HYDERABAD: Aditi Veena aka Ditty released her debut album Poetry Ceylon under the New Delhi-based label ‘Pagal Haina’ last month. Now she is all excited about a six-city tour that started with Hyderabad.
Are you excited about the tour?
I am super excited because this is the first time I am doing a tour like this where we are actually selling tickets. It’s not a tour where we are being hosted by venues; there are people coming out to listen to my own music.
Which city are you most excited about?
I am most excited about Delhi because that is where my friends and family are and we are trying to do something different there. We are going to be experimenting with a black box theatre where we are going to be in the centre of the theatre and the audience is going to be around us.
Your popular description goes ‘urban ecologist by day and musician by night’...
I think that describes my life. It describes what I do, how I spend my time. I am more than that as a person and I am much more than that as an artist.
Why the name ‘Ditty’?
My family calls me Bitty and my friends call me Ditty because my name is Aditi. I used to play in a band called Ditty and Mark. We were writing songs and we just did a project called the Tehelka music project. I stopped playing with Mark, but Ditty stuck with me.
Your music is poetry and music which is rather experimental in nature...
For me, it’s just what comes to me and what I am trying to say. When I am writing music, I am not trying hard and that might be a bad thing sometimes, but for me it’s a really good thing. I just let it come. Most of my music are just conversations I am having with myself in my bedroom at the end of the day or in the beginning of the day.
How does your day job an urban ecologist influence your work?
I spend a lot of time outdoors and I love it. I feel that we are so disconnected from nature in today’s world. We are so disconnected from the food that we eat. We eat food but we don’t know where it comes from. I want people to start thinking about these things through my music. If my music can start making somebody think, then it’s good enough for me.
When did you start playing?
I started in school. I was 13 or 14 years old. I got into it and there was no looking back. I was in the school choir and I was doing inter-school competitions. I was working really hard as a teenager. I used to wake up in the morning and do my rehearsals. I was quite dedicated and I
used to love it. It was a great solution to my anxiety. I then joined a choir called Artists Unlimited and it was my training. There were many incredible artists who are doing great things in the industry. There was Sanam, Vasundhara V, Pratyush, Annette Philip, Gaurav, Lucia, Chintamani, Advaita, Vikrant Subramaniam who is now an opera singer, and Faith Gonsalves of ‘Music Basti’ - all started out in Artists Unlimited.
How kind is the music industry to new artists like you?
It’s harsh. The music industry is tough because there is no road map, there are no books. You just have to find your own way. If you find somebody who believes in you, a manager along the way, a good community of people who value you and your music, then you are lucky. I am lucky to have ‘Pagal Haina’. But it’s difficult to navigate. When you start out, you just got to go do everything yourself. You got to be your booking agent, manager, band leader, everything.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to everything and anything. I am not so big on the electronic front but I am quite a fan of Alternative Indie or old school stuff.
Where do you see yourself in future?
I want to play more. I want to sing songs about the planet. I want to make more art.