Vocalist for the Bengaluru based band Midnight Poppies, Rajni Shivaram writes about her journey from pursuing a master’s degree in Biotechnology to making music that everyone can relate to.

What inspires me the most as a musician is the fact that it allows me to be as true to myself as I possibly can. Gives me a sense of purpose, direction and realization beyond the realms of the ordinary, something that has allowed me to access my soul and touch others as well. It will not be wrong to say that It probably is one of the few ways I get to express myself, bare myself. It is the closest anyone can possibly get, to knowing me as a person as well.

For this and only this, I try not to dilute my art form and stay as true to it as possible, at all times. A purist, one might say. However, I’ve never been the sorts to do something that doesn’t resonate with me at a cellular level. Blues, soul, country, and jazz are truly what inspires me as a musician, to get better, to understand and appreciate it for what it is.

Some things, are best told by way of art. And, hence I pour my heart out into the songs we make as a band.

Music happened a long time ago. From when I was a little girl, who never could understand it’s relevance then, to a Musician in the making now. It has been my only companion. Words and music always found a way into my heart. Still waters run deep, they say. A feeler is what I am. I could interpret a one or two liner, into a passage of my own, and give you my very own interpretation of the same. As eloquent as I am, generally, I am equally shy. A contradiction. But, some things, are best told by way of art. And, hence I pour my heart out into the songs we make as a band.

Rajni Shivram
Midnight Poppies

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When I pursued my Masters in Biotechnology, is when, music revealed itself to me, in its best form. It helped me live there and I started singing every day to keep my sanity. I found it more enjoyable than anything else, to be honest. It was my escape from the regular and the mundane. It took over me when I realized a lot of these kids in BIT MESRA were looking beyond the conventional, giving wings to their dreams by working on their own start-ups and ideas. It struck me hard. It made me want to give music the chance it deserved. I came back, after the completion of my Masters, enrolled for a short three-month course in music, which is when I discovered my love for the blues. December of that year, 2015, I joined Chronic Blues Circus, to learn the Blues, I learned and played with them for the last three years.

That’s where I met Sangeeta, my bassist/ guitarist and my other guitarist, Adrian. We played together with The Chronic Blues Circus. Sangeeta formed Midnight Poppies, by herself, as she wanted to do her own thing, put her own songs out there, for the world to hear. I joined the band much later, as I believed in her and here we are, two years later.

Our music is very kid-friendly as well and it is well suited to people across a diverse age group. We play for the kids at schools and other stages as it is very special to us, and we think the kids deserve to listen to good music. We really do believe our music can touch other people’s lives as it is something everyone can relate to, as it is driven lyrically. We want our music to reach people all over the world. We want to stay true to our music, music that we believe is very much the need of the hour. Something that people can take home, a message of hope, faith and love.

Feature Image Credit: Rajni Shivram

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Rajni Shivaram is a vocalist who has sung with one of the pioneer Blues bands of India, The Chronic Blues Circus, over the last three years. She now has a band of my own, Midnight Poppies which is based in Bengaluru. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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