"There is a deep sense of home that resonates with me when I’m listening to any folk music, and nothing can replace that."
Continuing our conversations with some of our patrons who always inspire us - here's a recent conversation was with the very amazing Vidya Vox. We absolutely love her fresh take on traditional music with collaborations and modern sound and she's just turned entrepreneur too recently!
You’ve just launched a fashion brand- TLVI, tell us more about it - has it been harder to do this during the pandemic and what has the response been?
Vidya: I’ve always loved fashion - especially athleisure. It’s been a dream of mine to start a fashion brand, and thought I’d give it a shot during quarantine. TLVI stands for “Thalaivi,” which means female leader in Tamil. I wanted a multi-faceted brand that has fuss free athleisure for women where we can take pieces from casual to sporty to dressy all at once. I co-founded it with my friend Neel, who has experience in the field. It’s been a lot of hard work and fun! We hand dye and make a lot of the pieces ourselves. We’ve had a lot of challenges but I’ve learned so much and the response has been so supportive!
Vidya Vox with our handpainted Pattachitra Seeds of Love wood clutch
You work on so many different collaborations - what have been your challenges while working with other musicians on collaborations and what have been the high points?
Vidya: I love collaborations. Each person brings a unique skill set to the table and it always enhances the song. I think it can get challenging when everyone doesn’t have the same end goal or doesn’t come in with mutual respect. It’s important to collaborate with people who are passionate about their craft, bring a unique perspective to the music and also is able to work through any snags or challenges.
We work with art day in and out, I would love to know if you find yourself making intersections between art and music? How does art motivate you?
Vidya: Art and music definitely go hand and hand. I get inspired by art a lot, especially when thinking of concepts for videos or a vibe for a song. I love art that pushes boundaries on our pre-conceived notions, especially the works by many contemporary artists like Salman Toor. So many different types of art bring my songs to life - whether it’s album art or fashion or video!
Any favourite folk/traditional art style and why? Why do you think it’s important to preserve these traditional and folk art styles?
Vidya: I love folk styles - whether it be music, dance or clothing. It is essential that these styles are preserved because they influence so much of our lives today. Those art styles are so rare these days. There is a deep sense of home that resonates with me when I’m listening to any folk music, and nothing can replace that. One of my goals is to make the flavors and styles more accessible while preserving the authenticity of the folk cultures in music.
Tell us about your favourites (and why they are your favourites)
Your favorite female artist/artists (referring to painters here)
Vidya: YG Srimathi has been one of my favorites, Hate Copy, and Kamini Avril
Your favorite female musician
Your favourite female writer/author
Vidya: Toni Morrison
Women who inspire you
Vidya: I find that I can learn something from all the females in my life, but definitely my mother and grandma are the top.
If you had one wish, what would you wish could change for women?
Vidya: My biggest wish for women is to be seen equal to their male counterparts. Once we are truly treated like contemporaries, so many of the challenges that women face today will be closer to being solved.