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Exclusive Premiere: Chicago Singer-Songwriter Subhi Breaks Free on ‘Cage’

The Indo-American artist sings about creative blocks, with a video finished during shelter-in-place in the U.S.

Anurag Tagat May 22, 2020

Chicago singer-songwriter Subhi in a still from new music video for 'Cage.' Photo: Lyle Lindale

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Subhi Khanna is as much likely to sing Hindi songs as she is scat vocals. Her latest single “Cage” indicates just how boundless the Chicago-based Indian artist can be, with a Hindi-English chorus and a slight detour to indulge her jazz-pop side over frigid electronic beats.

Growing up in New Delhi and currently splitting her time between Chicago, New York and Mumbai, Subhi was working on Wall Street perhaps another lifetime ago (in the mid-2000s) before she finally pursued music full-time. Scoring performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as well as SXSW in Texas, Subhi says, “Currently, I am working with two producers in L.A. on my upcoming modern pop singles and an English EP. It’s been quite a fun journey so far.”

Along the way, of course, like any creative field, she has had her fair share of writer’s block. She says, “Sometimes I get too involved with my music and need a little breathing room to step away and look at it with a fresh mind. I have a few hacks that I go to during such times – taking a short trip, even just a weekend trip to a place close-by with a change in the scene helps me a lot!” Even now, during a global pandemic, the singer says it’s been rough to keep it together psychologically despite being in New York with family.

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Her song “Cage” – produced by Los Angeles-based Zach Burke – offers a glimpse of what it’s like to face a creative block but emerge out of it triumphant. The accompanying video — directed by New York filmmaker-writer Pulkit Datta — features interpretive dance by actors as well as Subhi singing inside a cage of sorts.

Considering there are no blocks at the moment for Subhi as a songwriter, her plan is to release one song each month. She adds, “I have recorded a new song at home which will be releasing in June. This is the first time I will be shooting my music video at home using a green screen. This pandemic is forcing me to think outside the box, to get out of my comfort zone and come up with new ways to reinvent what I did earlier.”

Watch the video for “Cage” below. 

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