The Balancing Act with Musician and Student Preethi Shakti

Bangalore-born Preethi Shakti has mastered the art of balancing. Only 24 years old and she is making waves with her specific genre of dark trance music. She is finishing her master’s program in Psychological Research. Recently she released a single titled “Vermin” for her upcoming album. She produces. She creates. She is the supreme juggler. And she etched out time for Inspirer to talk about her music, style, career, inspirations and everything in between.

What got you interested in making music?

I have always been involved in music in one way or another since childhood. I was in choir from 3rd grade -12th grade and I’ve learned Carnatic (South Indian classical) music formally for a few years. I’ve also done plays & musicals in high school and college. But I would say my interest in doing my own experimental solo project really solidified during my undergrad years. I found that while I loved performing, I was getting bored of re-creating other people’s works of art; I realized that I had a lot of creative energy within myself that needed to be expressed uniquely! 

Who are your biggest inspirations in the music industry?

One of my biggest inspirations is Alice Glass. Her hauntingly beautiful lyrics and her intensity as a performer are amazing. I am also really inspired by Abra. She is talented on so many levels but I am especially inspired by the fact that she self-produces. I am generally inspired by female artists that have creative direction over multiple aspects of their art and who embrace vulnerability as a strength.

What kind of music would you call the music you make?

I would consider my music to be experimental; Most of it sounds dark, rhythmic, and droney. If I had to describe it genre-wise, I would say it has some darkwave/synthwave/drone elements mixed with Carnatic music elements.

Is there a particular message you have in mind when you are creating or is it all purely free flow?

I kind of feel like all of my music sounds like a ritual. Maybe trance-like. So it is a bit more free flow.

Is there any imagery that inspires your visual aesthetic?

I am really inspired by Hindu goddess imagery and generally anything that emits a darker feminine vibe. 

What do you want to be doing in 5 years with your music?

In five years I hope to have a lot more music released and to be touring! I haven’t had as much time to work on music this past couple of years, but I am graduating from my Master’s program this month and will very soon be back in the studio!

Do you think there is a lot of importance in producing your own music?

Yes. I aim to self-produce because a) I have a very particular vision with my music and like to have control over multiple aspects of it and b) I know I can do it if I try. However, I realize that self-producing takes me longer and that I am sometimes impatient to release music, so it’s definitely a process. I do also occasionally collaborate with friends on music projects.

Do you consider yourself someone who pushes the boundaries?

I believe that existing outside of narrow gender roles and problematic gender expectations that try to constrict women is in itself pushing a boundary. I also feel like I bridge the boundary between ‘academic’ and ‘artist’ in the sense that I strive to both eventually tour with my music and get a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

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