Vandana has returned with a brand new video, “AHSA [Raak Baaki],” premiering exclusively with PopMatters. This is the first release from her upcoming EP, Contra, where she puts a modern twist on inspirational Pakistani and Indian classics from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The visual was shot in Jordan, where Vandana and her crew were actually arrested while filming due to local officials fearing the group was practicing witchcraft at a ruin in Petra.
The original version of “Raak Baaki” is a popular disco love song set on a ship sung by play-back singer, Asha Bhonsle. She is officially the most recorded artist in the history of music worldwide,and had a versatile voice that was called on to sing songs with a western flair. Vandana’s version is an ode to self-love, female potency, and the strength which we build through struggle and our choices, her brain subverting the lyrics completely to her advantage.
Vandana on creating her upcoming EP, “The whole process has been an inquiry, sonically and socio contextually – with the awareness of a much bigger and complex picture at hand which is hard to articulate without going off on a tangential tale of sexism in the Bollywood industry. I am a lucky Indian person to have had the opportunity to express my craft and beliefs and hope that in some way can contribute positively towards the shifting gender typecasts, build cultural bridges and create space for dialogue and change.”