Creativity is currency, says Gayathri Krishnan,songwriter,singer and as she likes to add to her profile serial day-dreamer and music nerd. There must be some truth to her theory because she successfully raised over $23,000 (Rs 13.8 lakh) in a span of 10 days through crowdfunding for her debut album,The Unknown. Recognised as the highest-rated unsigned artiste till date by the Rolling Stone Middle East magazine,the 28-year-old is now on a world tour to promote the album,with a Pune performance slated for Wednesday as part of the tour.
Based in Dubai now,Krishnan was born in Chennai and spent her childhood being influenced by the music culture prevailing there. My parents relationship with music has influenced me deeply. The Carnatic melodies from my childhood seep into my songwriting. Watching them talk,argue and fawn over music,as though it were another member of the family,has been highly contagious. Their ability to identify the timbre of countless singers voices,die over the simplest of tonal inflections or be moved by the eloquence of a lyric has been like a master class in music appreciation, says Krishnan,who returned to India to complete her graduation.
In 2001,she took admission in Symbiosis College,Pune,for a bachelors degree. It was here that she found her flare for songwriting. The three years spent here studying literature,exploring the city and basking in its culture helped her zero in on music as a career. Her stay also taught her how to network with people a trait which played the most important role in her crowdfunding act. The idea of crowdfunding came when she watched Danae Ringelmann,founder of indiegogo a crowdfunding platform,speak at TEDx Dubai.
After intense research and speaking to those who had successfully raised money through crowdfunding,Krishnan decided to set her goal to raise $20,000 (Rs 12 lakh) in 30 days. I went about it with feverish passion. With the help of my close friends,I made the pitch video. I got all of them and my family to become my campaign ambassadors. The campaign went live. By the end of the first day,we had already made $6,000 (Rs 3.6 lakh). Within the next 10 days,we had made over $21,000 (Rs 12.6 lakh) beating our goal with plenty of time to spare, recalls the singer.
About her album,Krishnan says that though it is titled The Unknown,it ironically deals with themes which are most familiar to her. The influences are definitely varied but the sound is defined by the emotional quality,be it storytelling or the delivery of the melody and lyric. I use voice as the principal instrument the nucleus to create soundscapes and tell stories. There is a raw,primal power in the human voice and I try to explore that as much as I can, says Krishnan,adding that the choice to not be bound to a record label by contract gives her complete authority over her music.
Gayathri Krishnan will perform at Swig Bar and Eatery,Koregaon Park,on Wednesday