On World Music Day, poet and songwriter, Nirmika Singh spoke to SheThePeopleTV about the power of music. Singh began her journey as a music journalist and is currently the Executive Editor at Rolling Stones India.
Nirmika Singh is a singer, songwriter, poet, lyricist and music critic and she is the youngest journalist to hold the position of Executive Editor at Rolling Stone India. Singh said, “Today music journalism means more than just writing about music and reviewing it. It’s about curating music because nobody wants another person’s opinion about what they like and what they consider to be good because music is so subjective.”
The Mumbai-based critic has more than a decade of experience. Her educational journey started at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, where she studied journalism. Singh then completed her Master of Arts in Political Science at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Singh had a parallel music career while she was in college. She had her own rock band that performed at nightclubs and hotels. She was a student by day, a rockstar by night. Singh has also collaborated with composer AR Rahman and created the Hindi poem “Kuch Aise Badley Duniya (May the World Change in Such a Way)”
Nirmika Singh On Music Journalism
Nirmika Singh has a background in journalism. Her contemplation regarding whether she wanted to pursue journalism or academics led to her realising she wanted to be in a field that encompassed her passion for writing, music and culture.
When she joined Indian Express, they asked what she leaned towards, and Singh “very happily” chose to write about music when she was 21 years old. Singh said that “she found her niche and stuck to it.” Singh described music journalism as a “tricky art of writing objectively about a very subjective experience.”
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Poetry and Music: A Catalyst For Change
When asked about how poetry and music to help women bring change in the discourse of equality, Nirmika Singh spoke about her poetry series #AurSuno.
When Singh began writing under the hashtag ‘AurSuno’, she had not started off with the intention of becoming a mouthpiece for people. She had been articulating her feelings, and when she wrote about themes such as moving from Delhi to Mumbai and starting a new life, women started resonating with their words. While the women had varying experiences, they were unified by the central theme of Singh’s words.
Singh said, “For the longest time, women didn’t realise the power of their vulnerability that can be showcased through words, and how words matter.”
After she saw the impact of her writing, she realised that “My words matter, and they’re resonating with women so I’m going to continue writing words that maybe people listening to me don’t have the vocabulary for or the courage to articulate. So I’ll do it on their behalf. If I can express it, then they can feel it.”
She added, “Words and music have the power to move you, it’s an emotion. It makes people feel invincible, and feel liberated, and feel free. That’s our job as artists, to evoke those sentiments in people.”
Social Media And The Music Industry
When asked about musicians being expected to maintain a social media presence and create viral moments, Singh spoke about how the music industry is a business, and businesses require publicity.
Musicians have had to adapt to becoming content creators which have increased the pressure parameters such as views and engagement count. Singh said “I don’t think that’s a bad problem. But it’s a bad problem if that’s the only thing we want.” She described social media usage by artists as “A necessity but not a sufficient condition for success.”
She added that overall, social media has made music more accessible, “Elitism from music is gone. Elitism from the artist community is gone. Now anyone who has even a 10 per cent chance of making it can really make it in a couple of years.”
You can watch the session here:
Suggested Reading: #AurSuno Is A Chronicle Of My Life, Says Lyricist Nirmika Singh