Sona Mohapatra puts together an all-woman music band for a recent project
Sona Mohapatra recently collaborated with five women musicians for her latest track, Dholna, hoping to set a precedent with her new outing. However, she rues the dearth of all-girl music bands in the country.
“Girls aren’t traditionally encouraged to play instruments from a young age. The few female bands that do get formed don’t get enough opportunities, and so, have a tough time surviving. I wish festival organisers and brands create more platforms for female bands to perform for larger audiences,” she says, adding that it would help build their confidence and repertoire.
Going forward, Mohapatra wishes to play with more female instrumentalists. She elaborates, “I hire musicians on the basis of their abilities and not their gender. So, it’s always about merit, talent and commitment first. But I’ve had wonderful musicians like percussionist Swarupa Ananth and bassist Pooja Mazoomdar in my band over the years.”
The future for women in the music business seems promising, believes the Naina (Khoobsurat; 2014) singer. “Being an optimist, I would say that it’s improved in small measures. The live circuit is more professional than before and the next generation of music makers is much more egalitarian and respectful of the creative process. So, I enjoy collaborating with them,” she shares.
The past few years saw Mohapatra belting out several independent tracks. For her, “playback singing was never the dream”. Sharing how she has managed to carve a niche for herself with her singles, she says, “I’ve reached audiences through platforms like Satyamev Jayate and Coke Studio. I’ve consistently put out my originals with self-produced music videos. I never sat around waiting for opportunities to come my way.”