Lessons of respect, love and caring for oneself come to the front in New Delhi-bred artist Vasundhara Vee’s new single and music video “Run,” her first ever solo independent release.
Produced by seasoned guitarist-composer Dhruv Ghanekar, “Run” starts off with a familiar yet striking soul intro, then dipping into a chasmic pop palette with Vasundhara’s inimitable vocals taking the lead throughout. In the video created by Karan Takulia and Jason Vaz, visual metaphors of reflection and self-perception abound as we see Vasundhara is different looks, all of which make a heightened statement of a pop artist who’s ready to run free and confidently, undaunted by the past.
The release follows about 15 years of Vasundhara establishing herself as one of the foremost voices in the country – with jazz duo project Adil & Vasundhara, several collaborations and singing gigs, being a vocal coach and even writing a career planning book for musicians. In an interview with Rolling Stone India, Vasundhara talks about the making of “Run” and taking the leap into presenting her music in a new way.
When was “Run” written? Were you working with Dhruv remotely? How challenging or easy was it, given your longstanding association over the years?
‘Run’ was written two years ago, in mid-2019. Luckily, we were able to do it in person at the studio, the traditional way. We had to go through a bit of a process to zero in on what the new sound would be. Dhruv actually made around 8 different seed ideas and we went over them to see the one that resonated the most. It was important to us that the first song of this phase be bang center of “all that I am.”
I wrote the lyric sitting on the floor of his studio, which has now become my permanent scribble spot. Dhruv made iterations to the arrangement till he felt it was just right.
Dhruv brings order, direction and an important editing eye to anything I do. It’s always been like this. He knows the core of who I am musically. It’s an entirely different level of feeling seen and heard and supported – that too by someone who is a master of his craft.
I feel like “Run” makes a resounding statement of the new/renewed artist that you are now. What was it like taking that leap into presenting yourself in a completely new light, sonically, stylistically, personality-wise and all?
Thank you for saying that. I do feel renewed as a person. Over the past four years, I was in therapy — EMDR [Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing], expressive arts therapy and meditative practices. An important part of those processes is discovering what’s core to us and what is accumulated and stored without processing.
The video is full of clues to those four years. The mismatched reflection, the shadow self and the journal that helped bring all of me together. I can say I love me now.
Whenever there’s a change like this, the big question within the creative process is “What does that sound like?” “What does that groove like?” “What does that look like?”
I can use color boldly now. And the new light is my own light. What a relief it is to exist in the world in this way.
What’s coming up next through 2021?
I’m gonna do more of me. There are new songs on the way and I’m letting them develop. I’m a nurturer and I’ll continue to grow more artists’ voices. There’s a dream I have for the music community as a whole.
Watch the video for “Run” below. Stream the song on major platforms here.