Subhi lives in Chicago, but her roots are in the Indian cultural stew of Mumbai and Delhi, of Bollywood, of Punjabi folk songs. She fell in love with words thanks to her grandfather, who recited poetry to her. “I had a little notebook and I would write down my favorite Urdu poems,” Subhi remembers, and those words appear in her own writing in Hindi on songs like “Aagosh” (“Embrace”), on her debut album, Shaitaan Dil (Naughty Heart). She crafts playful pop songs that chart a territory familiar to many multicultural Americans: nostalgia for childhood; the delights and downsides of romance; the experience of separation and transcontinental migration. Influences range from contemporary jazz to old-school Dixieland. “There have been Hindi songs with jazz influences, of course,” she notes. “But there aren’t many jazz singers who write songs in Hindi.”
Presented in partnership with the Dhar India Studies Program at IU.
Friday, September 29
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