Kamakshi Khanna is a Delhi-based singer/songwriter whose music draws inspiration from diverse influences ranging from RnB and Soul to Pop and Indie Folk. She gained recognition with the release of her EP, Much Mellow in 2014, and her full-length album, Cakewalk in 2017. Her recent Hindi single Qareeb, (Released under Artist Originals) has propelled her career forward with over 1.7M views on YouTube and over 800K+ audio streams across platforms. The single has also seen significant success in its social media and press campaigns. She has recently released “Duur” and that’s what we are reviewing here.
With “Duur”, Kamakshi Khanna has captured the struggles of a surface level existence. The song personifies the feeling of detachment from the world both inside and out. On “Duur”, you can easily hear Kamakshi Khanna searching for emotional depth and vulnerability. A long distance collaboration with Mumbai based producer and composer, Kabeer Kathpalia a.k.a OAFF, the song brings diverse perspectives to collide with Urdu poet & singer-songwriter, Sameer Rahat on lyrics and Karun Kannampilly from the indie/alternative rock band, Koniac Net on Drums.
“Duur” opens up a new chapter of Kamakshi’s repertoire where she explores more vulnerability in her music. The ear-worm like quality of the melody reminiscent of 90s indie pop music, the old world charm of the lyrics and the futuristic and contemporary soundscape make for an eclectic fusion of artistic sensibilities. With this project, Kamakshi has pushed the boundaries and explored her spirit of experimentation as an artist.
Kamakshi Khanna’s music is always imbued with its own special atmosphere, and “Duur” is an ideal vehicle for her individual brand of vocal expressionism, whereby much emotion can be disguised within an almost casual vocal flourish. Her expertise can occasionally make her seem slightly detached from that emotion – that is, until you listen closely to the nuances she obtains from her delivery. Even more so than its predecessor, “Duur” is a series of teasingly enigmatic meditations leaving a distinct feeling that for all of Kamakshi Khanna’s emotional candour, there’s a persistent but attractive unknowability. And that gives an added depth to her increasingly masterful songwriting. Really good stuff.