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News |  26 May 2019 09:00 |  By RnMTeam

Rupa and April Fishes communicate activism through 'Liberation Music'

MUMBAI: Music goes hand in hand with almost everything, be it spirituality, romance or even activism. While we have had legendary musicians, who have supported a cause, there have been bands that channelized their anguish through music. One such band is Rupa and April Fishes.

The band’s lead Rupa Marya is a California based doctor, music composer, songwriter and guitarist. Taking forward the thoughts of American poet and jazz musician, Gil Scott Heron, Rupa likes to address her genre as ‘Liberation Music’. The idea is to be empathetic and Rupa has derived inspiration from life itself, “As a physician, I notice life and its struggles around me. I work in a hospital and see disease at its most acute –one is of the human body while other is of the social body. This inspires me to act on behalf of those, who are suffering intensely.”

One would wonder how does music and activism juxtapose and Rupa helps us understand better, “Everything is activism, including inactivity when the world is on fire. You have to accept the status quo. My musical work aims to express my longing for transformational justice, awakened kindness and deep system change for the benefit of all.”

Taking the thread ahead, Rupa’s band, Rupa and April Fishes has come up with their new album, Growing Upward.

Sharing her thoughts about their sixth album, Rupa says, “The album was inspired by working closely with indigenous people and families struggling for justice after their loved ones were killed by police, specifically the families of Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Luis Gongora Pat and Amilcar Perez Lopez. It was also inspired by me becoming a mother in these times of climate catastrophe. The title track marks my attempt to express, what a dandelion seed might be saying as it germinates under asphalt. It is homage to resilience and the power of ordinary people to make extraordinary changes.”

Earlier, Rupa and April Fishes have also spoken about various pressing issues like Xenophobia, the plight of migrants crossing borders etc.

The audience response for this new but effective genre has been mixed. Rupa focuses on the positives, “It has been varied depending on where I am and with whom I am interacting. In general, it has been very warm, receptive and exciting.”

She and her band don’t want to continue communicating various world issues through their music.

Rupa confirms the same, “I hope to partner with people around the world, who are making music to push consciousness about Earth, decolonization, change in systems etc. Through such partnerships, I want to make soundtrack of the largest mass movement for beautiful, joyful, hopeful and strong people, this planet has ever seen.”