Bindis and Bangles is an ode to the traditions of the past and the technologies of the future, all while shining a spotlight on India’s rich and unique culture. With this track, Kumari delicately drives home an apropos message of how God is omnipresent; and spiritual realization in modern times isn’t a fallacy and can be attained without the trappings of technology.
The intrepid and empowering video directed by The Fictionary, with its’ striking imagery, was created and curated by an all-female team in collaboration with the New York-based cyberpunk-artist Sam Madhu, who also directed visuals for “Karma” from Kumari’s 2019 EP, BLOODLINE. With retro-futurism at its core, the video comes to life with fictional characters from the ancient Indian world such as palanquin bearers, dancers and sages who are equipped with tools of the future, such as virtual reality and holograms. In the video, Kumari is portrayed as an ethereal apparition who glitches into reality and is perceived as a Goddess from another dimension. As they worship her, they in turn relinquish technology and awaken their own third eyes– visually represented in the form of complex digital interfaces.
Reflecting on the track, Kumari states, “Bindis and Bangles is my most ambitious project, working with an all-female team was empowering and inspiring. The Bindi for me is the third eye, and the visual encourages all to keep their third eye open. I’m so excited to share this song with all my fans.”
Produced by Zero, who is of American origin, the track is co-written by India’s premier hip-hop star and Kumari’s long standing co-collaborator, DIVINE, and packs a passionate and powerful punch, loaded with robust rhymes and ferocious delivery over a nuanced beat with international reverberations. Armed with a compelling groove and spirited lyrics, the track sets the perfect exemplar of a vision of India’s future – inspired by its’ past.
With a maiden headlining North American tour and the release of her documentary "Raja Kumari: So Far" which spotlighted the importance of embracing one’s uniqueness by narrating her resilient story of empowerment as a woman of colour, 2019 marked many firsts for Kumari. She became the first Indian artist to host the American Music Awards Red Carpet and to perform at Formula One (F1) Singapore Grand Prix. With an album and tour in the works, we’ll hear more from the MTV Hustle judge in the near future. Stay tuned!
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.