Akrti is a singer – music producer based out of Bangalore. She has been making (sound) waves recently with her music that led her to a nomination and performance set at the recent edition of Toto Music Awards hosted by the Toto Funds The Arts organisation. She is also a visual artist. We caught up with her recently to talk about her music, influences and journey so far.
From an early age, Akrti was exposed to myriad of musical styles; learning Carnatic music to discovering her parents collection of pop classics including Tracy Chapman, The Beatles, Abba and so on. All this with a dash of Bollywood and western music featured on cable TV set the pace for her musical influences to be diversified over the years.
Getting into music production & Live
Keen on learning how to record and manipulate sounds, Akrti came across Acoustica Mixcraft where she figured how to chop, duplicate, layer sounds and more of such techniques that bridged her music making process. At this point she realized the potential of a DAW in help her realize ideas in ways she hadn’t considered before.
She came across Ableton Live around 3 to 4 years ago, while experimenting with different DAWs for recording and sound design. She’s been using Live to produce music ever since, particularly for the interface & the accessibility it offers in favour of developing musical ideas. “I also love the session view, where you can just jam out and not worry about arrangement immediately. Itʼs relatively easy and fun on Ableton to create things on the fly, and put ideas down quickly.”
Gear & Setup
Armed with her microphone & MIDI controllers running through Ableton Live, Akrti manages to tackle both music production as well as performance requirements. She uses an Akai APC-40
to manipulate her voice, trigger clips & control the mix; a Launchkey 25 controller to work-out her synth and basslines.
Toto Music Awards – 2019
Akrti made it to final nominations of the Toto Music Awards 2019 hosted by Toto Funds The Arts. Here, she performed alongside other finalists – noted singer-songwriter Dhruv Vishwanath & Electronic artist Plastic Parvati to an enthusiastic response. “I feel very fortunate to have been picked for the Toto Music Awards, among such experienced artists. It was a wonderful platform to reach out to so many people with my music,” she adds.
Akrti has been involved with making music for ad work, short film scoring and dance theater.
Recently she released a downtempo song called ‘Kneeʼ featuring lush long drawn vocal layers that descend into a smooth ambient groove as the song progresses. For the most part, her vocal layers work less in a traditional sense – as a lead melodic element, rather presents ambiguity by the way just fuses into the background forming a seamless wave of harmonies. For this track she collaborated with Bangalore based Jeevan Antony who played guitar. Fascinated by the idea of analogue processing through Jeevan’s guitar pedals, they ran everything into Ableton Live and recorded the session in one shot. Akrti took the recording home and worked out the production maintaining a minimalistic groove. The vocal layers, almost like a long musical wail, is an interpretation of Jeevan’s pain from a knee injury he had around the time, Akrti jokingly adds.
Besides making music, Akrti dabbles in obscure visual artworks that speak a different kind of language. Going through them, you can come across self-portraits that have a bizarre undertone which she uses to mirror her thoughts, emotions and ideas. She actively shares her work online via her Instagram handle.
“[This is] an expression of how silly I feel inside. I also like the colour and texture of my tongue on my face and the patterns of the clay drying on my face.”
You can see more of Akrti’s visual work on here instagram page – https://www.instagram.com/_akrti_/
Working as a Vocal Instructor
Akrtii has been singing since as long as she can remember. Her recent works showcase interesting modulations and layering. Her experience honing the craft and making it her own has benefited aspiring singers, working as a vocal instructor She feels grateful for this opportunity to teach as it also helps her unlearn and relearn certain aspects of her own musicality. “Voice is an intimate tool to connect with oneself. And it gives me great joy to help people discover their voice,” she adds.
Akrti has been working on her debut EP for about an year now. “Itʼs been a process of finding my sonic identity as an artist, and also simultaneously translating it visually, and finding my grounding in all the different disciplines I can express myself through.” she adds. She’s currently looking for a cinematographer/art director to help her with the technicalities of post production, set-design and cinematography. Although she’s working through the challenges in the way of integrating these ideas into a single body of work, she plays her material live these days to understand what works with the audience. We eagerly look forward to this release and wish Akrti the best in her sonic and visual endeavours through this year and beyond.
You can follow Akrti’s work on her artist pages:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/akrtii/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/akrti-itrka