29 NOVEMBER 2019 (TORONTO, ON) - Six-time Grammy® Award-nominated sitarist, composer and producer Anoushka Shankar announces the release of two new singles “Bright Eyes” and ‘”In This Mouth”, featuring singer-songwriter Alev Lenz. Anoushka also shares the exquisite new music video for “Bright Eyes”, out November 29 on Mercury KX/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. She will then close the year with sold-out performances at London’s Southbank Centre on December 3-5 as part of the Purcell Sessions series.
WATCH THE “BRIGHT EYES” VIDEO HERE
This new music marks a different direction for Anoushka, a shift in intimacy and content, which comes at a pivotal point in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX/Universal Music Canada. Hailed by the Guardian as a “virtuoso sitar player”, Anoushka truly pushes the boundaries of how the sitar is heard and perceived. Featuring striking vocals from German-Turkish singer-songwriter, composer and producer Alev Lenz, “Bright Eyes” is a harrowing recollection of heartbreak and loss, whilst “In This Mouth” is a moving meditation on desire.
Speaking of the tracks, Anoushka says: “‘Bright Eyes’ was initially written a couple of years ago at a very raw and painful time in my life. Musically, I love how on one level it’s a straightforward love song, but the instrumentation belies the form and involves sitar and ghatam along with piano and upright bass.
It has been incredibly nurturing getting to work with Alev. This was a truly ego-free collaboration involving friendship, shared life experiences, and creative sessions squeezed in between school runs over many cups of tea. Alev is a gorgeous singer with an unusual voice, plus she’s a very encouraging co-writer and co-producer.
‘In This Mouth’ is a song very close to my heart. It’s a love letter, a poem, a beckoning, a prayer. In the middle of the song Alev and I move away from her lead vocal rhythm and go into a Vedic chant-style melodic refrain, turning earthy desire into something exalted and holy.”
A singular figure in the progressive world music scene, Anoushka’s dynamic and spiritual musicality has garnered several prestigious accolades, including six Grammy® Award nominations, recognition as the youngest – and first female – recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, and a Songlines Best Artist Award.
Deeply rooted in Indian music traditions, from the age of nine Anoushka studied exclusively under her father and guru, the late Ravi Shankar, and made her professional debut as a professional sitarist at the age of 13. By the age of 20, she had made three solo recordings and received her first Grammy® nomination, becoming the first Indian woman to be nominated for a Grammy® award, and the youngest ever nominee in the World Music category.
In 2005, Anoushka released her self-produced breakthrough album Rise, which earned her a second Grammy® nomination. Following this nomination, Anoushka became the first Indian artist to perform at the Grammy® Awards. Besides performing as a solo sitarist, Anoushka’s compositional work has led to cross-cultural collaborations with artists such as Sting, M.I.A, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Karsh Kale, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Joshua Bell, demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across all musical genres.
2020 will see Anoushka touring her new music, alongside special gala performances to commemorate the centenary of Ravi Shankar’s birth.
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