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Hear Chennai R&B Singer-Songwriter Nitika Kurian’s Breakfree Debut ‘Phoenix’

The song features Chennai producer Michael Timothy and guitarist Elvis Gabriel

Anurag Tagat Aug 23, 2019

Chennai-based R&B artist Nitika Kurian. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Even at 19 years old, Chennai-based singer-songwriter Nitika Kurian knows that radio-friendly relationship songs are a little too obsessed with heartbreak. She says, “I was sick of hearing all these breakup songs. I was healing from a past relationship and I thought, ‘It should be liberating.’”

Her debut single “Phoenix,” which released today, is certainly a breath of fresh air. Produced by recording engineer Michael Timothy (bassist at Tamil rock band Madras Mail, who adds an exceptional groove) and featuring silken guitar lines from Elvis Gabriel, Kurian gives thanks to her liberator and even cuts into a surprisingly astute rap bridge section.

Currently pursuing a degree in architecture in Chennai, Kurian has been performing in the city for about a year now. One of her first performances was alongside Chennai pop artist Stevie and she says she feels encouraged by the reception he’s received. “It’s honestly a blessing finding people on the same wavelength as you. It makes you feel normal,” she says.

A pianist since the age of 6 and a songwriter since she was 11 (“I know it’s hard to believe,” she notes,) Kurian wrote “Phoenix” a year ago on her guitar. She’s performed the song at her shows but realizes that this is the first of many. Kurian says, “You realize, ‘Oh shit, it’s just the first one (single).’ I have so many songs down and I’m planning to work on an EP.”

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Listen to “Phoenix” below. Stream the song on Apple Music and Spotify.

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