Tarana Marwah is our indie artiste to watch out for
Influenced by Japanese culture and 80's video games, her debut album packs Indian indie's freshest sound
The vocals on ‘Little ones’, the first track on Tarana Marwah aka Komorebi’s debut album, Soliloquy, has a lilt reminiscent of trip-hop visionary Imogen Heap’s. And so far, critics and listeners have been eating it up. “I’m not sure what I did right, but people are able to understand what I’m trying to say,” says the 23-year-old New Delhi-based musician. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Marwah had an early tryst with music—she studied western classical piano at Tom Lee Academy of Music when she was only seven, before moving to India and joining Delhi University, while also doing a two-year course in jazz improvisation at Noida’s Global Music Institute.
Soliloquy is a nine-track gem; full of lush soundscapes and dreamy notes that inhabit what Marwah calls “an amorphous space between the worlds of trip-hop, electronica, pop and alternative music”. ‘Time’, the second song on the album (a collaboration with fellow indie artist Sohrab Nicholson) is especially poetic, and, with its mesmerising animated video, is almost a lullaby for grown-ups. Marwah is big on manga—all things Japanese, really—and this video is just one example.
“I used to watch a lot of anime growing up. The soundtracks of shows like Bleach and Inuyasha, by Shiro Sagisu and Kaoru Wada, respectively, stayed with me for very long. I am also a gamer, and a fan of chiptune [the eight-bit music of arcade video games in the ’80s and ’90s, which later went on to influence the development of electronic music],” she says. But her chief inspiration remains Icelandic songstress Björk. “I love her ability to grasp exactly who she is and put it down on paper. I think her album Homogenic changed my life.”
Fresh off playing a set at the first edition of Wonderflip in Udaipur last month, Marwah is now gearing up for an exciting 2018: she’s collaborating with Keshav Dhar of progressive metal band Skyharbor and Gaurav Raina of pioneering electronic act Midival Punditz, and has started work on her second album, which she says she plans to do “very differently from the first”.