For a 19-year-old who is touted to be the next big thing by the likes of Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett, Rachel Sermanni seems unaffected.
Tonight, the Scottish singer-songwriter, who has often evoked comparisons with English folk musician Laura Marling for her sweet, lilting vocals, will perform in the city as part of Live From The Console music series.
Ask her what she thinks about travelling the world at such a young age and she says, “It is a surreal life sometimes. But I think everyone finds themselves in places they never thought they would... this India adventure being the strangest so far.”
Exploring the country one day at a time, Sermanni has spent the last couple of weeks travelling from Delhi to Kolkata to Goa, where she brought in the New Year.
“I spent the hour before 00:00 swimming in an empty pool by our apartment in Goa, and when the cheers from the beach filled the air, and fireworks began to erupt, we lay down at the edge of the water and watched the sky. It was so peaceful,” she recalls.
The artiste is in the country as part of an India tour organised by the British Council, which will see her perform with Assamese singer Papon and celebrated percussionist Bickram Ghosh. The trio formed an ensemble, Troikala, which played in Kolkata and Delhi last week.
“It was all a very lucky twist of fate. I was playing at a festival in Brighton last year, which was witnessed by some members of British Council, India. They later approached me for the collaboration,” she says.
And though the city will miss out on this East-West collaboration, Sermanni admits that, “So much energy went into our collaboration, that I’ll need to gather my strength before I consider another.”
At the gig tonight, she will perform originals as well as songs from her upcoming EP, Black Currents.
She adds, “I’m looking forward to it. I have been told about the nice venue. The gig will be our last in India, so I am trusting that it’ll be a good one. I’ll probably be feeling a little melancholy at the prospect of leaving the very next day, but that will only mean that the songs tonight are a little more poignant to play.”
Sermanni performs at Live From The Console tonight at Mehboob Studio, Bandra, at 6.30 pm. Entry Rs 150.