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How an Abusive Relationship Shaped Tanmaya Bhatnagar’s Melancholic Single ‘Kya Tum Naraaz Ho?’

The track brings together the New Delhi-based singer-songwriter’s quaint vocals and delicate acoustic guitar work

David Britto May 04, 2020

New Delhi-based singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar. Photo: Naina Gahlaut

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New Delhi-based singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar has constantly been on the move while growing up. She’s lived in Chennai, Gangtok and Rajasthan due to her father’s commitments in the army. “I got used to the rooting and uprooting,” she says. For the better part of a decade, the musician has made the capital her home now. She tells us that no matter where she traveled music was always around her. Watching her mother play guitar and keyboard as well as write songs influenced her to start doing the same too. “In my adolescence, I went through a lot of emotional turmoil because I had started to lose my mother to schizophrenia. But somehow that also made me dive into music. It saved me and kept me connected to my mother somehow,” says Bhatnagar.

Now, Bhatnagar is out with her debut melancholic single “Kya Tum Naraaz Ho?” The track which includes just the musician’s calm vocals and light strumming on an acoustic guitar stems from quite a hurtful place for the singer-songwriter. “The story behind the song is not an easy one to share,” she says. Although on the track Bhatnagar doesn’t directly sing about verbal or physical abuse, she tells us that “it emotes my state of mind whilst being in an abusive relationship.”

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Bhatnagar says, “’Kya Tum Naraaz Ho?’ was an uncomfortable feeling, a feeling of always walking on eggshells around someone and constant fear of upsetting that one person who was supposed to protect and love me.” She adds, “This song is a conversation that I wanted to have with someone I was in a relationship with for many years but could not because of its nature.”

The artist wants the song to be a message she hopes women who have encountered an abusive relationship can relate to. The musician urges women that if they are ever threatened that they should choose to leave being in such a situation because they “deserve better.” Bhatnagar adds, “True companionship thrives on respect and compassion, love is never enough.”

Currently, Bhatnagar is in Germany studying the language there. Although she planned on returning to New Delhi on May 10th, the musician has had to extend her stay in Saarbrücken due to the current coronavirus pandemic. “The quarantine has been tough, but I am coping. Going to my online language class every morning, doing some homework, cooking, discovering new music online – but mostly sitting in the garden reading.” Next, the singer-songwriter has plans to collaborate with Indian musicians and also kick start work on her debut EP which will include songs in English and Hindi once she is able to return to India.

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Hear “Kya Tum Naraaz Ho?” below:

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