Harishta Kalee interview with Indian online magazine, currentMoodmag

On The Rise: Kaleekarma

Jan 8, 2019 @ 17:48

currentMood interviews Harshita Kalee.

Harishta Kalee interview with Indian online magazine, currentMoodmag

Profile

Name: Harshita Kalee

Occupation: DJ and electronic music composer at Kaleekarma

Soundcloud: Kaleekarma

Instagram: @kaleekarma

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currentMood: So how did you get into music? Was it something you always wanted to do while growing up?

Harshita Kalee: I loved music and it was my refuge, but I never thought that I’d make a career out of it. In my hometown, Patna, one only gets to hear Bollywood music and it’s only when I moved to Mumbai and started attending gigs that I realised that there’s a whole new world of music out there. I would play at my friends parties and this one time, someone noticed me and asked me to play at a gig in Mumbai. That’s how the ball got rolling. 

 

currentMood: Have you had any training?

Harshita Kalee: No. I’m self-taught, but I’ve recently started taking violin lessons.

 

currentMood: When you gave up your job to pursue music, what was the reaction back home? 

Harshita Kalee: In Patna, wearing sleeveless t-shirts would also be frowned up. Needless to say, when I started modelling, it ruffled a few feathers. I’d gone from engineering to modelling to music – this wasn’t well received and it was heartbreaking. For the first year and a half, I didn’t know how to salvage the situation and just focussed on my work. I was all over the place, a family rift, a break up and career uncertainty, but music healed me. Post a trip to Vrindavan, I gained clarity on what I was to do in life [music], and when my parents asked me, “What are you doing in life?” I remember smiling and feeling at peace with my choices. Somehow, they could read through my simple reaction and that’s when they understood my calling.

Soundcloud playlist: currentMood x Kaleekarma

currentMood: How easy/hard was it to break through as an artist in India? 

Harshita Kalee: I knew that I had to give it everything I’ve got..I didn’t come from a musical background, knew very little about the industry and back then female artists weren’t taken as seriously as they are now. 

After playing a few gigs, I decided that I needed to be booked for the right reasons and wasn’t going to compromise on what I put out. Once I made this shift, though I was happy about what I was playing, I wasn’t getting as many gigs as I used to. I was more focussed on music rather than marketing. There was a time when I was getting one gig every two-three months and this affected me mentally and financially. 

I gathered the strength to go on and channelised my energy in practising and putting out as many mixes as I could. It was a rough patch but in the end my hard work paid off. I started uploading my work online and started getting recognised. I’m still learning the ropes and have decided to sharpen my skills every time there’s a lull. When you work honestly, something good always comes along.

 

currentMood: Which festivals in India would you love to perform in?

Harshita Kalee: Magnetic Fields, Ziro Festival and Echoes of Earth. 

currentMood: What inspires you?

Harshita Kalee: Usually my personal life experiences, the mundane and anything that moves me.

 

currentMood: Musical inspirations?

Harshita Kalee: So many! But on the top of my head I’d say, Polo & Pan, Ben UFO, Jeff Mills, Aurora Hala and Sebastian Mullaert. 

 

currentMood:What mixes (of your own) are you currently listening to?

Harshita Kalee: Boxout.fm , Rambalkoshe and Ethereal Kollektiv .

 

currentMood: So what’s in the pipeline?

Harshita Kalee: Some fun stuff, but don’t want to talk about it till it’s finalised.

 

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Photographed by: Vijit Gupta – @vijitgupta

Stylist: Bodements – @bodements_

Text: currentMood

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Last modified: January 9, 2019