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Hear Bengaluru R&B/Soul Artist Huyana’s Smooth Debut ‘Is It You?’

Singer-songwriter Varshita Ramesh even takes a detour into hip-hop on her first release

Anurag Tagat Apr 16, 2020

Bengaluru artist Huyana aka Varshita Ramesh. Photo: Kritin Adhia

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While working with different iterations for her R&B project Huyana over the last year – starting as a full-fledged band and going into solo singer-songwriter space – Bengaluru artist Varshita Ramesh was also chipping away at a song called “In My Head” for over six months.

The vocalist, who had enlisted Jonathan Reuben, guitarist at R&B band Clown with a Frown, on production duties says they hit many creative roadblocks. During one session in February, they kept the song aside and Reuben played a chord progression that instantly clicked with Ramesh and within 15 minutes, they had a new song called “Is It You?”

Turns out the silken, seductive R&B-informed track is not like anything written for Huyana and which is what convinced Ramesh she needs to work with more people rather than writing songs on her own. “With ‘Is It You?’ I decided I wouldn’t spend more than a month on it and put it out,” she says. Featuring a playfully slow groove that seems to borrow from dancehall and layered pop hooks about finding peace of mind amidst a disintegrating relationship, “Is It You?” also gets into a hip-hop bridge section. Ramesh says Reuben told her she’d be the best fit to rap over the groovy segment, showing her similar work by artist June Marieezy and FKJ. “I was really nervous about it because it’s out of my comfort zone,” Ramesh says.

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But now that it’s all out there, Huyana is marking a change of identity for the singer-songwriter. While “In My Head” is now handed over to Mumbai producer Brij Dalvi (from Three Oscillators) for release in May, there’s a Huyana EP slated for July. To raise funds that go towards feeding families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, “Is It You?” was first released for pre-order with a donation option. Around 40 contributors pushed the amount raised to Rs 38,000, part of which is going to foundations such as Feeding India and charities related to helping the transgender community, victims of the recent Delhi riots and more.

Listen to “Is It You?” on Spotify below and stream on more platforms here.

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