Born into a Punjabi immigrant family in the UK, Sukhmani's personal story is reflected in her complex artistic style. Born with an undeniable rhythm, she is one of the first female tabla players to emerge from the U.K. and has toured and recorded as a percussionist for years, playing on stage at the 2019 Grammy Awards.
Listeners can't help but feel the heartbeat of her music before realizing it is pulsing through their bodies. Bringing deep beauty, passion, and artistry to her playing, Sukhmani's transition to singing and songwriting connects with and empowers her audience to be fully and unapologetically themselves.
Opening us up to the embrace of her desire and warmth, Sukhmani has us delving into an ethereal atmosphere that takes over our very being in her latest single, "Divination." Lush acoustic guitar strums mesh with the tantalizing hues that Sukhmani's mesmerizing croons bring forth. Lost in a pacifying sea of comfort as we navigate through her emotion, we hear the textured layers vibrate within the quintessence of the prolific artist herself.
Immersing us in a mystical offering of sonic magic, "Divination" explores genres far and wide. The intimate R&B feel is met with a cultured devotion for creating a unique foundation upon which her vocalization lies. The song's further depth can be heard through the myriad of abstract lyrics that caress our soul. Highlighting the intrinsic courage and capacity to endure hardship that propels us forward despite our struggles, Sukhmani opens up these topics for discussion, as what you hear is a flourishing sense of maturity in her songwriting.
Edging us to face vulnerable areas of our soul, we admire the reflection that is seamlessly presented to us when taking in "Divination." Sukhmani brings vivid life to the colorful harmonies reflected in the soundscape before us. Leading with enough mystery to keep us on her hook, we can't wait to hear what she has in store for her fan base next.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Sukhmani, and congratulations on releasing your otherworldly single, "Divination." With such a beautiful approach to a deep topic, what struck up your inspiration when creating this song?
Hi! Thank you so much for having me and for your kind words about "Divinaton!" My friend, Ajeet, and I wrote this song together during a time where we were both at a point of transition in our lives. We have one of those friendships where we encourage each other to do the thing that feels right, even if no one else would understand, and it might feel terrifying - that encouragement is where this song came from. We also referenced the tarot card, 'Strength,' which depicts a woman gently opening up a lion's mouth without fear or aggression. The card represents inner strength, quiet determination, and the ability to endure, which are all elements that served as inspiration for the song.
How do you incorporate your background in tabla with your songwriting and singing? Do you find this goes hand in hand while venturing this side of your artistry?
I think my background in tabla permeates my songwriting in a subtle way that I didn't recognize until someone else pointed it out! I was told I write quite rhythmically in the way my lyrics and melodies relate to the time signature or groove. My producer also told me I write riffs in obscure time signatures, which I can say is something that is not intentional! I can only attest to learning tabla and having 'taals' or time-cycles ingrained into my being! I also sometimes write with nothing but a groove in mind because I have a stronger relationship to rhythm than I do with chord progressions!
What do you hope that your audience can take away from "Divination?" What would you like them to learn about you after tuning in to this masterpiece?
I hope that anyone listening to the song feels more empowered and encouraged to step into the unknown and be curious about what can be found there. I'm someone who tends to doubt myself a lot, and I've found it pretty terrifying to step out of my comfort zone throughout my life for so many reasons! The song Divination has become a sweet reminder for me to trust my intuition and be a little braver, and I hope it can become the same for anyone else who needs it.
What makes up your ideal creative setting? Was this the atmosphere you were in when creating "Divination?"
Such a fun question! I think it depends on the mood of what's being created. I live in an apartment building in a city, so there's always a bit of a buzz around. There is a lot of humanness happening around me at all times. I find comfort in having people around, and the human experience inspires me to get creative. The atmosphere when we made divination was the total opposite of that actually - it was created in a little studio on top of a hill, surrounded by trees and lots of natural beauty. This particular studio is a sanctuary, away from everything, and you sometimes feel like you've stepped into a different realm when you go there! This studio was the ideal space for Divination to come to life because it holds such a sacred and mystical vibe. The thing that ties these two different spaces together is coziness - different things get created in different spaces, but I think I feel the most creative when I feel cozy, safe, and relaxed.
What's next for you?
I am in the process of releasing my debut EP as a solo artist, which has been a beautiful, wild ride so far! My second single comes out on the 19th of November, and the EP drops in February! After that, I'm hoping to complete a tour I was meant to play in as a percussionist that was canceled in 2020, and then hopefully plan some shows of my own!