Lingering Wine: Queer Singer Pragya Pallavi Releases Her Debut Single

LGBTQIA+ singer songwriter and musical artist Pragya Pallavi has just released her debut single “Lingering Wine”, a sensual, jazzy soul homage to same-sex love. The track is the first offering from her forthcoming eclectic and multiple genre debut musical album, QueerismQueerism is the first LGBTQIA+ themed album to release from India by an Indian queer artist, and presents an original new talent to the global stage.  

Thematically, Pragya has dedicated both her debut single and album to the LGBTQIA+ communities of India and the world.  The 9 track album’s lyrics talk about the struggles of queer people, celebrates the decriminalization of LGBTQIA+ identities in India, and address issues such as millennial feminism, social justice, global warming, suicide prevention, and love.

‘Lingering Wine’  features Pragya’s powerhouse vocals and soulful composition, and attempts to have a universal appeal that can entice lovers of all genders. The single’s retro, Latin flavour gives us a first taste of the feast of musical styles to be discovered on Queerism, which range from disco and EDM, hip-hop and jazz soul, to Indian fusion, funk, and dancehall.  The album features English and English/Hindi compositions, with collaborations with National Award-winning sound engineer K.J. Singh, and Indian DJ and “Mother of Electronica” Ma Faiza.

Pragya is a singer/songwriter, musician, percussionist and performer who is classically trained as a Hindustani vocalist. On her special day, Pragya shares a few words with Gaysi Family on the influences on her music and her journey.

Q. What are some of the influences in your music?

I am influenced by almost all genres of music. It is about what I hear and it clicks in my head. I love classical (Indian and Western both), Sufi, ghazals, hip hop, jazz, R&B, EDM, Pop, etc. It is like a never ending list. Good, meaningful lyrics are also very important.

Q.  What is your journey with regard to music- when did you start, how did it go challenges etc.

I am a Hindustani Classical trained singer. My grandmother was an All-India Radio singer and then she started a music school in Patna. My whole family is musical and my grandmother taught me the first ghazal at the age of 3!  That ghazal (Bekasi hadd se jab guzar jaaye, koi aye dil jiye ya mar jaaye) is still in my head. Since I was a kid, I was performing classical music in concerts. I was influenced by Celine Dion in western music after listening to her track My heart will go on. Yes that song actually made me to start experimenting with music – a fusion (amalgamating classics and western music). In terms of challenges  I faced quite a bit of them in terms of performing, especially when I came out. It was difficult. I was depressed for almost a year but I formed a band with some of my friends (all male) and we started performing all over the place. But it was getting boring for me, because I wanted to perform originals but my band members were into covers, that’s what is selling now a days in the clubs and pubs. That is where the money is. I quit my band, left for Kerala to be with my partner and then started performing there, but more political music, which I enjoyed. I compose, write and produce music. I love it. I have composed all the tracks of my forthcoming album Queerism. The lyrics have been written by Deepa Vasudevan, Dena Gorilik, Sanjay Kumar and myslef. Music has been co produced by DJ Lolly and me. I have also collaborated with KJ Singh (National award winning Sound Engineer) and Ma Faiza (Renowned DJ). It feels so nice to do your own project freely without any interference.  I am really looking forward for the time when people start supporting Independent artists and buy their music and come to see them performing originals! I am super thrilled about my album as it has nine tracks in nine different genres. So hopefully all kind of music lovers could get the type of music they love here. Each songs talks about different issues.  We just released Lingering Wine, which is the first single from Queerism. It is a same sex love song with very vintage and jazzy soul vibes. You can find the video on youtube, we shot the video in old style too so that we could do justice to the song.

You can watch and listen to Lingering Wine on Youtube :

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Jo Krishnakumar is a trans queer researcher interested in all things sex, sexuality, gender and how different groups/people experience these wor(l)ds. Their work is informed by their constant learning/unlearning of the privileges they have due to their social location as a dominant/oppressive caste person (Nair) while also occupying space as a (mentally) disabled trans person of colour. Find them on their unfinished webspace

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