Indian Fusion Artist with Chennai roots bags second place in Berklee songwriting competition

Published - June 23, 2023 08:46 pm IST - CHENNAI

“Women are often put into boxes, either strong, nurturing, smart, beautiful, fierce or kind. But in reality, we are all of these things depending on the situation and how we want to be,” says Varsha Krishnamoorthy, singer, songwriter and Indian fusion artist whose song bagged her a second place in the “Songs For Social Change” songwriting competition held by Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

The song Woman that Ms. Krishnamoorthy, 21, wrote for this competition explores the numerous facets and attributes of womanhood through the lens of Goddess Durga and the song’s lines are in essence a translation of the Goddess’ various names. “Durgamaa, while being one of the powerful, fierce and beautiful female Goddesses, is also an epitome of all these things, all of her different forms, represents the aspects of womanhood. Each of the different lines in the verse are a translation of one of her names, like for instance, I’m the origin of universe and time, I’m a source of energy and union of everything,” she says.

While her parents are from Chennai, Ms. Krishnamoorthy, who was born in Ohio and has travelled across the world, says as an Indian western fusion artist and a songwriter, this was not only a way to express herself but also one to reconnect with the Indian culture.

“I lost touch with my roots and where my parents are from and my heritage. As a songwriter, I found that it was a rewarding experience to reconnect through the music. I wanted to write a song that was a representative of who I’m. In the competition, I was the only South Asian Award winner which felt important owing to the representation that was happening with this song,” she adds.

Apart from getting a cash prize of $1,375, Ms. Krishnamoorthy performed her song live in a concert held at Berklee two months ago.

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