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Experimental Act Kalika and Raghav Sachar Craft Haunting New Track ‘My Friends Are Virgins’

The saxophone-infused prog-leaning song has Hindi and English versions

Anurag Tagat Sep 21, 2020

Pune-based artist Prannay Sastry from Kalika (left) and saxophonist-composer Raghav Sachar.

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Formed in 2018 in Maastricht while composer Prannay Sastry was a student, Kalika has slowly added more remembers and collaborators with each project. With the latest track “My Friends Are Virgins,” Sastry met with seasoned composer and saxophonist Raghav Sachar, who ended up collaborating on the song that is an eerie, ironic lament on sexual repression in India.

While Sastry released a previous version of the song on his 2018 debut record Enter Kalki (featuring Maastricht-based trombone player Angus Foster, who returns for the new iteration), he also released another collection of songs in 2019 called Data Religion. By early this year, Pune-based Sastry included New Delhi vocalist Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, bassist Vinay Ravindra Rao (from blues act Triple Shuffle), multi-instrumentalist Jay Kshirsagar and percussionist-producer Yuvaan Makar to create an extended lineup for Kalika. This collective created their experimental previous single “Made Up,” featuring seemingly Carnatic fretplay and soothing vocal harmonies. He says about his fellow musicians, “There is a powerful intimacy working with artists who believe in your music. Collaborating is central to my ethos. It allows me to keep learning and growing, while giving me the opportunity to explore various sonic terrains – which I really value.”

Not only is “My Friends Are Virgins” a much darker song compared to “Made Up,” it’s also released in Hindi and English. For want of creating a more accessible message, Sastry sings about how colonial-era laws are still upheld in India, which “stifle our freedom to love in a supposedly free country.” The composer got Sachar on board spontaneously, when their conversations about making a career in music led to songs being shared amongst them. Sachar calls it an “intense” track which was very different but fun to add towards. “Since I have been in the industry for a while and I know how songs function, it was easy for me to imagine how it was going to turn out. So now when I am hearing the song it sounds good, sounds like exactly what I imagined. Overall a great experience,” Sachar says in a statement.

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There’s monthly singles in store from Kalika until December, including an upbeat and humorous track called “Zen” featuring Bhattacharya and Kshirsagar. Sastry notes they just went into their first socially-distanced rehearsal and are pumped. The composer adds, “We can’t wait to play gigs, like every musician out there!”

Stream “My Friends Are Virgins” below. Hear on more platforms here.

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