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News |  02 Feb 2017 18:34 |  By RnMTeam

Pragnya Wakhlu begins work on new album; talks about 'Burning Fire'

MUMBAI: Pragnya Wakhlu, the composer-singer who is also the founder of Mousai, released her first single ‘Burning Fire’ on 2 December 2016 on her YouTube channel, is all set for her second album.

Talking about it Pragnya stated, “I have finished working on the album this January. The name of the album is not yet decided, the album has gone for mastering in the UK and it will be released as soon as, the mixing and mastering are done. There will be tracks based on Kashmiri fusion and more.”

Mousai is a Pune based organisation dedicated to re-energizing and liberating people through the use of music and movement.

People who do not know, born in Kashmir, Pragnya’s musical journey started long ago. This might seem like a flight of fancy for many. An I.T. Engineer and a graduate of Indian Institute of Management (IIM Bangalore), a lucrative job in the USA, there is no more that anyone could want. But, in these conditions, something else was stored for Pragnya.

Fan of classic rock, Pragnya’s music can be described as a mixed bag of ‘alternative folk-fusion’. “My songs are about my inner reflection, thoughts, feelings and issues I feel strongly about. Whenever I am affected by something, or maybe some social cause, I feel like writing about it and that’s how the creative process works,” she added.

As she left her job with Infosys and decided to peruse Music as her line of business, Pragnya moved back to India with the hope that the best is yet to come. In her words, “I have been inclined to music since childhood and learned Indian classical as well. I was in my 20s and I used to feel that I was not meant for that. Initially, my parents were not standing by me as most of the people in India consider that staying in the USA and earning a lot of money is the whole agenda of life, but for me, it was not. I left my job, moved back to India; however, I didn’t have any concrete plans. I started doing a gig in Pune, as my family is based in Pune. Over time, my mother had the same opinion of the same mind.”

Did you know that Pragnya’s first gig was in Seattle at Mainstage Music and Comedy Club for a gig organised by Aury Moore? Pragnya's performed some of her original compositions at a women musician's showcase in Seattle.

Down the memory lane, she shared, “I recorded some of my compositions at home and gave the CD to Aury, as she liked them, she wanted me to perform there with my originals only. Also, I performed there as a headliner as it was a sold out show. I was not confident about my music initially, but after that gig, many people encouraged me including my friends and colleagues and that was inevitably a turning point.”

Furthermore, the singer went on to demonstrate the background story of 'Burning Fire', how challenging it was, and the agenda behind the song.

A song that started as a seed of inspiration from a story shared with Pragnya by a Tibetan refugee to something that became a shared vision. "I never knew anything about it. I came to know about the struggle when I was vacationing there. In this case, I wanted to put across the message that these peoples voices were never heard. They struggle for their identity and that was moving.”

It is indeed an emotional tribute to Tibet. The music video that was shot in ten days in Dharamshala was easier said than done. It will give you an insight into the Tibetan life and culture; also a distressing sight of Tibet’s people whose voices should no longer be silenced.

“Divya Gopalan, who directed the music video, is a friend and as it was a low-budget project, she didn’t even ask for money. Also, we didn’t have the permission to shoot before going to Dharamshala. We just went there and approached them; they supported us. I am grateful to the director of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts Lhaksam and the students of TIPA, the people from Gyoto monastery for allowing us to shoot in their premises.”

In the track ‘Burning Fire’, Tibetan singers, who have lent their voices, are Dhondup Chokey, Phuntsok Tashi and the lyrics were done by Palgong. The song is composed and written by Pragnya, and she got the Tibetan translation and accent assistance from Tibet house, Gaphael, Jigme Tenzin, Jamyang.

Pragnya has been nominated at numerous music awards notably the Bite My Music Global Music Awards, Jack Daniels Rock Awards and the Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA) for .

Her debut album 'Journey To the Sun' was released independently worldwide in 2012.