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Rushaki Addresses Anxiety and Mental Health Issues on Debut Album ‘She Speaks’

The Mumbai/Pune artist tapped New Delhi-bred producer Bharg Kale to work on the record with her

David Britto Jul 07, 2022

Mumbai/Pune artist Rushaki. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Needing to move houses on a regular basis due to her father’s job in government service, Mumbai/Pune artist Rushaki recalls that she first fell in love with music after being gifted a small Casio piano for Christmas in 2005. “That’s when I started self-learning tunes and started making tunes,” she says. After dabbling with music in different capacities, including as an assistant manager at a venue in Pune in 2017 and also performing at events, Rushaki found herself involved with indie-rock outfit Coffee for Giraffes. With a ton of experience now under her belt, the artist has released her 10-track debut album, She Speaks.  

Rushaki began teasing the record with two singles she released earlier this year, “Breathe Again” and “Icarus.” These songs also marked the first time she put out music. She Speaks began to take shape between 2019 and 2020. The artist says, “I remember being at home at my parents’ and I had a nonsensical argument with someone. And for the first time in years, I actually directed my energies out into music and wrote my first song of the album, ‘Devil Kid.’ This, as a concept, came from one of my old songs that I’d written in school. And that’s when I started taking it seriously.” 

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Through the album, Rushaki sings about her own struggles dealing with anxiety and mental health issues. She says, “The voices in the head are not literal voices, but the never-ending contrasting thoughts that come as a part of being an overthinker, period.” The singer explains that songs such as “Easy,” “Devil Kid,” “Wait Till Tomorrow,” and “Breathe Again” are about “the same arguments and the push and pull of those personas.” She Speaks kicks off with a melancholic sound after shifting gears to a more energetic lift midway through the record.  

New Delhi-bred producer Bharg Kale assisted Rushaki through the making of the album. Setbacks, conflicting schedules as well as ransomware erasing the project didn’t make the recording and production process easy. However, Rushaki says, “I had a talent powerhouse, Bharg Kale, by my side who’s known me and my personality for over a decade, and he advised me and helped me meld the songs, cohesively, into the album that it is today.”  

With plans to create a couple of music videos to support the release, Rushaki is already looking ahead to the future. There’s an EP due with Kale as well as fresh music with Mumbai producer Karan Kanchan. While her own songwriting continues, Rushaki says, “I also have a vision for my next big project, so I know there’s no stopping for a while now.”  

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Stream ‘She Speaks’ on Spotify below and on other platforms. 

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