Priya Darshini on her first ever Grammy nomination: It means that I am doing something right
Getting nominated for a Grammy in any category is special for any musician, at any point in their career. It, therefore, becomes even more special for someone like Priya Darshini, whose debut album,Periphery, has been nominated in the Best New Age Album category at the upcoming 63rd Grammy awards.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” she says, and laughs for pointing out the obvious. “I guess it will take time to sink in. It is just an incredibly surreal feeling. I mean not that I am looking for any validation, but, it does give me that feeling that I am doing something right,” she says.
By something, the 36-year-old means the choices she has made, including the choice to move from Mumbai to New York to pursue music, despite having sung in Bollywood films and the non-film/pop space.
“I’ve never felt the need to go out looking for fans. I believe in immersing myself in my art and letting my work speak for itself. My priority has not been to get followers or get famous, but to immerse myself in my art form and artistry. I truly believe that when you create something good, people eventually find a way to it,” says Darshini, who is trained in Hindustani classical music.
She collaborated with her husband and hammered dulcimer player Max ZT, percussionist Chuck Palmer, Dave Eggar and drummer Will Calhoun, for this album, which she informs was “recorded in 12 hours and written in about 12 days!”
“Another thing that was validating me was the fact that the way this album was created,” she says, explaining: “What is special about this Grammy nod is the fact that they have nominated a live album among so many studio albums. In a studio recorded album, one has the opportunity to add effects in post production, edit out any errors, and do multiple takes. In this case, it’s a one take recording, done in the most organic manner with minimal to no post production. There was also a lot of improvisation.”
The biggest validation however, remains that the album celebrates the blending of traditional Indian music with American folk and pop music and sets “a shining example of the beauty of cross-cultural collaboration.”
She adds, “It explores the various connotations of what home means to me... This is a deep dive in my most vulnerable authentic self. It’s a coming together of different musical influences from different parts of the world, and that is how the ‘new age’ is going to be like....”
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