Music Reviews

The Heartwarming Magic Of “I Am Who I Am”

A heartwarming message of unity and positivity, indie band Friend of Linger’s newest song “I Am Who I Am” is accompanied by an equally beautiful music video, featuring individuals from all over India.

The band that entered the musical scene in 2013 with “Head Held High” — a moving song dedicated to the LGBTQ+ Community — has now stepped out of its comfort zone by experimenting with a-capella.

The result is touching: “I Am Who I Am” manages to make listeners feel loved, accepted and proud of who they are.

Speaking of the idea for the song, writer Sharif Rangnekar explains, “I had written a poem with the idea of making a song out of it. This was  back in 2015. What was in my mind was the ‘I’ that I am (a gay person) and just like me, all individuals should be counted in with what makes society and what makes the ‘we’. There should be no ‘others’ and no one should ‘other’ someone. From today’s stand-point, the emphasis is on celebrating each person’s sense of the self. It is about gender, colour and race, sexuality, disabilities, age and so on! This is why we try to underline the fact that I Am, You Are, So Why Is There A Conflict. This is our primary message which revolves around individuality and the sense of self! Just to clarify, the idea of the I, isn’t about consumerism and material ownership.”

The music video, up on YouTube, was released on the 14th of September, and features 31 people from different parts of the country, exuding radiance and joy.

The cast includes, but is not limited to, filmmaker and writer Tanuja Chandra, former tennis star Somdev Devvarman, iconic drag artist Betta Naan Stop, and Shanthi, muralist and one of India’s first trans RJs.

Singing along to lyrics like “I never thought of what I was, was ever amiss,” they liven up the track even more.

Sharif muses, “As far as the video goes, I felt it was time to pull this song out and share it with everyone, given how many people are going through a terribly rough period at this point — the pandemic being one main reason and politics being the other. This is what led me to reach out to these various people to let them speak for who they are, let them share themselves in their zone of comfort and be in the spirit that gives them great joy. Personally, even if it sounds like an unreal dream, I love to see love, feel the spirit of togetherness, the uninhibited self – and I think this is largely what everyone has done to make this video what it is.”

“I Am Who I Am” is out now on all streaming platforms globally, released through CD Baby —  arguably one of the most effective digital distributors in the world.

The message of love and pride in one’s identity is undoubtedly becoming more and more necessary, as discrimination and hatred seems to be on the rise worldwide. Amidst all of this, “I Am Who I Am” is a glimmer of hope, one of the many ideas that will lead us to the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Saachi Gupta is an LGBTQ+ activist, animal lover and the author of 'With Love, or Something Like That.' She is a strong believer in equality amongst mankind.
Saachi Gupta

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