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Exclusive Premiere: New Delhi Artist Swati Bhatt Preaches Courage on ‘Dare’

Blending jazz and pop with a formidable band, the video encourages breaking free from self-doubt

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Anurag Tagat Mar 06, 2020

New Delhi singer-songwriter Swati Bhatt in a still from her new music video 'Dare.'

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In her childhood, singer-songwriter Swati Bhatt developed a habit of hiding her fears and putting on a brave front. Her own biggest critic, the New Delhi artist says writing a song like “Dare” allowed her to look past self-doubt.

Bhatt’s second release off her upcoming debut EP, “Dare” kicks off with cheery jazz-pop with scat vocals to go with the groove, but contains an important discussion on finding your feet. She says, “I first came up with the guitar riff, which I sang and looped, and then placed the piano. I love combining elements of jazz, a cappella singing, contemporary pop and folk, it comes naturally to me.” Written last year, “Dare” also features drummer Suyash Gabriel, guitarist Divij Kapoor, pianist Abhin Iype and bassist Suyash Agrawal. Bhatt says the band tracked the entire EP within four days in the studio with producer Anindo Bose. “They all showed me an aspect of myself and brought in their own beautiful elements to the arrangement and it was so surreal how everything just flowed,” she adds.

In the video for “Dare” – filmed by Steve Peter and based upon a concept by art designer Kanika Thukral  – Bhatt is seen performing with the band and in visually curious setups of trying to fit in. In one frame, she’s got flowers taped to her cheeks and in another, Bhatt is seen erasing the boundaries of a cube to step out. Although not entirely difficult to shoot, Bhatt says it was “different” to film in New Delhi’s cold winter nights wearing summer clothes. “All the solo frames were shot in one room and creating each of these frames required a few hours, some bluetac and a lot of hard work for setting up. Once the set up’s done, shooting each sequence took only a few minutes.”

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With more songs off the EP coming up, Bhatt will also head out on tour for shows and workshops on a cappella, songwriting and contemporary harmony. She adds, “I’m also coming up with my solo act with live looping and a few duo acts featuring more original music.”

Watch the video for “Dare” below. 

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