Tanmaya Bhatnagar is a self-taught singer-songwriter and graphic designer based in Delhi, who creates music that is simple and from the heart. She plays the guitar and the ukulele, and writes songs in both English and Hindi. Her songwriting is often inspired by her own experiences, she writes about how she has felt in relationships, in everyday life and also writes about the relationship that she has with herself. Starting her journey almost 3 years ago – penning down songs and melodies, she recorded her compositions on her phone in her bedroom and uploaded them regularly on Soundcloud.
Anatomy of the Genre
Well, earlier I would say hmm perhaps I am your regular singer-songwriter kind of music but now, since I have started to really explore my music and since I began to work with different musicians - I have realised that I would rather not think of my music as part of one particular genre. I think it varies, on one hand I love to have my music as simple as it can be - me and an instrument but on the other hand I can also imagine my music to be maybe sometimes experimental.
That Tremor Release
Its deeply personal, the song is almost like an inner dialogue with myself or rather a conversation that I never got to have, an apology that I never received.
The story behind the song is painful, yet I know that when people listen to it they relate to it in their own way because we all have relationships that are sometimes not good for us. Yet we want to believe in the power of love and keep on giving, even if what we receive is something that we do not deserve. The message I want to convey through this song and my story is that, love is love and yes, its important but it’s not worth it if you find yourself in a situation where you have to question your own self worth. No one deserves to be abused - mentally, emotionally or physically. You WILL be able to find the strength to release yourself from the toxicity.
The name of the song is just the essence of what I am trying to say or rather ask, that one question that you never know the answer of, in those moments.
Challenges to an Album Release
For me since I have only heard my music in its rawest form (being alone with my thoughts on my guitar or ukulele in my room in complete silence with my cats ) - I think its hard to find the right people who you can really trust and work with to bring these emotions to life. I think as an artist you really want to hold on to the essence of your art and sometimes it can be very overwhelming to share your emotions or thoughts behind a song that you wrote when you are going through something personally. I think that is my biggest challenge but I have thought about it a lot and I’m sure that I will be able to find those people. I am really looking forward to putting my story out there through music, but I know for a fact that I would never let that essence and rawness fade away, because that's just me.
I have been on Soundcloud for the longest time, I trusted in that platform to provide me with undiscovered music that has been absolutely beautiful. So I, too, resorted to Soundcloud when I started writing and gaining the confidence to share my music. But otherwise since the release of KTNH - most of my streams come from Spotify and some of my unreleased music is doing well on Soundcloud. I think it is a challenge to reach people in general when you are an independent artist but the key is to be patient and actively self promote, work hard and the people who love your music.. will come.
I think it has to be my first performances at Piano Man Jazz Club New Delhi, that is where it all began 🙂
An Ode to the Roots
Hehe. I have been a nomad all my life, my father was in the Army for many years and we moved a LOT. later I was working as a flight attendant so that nomadic life kind of continued. So I cannot really pinpoint a place of origin but I would say every place has inspired me in some ways, even now, I have been away from home a lot lately, in a different country, different culture, and you never know where you may find inspiration. Also, I am still in the nascent stage of my career, it has just begun and surprisingly a lot of support has come my way and I hope it keeps growing.
Haha, well of course - who hasn't? I love doing and learning different things that gives me happiness but music is by far the most rewarding.. I do this for myself...I do it for my heart. If things go well, I would always choose being an artist over any other career.
Well I think the shift is definitely happening. I have grown up listening to a lot of European and American indie artists who are still somewhat undiscovered in that sense compared to Pop artists, you know?
But I think that's the beauty about this genre.. you want it to do well because it's good, but those not-so-well-known artists are somehow sacred and you want to keep them to yourself... Haha it's hard to explain but I can see that shift happening in India. I can see the potential that Independent music has.
On the Anvil
I’m officially releasing my first English single - I Can’t Go Back To Sleep - in November 2020. Really excited for this release - I have plans to explore the global music industry with this single and share my story with the world. I, like many people, have always dreamt of having my song playing in a movie. That dream came true these past months - I’ve had the opportunity to compose a song for a movie that will be released on Zee5 on October 21st 2020 - Comedy Couple this has been so special.
Incredibly, my music has reached different parts of the world, which I never expected, I even met someone in Germany who had heard KTNH and that was shocking but also made me feel super happy about my decision to share my music. So hopefully I look forward to travelling a lot in the coming years 🙂