Exclusive Premiere: GrapeGuitarBox Weaves A Queer Love Story In ‘Wait For You’ Video
The Bengaluru/London-based singer-songwriter is releasing material off their debut EP ‘Out’ on a track by track basis
When Bengaluru singer-songwriter Teenasai Balamu aka GrapeGuitarBox was first exploring queer music culture, the non-binary, gay artist says it was difficult to get visibility. Now with their debut music video for the song “Wait For You” – off the EP Out – they wanted to make sure it was “LGBTQ-centric.”
Balamu says, “When I was 16, I would feel like we’re lacking in that facilitation and visibility with respect to people, especially people from India and who were not diaspora. I really enjoy content with a lot of representation.” In the last few years, of course, that’s changed and GrapeGuitarBox too has grown out of their identity as a YouTube-friendly artist known for covers to becoming a full-fledged indie singer-songwriter.
While the song “Wait For You” was released in July, all the songs off Out are ready for release – recorded at Bengaluru’s Third Eye Studios and mixed and mastered by veteran studio and live sound engineer Miti Adhikari. In the meantime, with help from a crowdfunding campaign which raised over Rs 3 lakh earlier this year, Balamu is making sure each song gets its due attention. The first track “28” was out in April, followed by “Run,” which was released with an animated music video in May, but with “Wait For You,” the artist wrote an entire script and teamed up with director Ashish Arora (from Bengaluru-based production house Tasveerien) to tell a simple but important story about two people in love, incorporating interpretive dance.
Dancers Henna Raisinghani and Sakshi Saklecha play characters named Aarifah and Aditi who are close but nearly come apart due to family pressures, although their feelings prevail at the end of it. Balamu says, “I wanted to make a very normal, generic storyline, but because that’s what is authentic.” Working with the dancers, Balamu says that director Arora had to “workshop with them a little bit” to ensure the essence the story – written by Balamu – was adapted well.
With three tracks out, there’s three more to go, all set for release on a monthly basis even as Balamu juggles their postgraduate course in music. Even though there’s a sense of urgency to put all the songs out, Balamu says better sense prevails. “It’s been a very exciting process. We’re working on two more videos now.”
Watch the video for “Wait For You” below.