Aditi Ramesh: Find out what could have happened if M.S Subbulakshmi had met Nina Simone
For someone who is only 8 months into performing live, Aditi Ramesh is an Indian classical Carnatic and jazz vocalist, pianist and music composer currently based in Mumbai who performed at one of India's biggest most prestigious Music Festivals - NH7 Weekender - last year and has been creating quite some buzz as a vocalist with 2 bands titled the ‘Jazztronauts’ and ‘Ladies Compartment’ along with a solo act. Aditi Ramesh is a lawyer turned musician you should watch out for this year.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN:
Born in the USA, Aditi moved to Bangalore for high school. Daughter of two aficionados of music, she learned western classical piano for 10 years as a child and studied Carnatic vocals on and off. But after moving here, for some reason, she did not touch a piano for the next 10 years. She continued Carnatic vocals for some time, before stopping that completely as well. Music was always played at her home. She started singing songs from ‘Roja’ when she was 2. When she went to college, she discovered the blues. She sang a little bit of blues in college and at fests but still hadn't picked up the keys or developed her own sound yet.
She moved to Bombay and joined one of the best law firms in India. In college, she discovered the Blues but at her job she finally felt the blues. A job requiring 10-16 hours a day, it left no time for music. But one constant that always remained with her was writing angry blues songs about her life. One of her friends donated a very old keyboard to her, and finally, she started playing again.
She had started playing a bit of piano and very rarely performed at a gig or two. The blues she felt contributed to her starting to explore Jazz. Finally one fine sunny day, she quit her well-paying day job, without any plans, but just with the intent to practice as much as possible with the extra time she would get from now onwards.
FROM A DAY JOB TO PLAYING AT THE NH7 WEEKENDER:
Within months she started performing live at various venues around the city. In 5 months of performing music, her life became much more eventful. A friend called Aditi to come sing a track for his new EP in March, and when they heard her, they began to pitch to her about their new label ‘Nrtya’. Ever since they have managed her; done her bookings, and press and been her support through the production of her upcoming EP. She was and is unstoppable! She started playing at bigger venues like Pianoman Jazz Club, Sofar Sounds Pune and Bombay etc. Her music, which is a blend of Jazz and Carnatic vocals, soon gathered attention beyond what she had ever expected. It was all just the beginning. Every day is still a struggle - it is extremely physically exhausting work; hours of practice every day after a day job; and having to monetarily support oneself completely on a low salary. She had to bear the costs of equipment, artwork for tracks, mixing and mastering etc. But she had never felt so fulfilled as well.
Dealing with the societal pressures of being 27 and unmarried, along with immense familial pressure gets to her sometimes but focusing a little more on her music helps her with that too. Her music is a reflection of all the things that bother her every day. Listen to her tracks, ‘Working People’s Blue’ and ‘Marriageable Age’, and you will know what we are talking about.
So now, every time the darker side gets to her, she tells herself, “The world is your oyster, every one of our generation seems miserable and look how fulfilled you are with what you're doing. Don't stop, this is just the beginning and you have to work hard!”
Watch one of the songs on her upcoming EP titled "Stuff on our Minds" right below.