school in Delhi. But she wondered if this was it.
Long ago, music made out of pots and pans had a three-year-old hooked to creating art. ‘My first memory is of making random poetry which of course didn’t make sense, but my folks enjoyed it, so did the other people I used to read it out to as a child! I remember gate crashing my sister’s farewell; I went and took the mic and recited some random poetry. My mother is a beautiful singer and so are my sisters...I truly believe my mother had something to do with my inclination towards the arts.’
A rising voice to watch out for, Kalyaani has to her name a genre-spanning list of collaborations, a single, and a debut album that is almost ready for release. She’s collaborated with numerous talents, from Hindi rockers Daira and hip-hop collective Swadesi to singer-songwriter Vasuda Sharma and even tribal musicians. With her bluesy, gritty tunes, Kalyaani is a protest musician in her own right and is constantly fighting her dilemmas and desires. Her new album, Noises in my Head, is written and composed by her and produced by a friend, Lima Yanger. ‘The tracks are inspired from events and people in my life that I had to go through. This is my baby about whom I have been dreaming about since I quit my old life. The new single is the first song I wrote as a solo artist and for my Dad. It’s blood and tears and a lot of faith in one album.’
Next, she wants to push the album and also start crowd-funding for a music video she has in the works. Lastly, she adds, ‘I’m here, working hard for what I believe in; I get let down, I cry a few tears, pick myself up and do it again. I am open to whatever comes my way; I definitely want to get into producing music in the future!’