We had the good fortune of connecting with Kamini Natarajan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kamini, what do you want your legacy to be?
I want to be remembered for demystifying Ragas and use of microtones in Indian Classical Music. I would like to be remembered for creating music that connects, inspires and engages with listeners.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a World music and Kirtan singer. All forms of art and creative pursuit requires sincere practice and years of it. I started learning music from a very young age. I am very proud of the fact that I kept up with learning and exploring music through many life changes- work, migrating to a new country, marriage, child etc. Music and art forms are often seen a “hobby.” It takes courage, patience and persistence to change our own perception of this first and foremost. My struggles and challenges have mostly been around this as well. I struggled asking for a fair fees for my professional music and I know lot of other musicians have this challenge as well. Added to this for me is the fact that I perform and sing in a genre that is extremely niche in this country. So first pain point is to find gigs and venues that are open to my music and then to find the ones that pay.
Having said that this is as much as an internal challenge as it is external. I had to “talk” to myself and convince myself that my music deserves a fee.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many fun, exciting, relaxing places around ! I would say my itinerary would depend on my friend – I absolutely love visiting museums, Getty Villa, driving along PCH for splendid ocean views, picnic by the beach etc. I would also definitely visit nearby national parks – Joshua Tree, Sequoia etc! I would also take them on a culinary tour- LA has so much variety of cuisines from Thai, Indian, Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean etc Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize people of this community- for opening up their hearts and for being so encouraging, supportive to music that comes from a land thousands of miles away! It is heartwarming to see people appreciating traditional music of India and for being open to listening, learning and immersing themselves in it.