Watch Dubai Artist Gaya Roam Mumbai at Dawn in ‘Qisse’ Video
The Chennai-born singer-songwriter has released the title track from her upcoming multilingual album
It’s been a five-year hiatus from making and releasing music for Dubai-based artist Gaya, so the release of her new song and music video “Qisse” understandably evoked excitement as well as anxiousness. “It means so much to me to actually be in a place where I’m sort of putting music first again,” Gaya says over a call.
It was in 2015 that she’d released her previous record, a self-titled three-track EP that featured bluesy pop songs like “Fake It Till You Make It” and “Marble Moon.” Prior to that, Gaya released her debut album The Unknown in 2013, featuring English, Tamil and Hindi songs. The artist says she was “creatively blocked” in terms of writing and didn’t consider herself an “active musician” even when material began brewing.
In the time between releases, a lot has changed in the music industry but also in Gaya’s journey as a DIY artist and creative professional. Where she had previously put in a lot of effort to break into circuits in the U.S. as an artist from Dubai and India, Gaya found that it didn’t quite make sense. It was “anticlimactic,” according to her. She adds, “It just felt like a dead end.” The artist instead focused more on her role as a filmmaker, working with brands, vlogging and telling stories through film. “I think these four or five years have been all about honing my own skills, falling back in love with my own artistry, and building a community that is supportive of that journey,” Gaya adds.
This journey is the crux of “Qisse,” one that flows with hymn-like vocals and whose music video gradually lifts the curtain on Gaya, her life in Mumbai and the community she’s found, including director of photography Priya Mishra. “We got some beautiful shots of the city basically being a ghost town,” Gaya says about working on the “Qisse” video during the pandemic last year.
The title track off her six-track EP, Gaya is releasing the record track by track, with songs in Hindi, English and the next single in Tamil. “It’ll come out with a music video, I’ll be filming in Chennai,” she says. Whether it’s with songs, videos or even upcoming shows, Gaya is clear that this EP will showcase her as a storyteller. She adds, “Each song is going to be released a month apart with a music video. So it’s going to be as much a visual album as it is a musical one. The live experiences in the shows I’m planning combine a lot of the things that I do as a storyteller and that’s what makes me happy as an artist – delving into various disciplines and not pigeon-holing myself, because that there’s enough of that in the world, right?”
Watch the video for “Qisse” below. Stream the song here.