Name to know: Aditi Veena
She's a little girl with a big voice, and we’re listening closely
Twenty-four-year-old Aditi Veena is petite and button-cute (twinkle-in-eye, shaggy bob et al). You almost don’t see that voice coming. Sweet choir girl gives way to seductress gives way to harridan and climbs back down again without breaking a sweat. If you’re lucky, she’ll give you a trumpet interlude too. ‘Adult Contemporary’ is how the singer classifies her sound, which swings between soul, rhythm, blues and rock.
The Delhi native went pro at 14 and has clocked every kind of live gig since then. Choir singing with premier Delhi foundation Artistes Unlimited, low-lit alt jazz duets as one half of Ditty and Mark (now disbanded), guest-fronting outfits like The Jass B’Stards. She’s also sung in a production of the musical Hair, and performed at a Delhi restaurant with author Rana Dasgupta on keys.
Later this year, Veena will release her first EP, Daddy’s Little Girl, which will feature four songs written and composed by her, each inspired by “four special men – my father (who passed away recently), my brother, a former boyfriend and a man I recently met.” The stripped-down acoustic sound will be a departure from her usual vocal stylings. The next frontier for Veena, who is also studying architecture, is finding ways to segue between music and art. “I’m trying to understand how space can become a part of a performance,” she says. Veena designs the sets for her shows, the latest being Spot C, which will be hosted by the Arch-i platform in Delhi this month. “I’ve always wanted to be an artist,” she confesses, “not just a musician.”
Leather crop top, Lecoanet Hemant. Cotton maxi skirt, Lovebirds. Metal earrings, Aldo Accessories
Photograph: Shovan Gandhi; Styling: Arushi Parakh; Make-up and Hair: Sonam Kapoor