Dazed Digital

Dubai / العربية

Guest Editor: Diya Ajit

November 15, 2011

The award-winning visual artist working in Dubai's underground scene hosts a column of reviews and inspirations. This week musician Gayathri and her Champion of Broken Hearts EP

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Editor by Diya Ajit

I'm sitting amidst the chaos of half-eaten sandwiches, cables and paper that litter the surface of a ping-pong table in the front room of the Traffic Gallery. Gayathri's haunting voice fills the space, rudely interrupted by feedback from her mic as she rehearses. Just 3 hours later almost 200 people will cram themselves into the room for the launch of "Champion of Broken Hearts". 

Working with producer Reiner Erlings, the pair took their time to make sure they did the song justice in the studio. "It can be difficult to add anything without fearing it would distract from the raw honesty of her music when performed acoustically," says Erlings.

A week earlier, between slurps of a McDonalds vanilla softy, Gayathri murmured to me that she's ready to take on the world. And while she wouldn't turn down a contract with Cherrytree (US) or XL (London) she muses, "Artists today don't want to give up creative and financial control to record companies. It's a dilemma: finding the right balance." 

Gayathri's performance at Traffic is spine-tingling. If everyone weren't already standing she'd have had a standing ovation. The EP, packaged in a hand-made case by artist Vikram Divecha, sells out. The accompanying video is a sleek piece by Bombay-based director Mrinal B that will soon debut on MTV and VH1. In it, Gayathri leads a gaggle of suspenders-clad men in an elegant dance sequence with a distinct 1950s flair.

"Artists put so much of themselves into what they do. But you get all of it and more back from your audience," Gayathri says. Her fans span near and far: New York based Tom Coyne, (the engineer behind Adele's "21") not only mastered "Champion of Broken Hearts" but also claims he could listen to it all day. Rolling Stone Magazine called it a: "beautifully crafted tale of love and loss." And music webzine DiS is keenly interested. "I love sharing the experience of my music with a crowd," Gayathri says in her mesmerising voice, "When people listen to you they feel they know you. And through music they feel you know them."

Champion of Broken Hearts is available at soon on iTunes and physical via all major stores

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