Meet India’s first female bagpipe artist: Archy Jay
The music industry has many female artists, but I guarantee none can charm like she can. She calls herself The SnakeCharmer and is India’s first woman bagpipe musician. In an industry that has a plethora of singing, dancing and instrumental talent- she comes in with an unusual instrument and the force of the digital world behind her. Her YouTube channel has over 1 million views and was started in just 6 years ago! She mesmerised audiences with her voice and now wants to wow the internet with her one-of-a-kind talent by making cover and original songs. In a conversation with SheThePeople, we know about the origin of the Snake Charmer!
Why the Snake Charmer?
” Most pipers in the world have a stage name and I needed one too! When I was forming my act, I came up with name The Snake Charmer for a few reasons- the major one being that I wanted to showcase my ethnicity and where I come from. There’s a popular joke with foreigners that India is a land of snake charmers, I wanted to mock that! The Snake Charmer as my bagpipe act would give a fitting impression of what India also has and to bring a modern outlook to my roots!
Visibility is our biggest hurdle, so market yourself well.
But why did you choose the bagpipes as your instrument?
“I have been drawn to different, unique, uncommon things. I enjoy challenges and maybe thats why when I saw someone play the bagpipes being used differently in a Folk Metal Swiss Band, I fell instantly in love with it. I found myself searching for a teacher here, but alas to no avail! So I took it upon myself to learn through books and really short videos.
I found friends online who helped me incase of any doubts. It took me 2 years to just get the basics!
Wow, that’s a great story! Are they any bagpipe players in India?
“No, not many. Bagpipes are a British influenced instrument for us here in India. You can bagpipes being played in Army parades, or scout groups , some parts of Uttarakhand and Punjab having small bagpipe groups.
I took it upon myself to learn through books and really short videos.
I found friends online who helped me incase of any doubts.
Your YouTube channel is the rage over the internet! How did you start it?
“I did not intend on “starting” a channel at all! I just wanted to surprise everyone about my learnings in the past 2 years and showcase it! I wanted to post a video playing bagpipes, not just audio. It got a lot of attention and encouragement to post some more. Snake Charmer is the name! Check out her first cover of Ed Sheeren’s Shape of You which has over 32k views!
So what is your opinion about women breaking stereotypes in the digital world today, just like you have broken?
“Thank you! and I think its great to break stereotypes and offer something of quality to people. I see a lot of women coming forward from really uncommon and unheard of fields and I think that is really cool!”
Any advice to budding musicians?
“Don’t listen to other musicians ! If you believe , don’t be embarrassed or afraid to try something. Visibility is our biggest hurdle, so market yourself well.
Check out her Facebook page