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Exclusive Interview with Pravini

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Singer / songwriter Pravini surprises many with her warm, exotic look and her rocking live performance. Armed with her own band Pravini brings soul music that is strongly influenced by hiphop, rock and rhythms of South America and India.

For people who don’t know much about you , can you please describe your music in 5 words?

Versatile, energetic, surprising, authentic, empowering.

You fall under the genre of "Urban Asian" and as you know it is quite a small sector of the Asian Music Industry. How does it feel to be a female in this genre?

Female empowerment has always been an important theme in my music. My mom used to be active in the women’s movement and has always instilled a sense of pride, independence, dignity and strength in me. Being a woman is an important part of my identity, as well as being Asian. My album is titled “Diaspora”, which refers to the Indian diaspora, because being part of that world and growing up with different elements from the West, from Suriname (South America) and India has been the biggest influence on my album. I consider it as a major strength because it allows me to tap into all these different sources of inspiration to express my creativity.

What languages have been featured in your music?

So far I have only written and recorded in English. In the past I have sung some songs in Dutch, but I feel most comfortable writing and singing in English. I have done live collaborations with Dutch artists from the Bollywood genres, so Hindi has been featured in that sense. Even though I don’t speak Hindi, that was a lot of fun and definitely inspired me to explore that side more.

Your newest release "Move Me To Tears" is a soulful and slow song. How was the concept created?

The concept for the song was really simple, I just wanted to tell the one I love what he meant to me. It’s hard to do, because there are so many love songs out there and I have written a lot of songs about my love haha. So that’s why the first sentence begins with “So many songs I’ve written…”. But I remember just sitting behind the keys, playing some chords and singing what I felt at that moment and the song came together right away. I think I wrote the lyrics in 15 minutes. And when I played the song for my band during the time of recording they jumped in right away with the additional music. The guitar player came up with this amazing riff and the drummer added the beat. Even the bass player came up with an incredible opening bass line. I’m really fortunate to have bandmembers with whom I have such great creative chemistry.

The concept for the music video I think really took the song to another level. I came up with the idea of reincarnation, of a love that is so strong that two people in love keep finding each other through different life times. I also wanted the elements of 50s Hollywood and classic Bollywood incorporated. So I sent the director Floris Parlevliet, who really is incredibly gifted when it comes to film making, some old school black and white Bollywood videos for inspiration and he took that idea and created a great storyline and turned it into a magical visual for the music video.

You released your single near Valentines Day - was this pre planned?

Yes, I hope the song provides the audience with a love song that reflects their feelings for the one they love. At the same time I hope everyone treats every day like it’s Valentines Day, it would be a shame if that day is the one day to express your love.

What verse of the song is your favourite and why?

Hmm, tough question…I think the line in the second verse that says “every day I wanna tell you that I love you, and if I don’t say the words I hope my actions do”, because that’s really how I feel. It’s the realization that you cherish someone so deeply and you want them to know that they are special, if not by words then at least by deeds. Besides the lyrics I also love the way the music emphasizes the flow of the song with an enhanced beat.

What can we expect from Pravini Music in 2013?

This year I’m looking forward to a lot of performing. One show in particular I’m excited about is Barhanti on June 5th, which marks 140 years of Dutch Indian Immigration. I’m not only performing there, but I’m also producing this show for the Sarnámihuis (Sarnámihouse) and have invited different Dutch Asian artists from different artistic genres (music, dance, comedy, film, theater) to tell the story of Dutch Indian Immigration through their art. What I love about this show is that all these different artists join forces on stage, so the show really showcases all the talent from our community and informs the audience on our common history at the same time.

2013 will also be the year of international steps. I’m traveling the US in April/May and in October I’m traveling to Suriname. I’m also hoping to visit the UK this year and share my music with the UK audience. Besides that I also want to take time to write new songs with my band, we have already recorded some great demos so I look forward to writing and recording new material as well.