Alisha Batth isn’t a new name in India’s indie music circle. The 30-year-old has been gigging for a few years, and has played stages from NH7 to Ziro Festival.
Born in Punjab, she grew up in Arunachal Pradesh, then moved to Delhi in 2004, eventually shifting to Mumbai in 2006, which is where her musical journey first started gaining tempo. “I spent a few years in Mumbai for college, and that’s when I started playing live gigs,” she says. Hungry for more, she moved to Boston in 2014 to “experience a whole new world”, at Berklee College Of Music, Boston, where she got a formal education in the subject. Her journey took a small detour when she moved to Paris to study photography in 2016, but there seem to be no regrets. “All through, it has been about evolving, both as a person and as an artist,” she says.
Though Batth stayed relatively off the radar during her time away, she’s now back—with her debut six-track EP, Prologue in tow, which occupies the space between alternative, folk and rock. It launched in October last year, and has been a long time in the making. “I recorded it in Boston with some incredible friends and musicians,” she says. Co-written by her friend Shourya Bali, Batth, who idolises Ani DiFranco, Nick Cave, and Patti Smith and loves punk rock and folk rock, says Prologue “came together in its own time,” and some tracks, like ‘Follow’ underwent their own evolution, growing and imbibing from the world—as Batth did too.
Now, as she settles back into life in Mumbai, Batth is ready for a new start. “I’m excited to finally play the EP on tour,” she says. With a third music video from the album in the works, and some new music in the pipeline, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of this quietly brilliant musician in the future.
Photograph: Louise Cardon de Lichtbuer