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Keeping jazz alive

Posted May 14th, 2019, 09:27 AM IST

Keeping jazz alive

It took some time for people to warm up to her music, but after a while, musician Pranati Khanna’s jazz easily made its way into everyone’s hearts at her recent performance in the city. Being one of the only few jazz artists in the city, she is trying hard to not let the musical genre fade away.

“My parents brought me up in an environment with all kinds of music, including jazz and the blues. In 2016, I did a show with a group of people including piano artist Denis Powell. We practiced together and he taught me the scales of jazz. That’s when I fell in love with this genre of music,” says Pranati, who adds, “Earlier I used to listen to songs, but now I am singing them.”

The 27-year-old artist, who is born and brought up in Hyderabad also has a band called Spell Check and is doing everything she can to keep jazz alive among the city’s music-lovers.

Excited about her upcoming three original tracks, Pranati says, “One thing I like about Hyderabadis is that they are open to all kinds of music. Everyone knows this genre. The first jazz night we had, we marketed it well. People loved the music and those who knew the songs loved it even more.”

However, she does admit that jazz is under threat, thanks to ‘competition’ from its popular siblings — EDM and Bollywood. “There is no growing market for jazz here. There is a set number of people who love the genre and who will be patrons, but it’s definitely no match to electronic music,” she says.

Interestingly, though Pranati started off as a rock music artist, it was her decision to eventually shift to jazz and make it her permanent stop. But that’s not all that she does.

Pranati is also a well known painter and has displayed her work in exhibitions in the past. One of her well known art collections titled Naked revolves around the issue of mental health. Coming back to her love for jazz, Pranati also has a reality check for those who plan to make a career out of this musical genre.

“It’s not a commercially viable option although my immediate friends, most of whom love techno and hip-hop would encourage me because it was ‘cool’. Anything that is not popular is cool for the world but they wouldn’t understand jazz and hence wouldn’t come to my shows,” she says and adds a note of caution, “I would always recommend young musicians to keep this as a passion or alternate career. This should not be the primary source of income.”