INTERVIEW WITH KOHINOORGASM AKA JOSEPHINE SHETTY, FEATURED ARTIST FOR THE APATURE 2017 MUSIC SHOWCASE
What inspires and drives you to make the music and the art that you make?
My love for music as a form of storytelling and communication inspires me to make it. When I create and release music, I feel like I am participating in a dialogue that has existed and been evolving for centuries between musicians and artists of all kinds and of varying visibilities. Some of the musicians I admire most made/make songs about their identity based experiences and songs that comment on the political climate of their time. I try to make songs of that nature as a way of participating in and continuing that dialogue between artists and audience members.
What is your creative process when you produce your music?
My creative process is very solitary. I produce and practice and brainstorm and write music in my room alone. But it's actually a lot more cozy and fun that it sounds! I love my room, and as an imaginative only child, I've always had a really special relationship with this space that is entirely mine. Producing and writing songs is a really vulnerable process for me, especially since I'm relatively new to it. Being alone and safe in my room makes vulnerability possible for me.
What does it mean to you to fuse Hindi, South Indian melodies and electronic dance music together in your music?
I always wanted to make songs I could picture myself or my friends dancing to, and that's what drew me to the sounds of electronic dance music. I wouldn't say my fusion of the Hindi language with western sound has any profound meaning. But as a desi person with certain non normative experiences, it feels special to rope Hindi into such an experimental space. It feels like a reflection of my experience.
How has being an artist of color in the Bay Area influenced your work and shape the way you move about the world? Do you have any advice for other Asian Pacific American artists and artists of color in the area?
Witnessing other brown and Black experimental and punk artists in the Bay create and perform visionary work has been extremely inspiring to me. All of the artists of color in the Bay that I've had the blessing and honor to see perform have taught me so much about breaking down boundaries of sound and identity, subverting the systems that are holding us back, and learning/presenting your truest self. One lesson I've learned so far is to practice getting to know myself and to build confidence in my uniqueness. I think my music and performance gets better the more honest it is, and I feel more confident putting it out and performing it when I know that most of its value comes from its individuality.
What are three words that can be used to describe what you are unraveling in your upcoming performance at APAture?
Myself and history
What are the interconnected threads we wish to investigate and untangle? What is there to discover when we unravel?
Move to Kohinoorgasm's music at the APAture 2017 Music Showcase happening Saturday, October 7, 6-9PM at f8!
Make sure to also take a look at the other showcases for APAture 2017!