Chennai-based indie artiste’s debut album influenced by Adele, Swift

In conversation with DT Next, Chennai-based indie artiste Nitika Rajkumar talks about her debut album Young Love, the production process, Taylor Swift’s influence on her work and lots more.
Nitika Rajkumar and her album cover
Nitika Rajkumar and her album cover

CHENNAI: As she stood in a noisy hallway, breathing in and out nervously, every other sound slowly began to fade in the background. The sound of her heartbeat echoed in her ears like a shrill melody. Just as the echo of this melody was beginning to transcend into a full-blown panic attack, she heard her name being called, “Nitika, come in”.

She nervously walked into the school auditorium to audition for the annual musical event; hoping to land the lead role in an adaption of Disney’s High School Musical. She sang to her heart’s content and that’s when she realised, music is what she was meant to do.

In conversation with DT Next, Chennai-based indie artiste Nitika Rajkumartalks about her debut album Young Love, the production process, Taylor Swift’s influence on her work and lots more.

Have you always wanted to put an album together? How does it feel to have finally done it?

Yes, I always wanted to put an album together but it seemed like a far-fetched dream before. However, now that I’m here, it feels amazing and what’s even better is that it feels like it’s just the beginning. I feel more ready now than ever to make music, perform more and put together as many albums as I possibly can.

How long did the production process take? From writing to singing to mixing.

I actually started writing during the pandemic. I started discussing with my producer, Ashwin back in December 2021 and we finished all the songs by September 2022. It took around 8 months to complete the production and mixing process. Initially, we faced a few hiccups for certain songs and the rest was smooth sailing. I enjoyed every bit of it.

Your album is giving a strong Swiftie vibe. Are you influenced by her work?

I love this question! I actually was a Swiftie during Taylor Swift’s Fearless era. Later, I got out of the zone. But ever since the Folklore album, I’m back in and completely sold. I also love this question because I realise now looking back at my music that my writing is so heavily influenced by her. I think it’s the honesty in her writing that I resonate with and see in my work as well. I’m also heavily influenced by Adele. Her vocal styling and her ability to emote so well through her music is something I see in myself as a singer and songwriter.

Which song is very close to you?

Strangers is honestly my favourite song in the EP because it turned out exactly the way I heard it in my head. Even when I listen to it today, I have nothing that I would want to change about it. However, that being said, Young Love, means a lot to me just because I think it’s the closest song to my writing and vocal style and it’s the kind of music that I want to put out. It’s basically a very “Adele” song which is very me.

Oh My Dear is a very dreamy song. What inspired it?

Oh My Dear is inspired by the famous Korean drama, Crash Landing on You. In the drama, they constantly have these instances where they have to say goodbye assuming that that would be the last time they ever get to see each other. I wrote Oh My Dear with that same feeling and situation in mind. The song is essentially about two people spending their night together, not knowing if they will ever see each other again. It’s a song that would resonate with anyone who has been or is in a long-distance relationship.

What’s next for you?

Currently, I’m looking forward to performing this EP as much as I possibly can. In the meantime, I have some songs that I do want to release but I also want to take some time out to study song-writing and work on my art form before I go back to the studio. But overall, more performances, more music and a lot more content from me coming very soon.

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