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Hear Arunaja’s Prog and Alt Rock Side Come Alive on New Song ‘For Who I Am’

The Mumbai/Kerala artist taps producer-guitarist Keshav Dhar from Skyharbor for her song about acceptance

Anurag Tagat Apr 30, 2022

Mumbai-based artist Arunaja. Photo: Azhar

Adapting a changing sonic footprint when it comes to the pop music space, Mumbai artist Arunaja’s latest single “For Who I Am” sees her take on a powerful prog and alt-rock avatar, with assistance from Skyharbor’s guitarist-producer Keshav Dhar.

For the initial part of its nearly four-minute duration, Arunaja introspects over appropriately somber piano arrangements that she’s written and composed. The track builds gradually into breathy rock arrangements, not too far removed from the modern rock space, with Arunaja layering it with operatic vocal melodies. In its final minute, Dhar and Arunaja launch into a pop-meets-prog-and-alt-rock crescendo, reminiscent of artists like Evanescence.

Arunaja says in a statement, “The song talks about acceptance in a relationship, regardless of its type. Often, people tend to forget that even in relationships there needs to be space for self-expression and evolution.” In her plea for both partners to open up to each other and “break the walls and build trust in a relationship,” “For Who I Am” is equal parts openhearted as it is resolute. She adds in her statement, “It’s scary to be vulnerable and completely naked, with all one’s heart, to let someone in, because of the fear of not being accepted or understood.”

In the works for about nine months, “For Who I Am” follows Arunaja’s sprawling single “Game,” which released in August 2021. While “Game” – co-composed by Finnish artist Ossi Jauhiainen – focused on ideas of belief and prayer, “For Who I Am” is driven by the angst of a relationship. “The song is about being a real and flawed human. No lies, deceit, or excuses; just plain soul-baring and letting someone in, showing them who one truly is, hoping all the while that they won’t be fazed and leave your side.”

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Listen to “For Who I Am” below. Stream on Spotify, JioSaavn and Apple Music.

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