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Watch Singer-Songwriter Kamakshi Khanna’s Endearing Stop-Motion Video For ‘Qareeb’

The clip, created by Arsh Grewal, follows a girl who grows and learns to love herself

David Britto Oct 22, 2020

New Delhi-bred singer-songwriter Kamakshi Khanna. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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After releasing her debut full-length album Cakewalk in 2017, New Delhi-bred singer-songwriter Kamakshi Khanna took up teaching music. First at Gurugram’s One World College of Music and later at True School of Music in Mumbai. However, writing her own material never took a backseat, and in the last three years, Khanna has created a bank of songs for herself, ready with about two albums. The musician recently dug into that lot and put out the charming “Qareeb,” which also marks Khanna singing in Hindi for the first time.

According to the singer-songwriter, writing “Qareeb” was spontaneous and easy and wasn’t much different from when she pens music in English. “It all happened because a friend called me about this great opportunity for female singer-songwriters who write in Hindi and I had a day to put a whole song together,” says the musician. Khanna recalls that she woke up on the right side of the bed that day and was in a very positive state of mind which helped her complete the song in a matter of hours. She says, “Thankfully, it got rejected and I got to own my narrative in the song.”

The R&B laced “Qareeb” stems from the “giddy, head-over-heels feeling you get when you’re in love.” Khanna explains that she was in a relationship when she wrote it and felt happy, however she realized that she was always neglecting her needs and things she stood for. “I wanted to take the same emotion to pay gratitude for how much love teaches us about the world and how the letting go of it helps us rediscover ourselves in new ways each time,” says Khanna. She adds, “The song is a celebration of self-love.” Guitarist Pranav Pahwa contributed to the song with a melodic hook while producer duo Anhad + Tanner laid down the track’s bass line and beat. “Anhad and I go a long way back and both of them [Anhad + Tanner] are such wonderful, creative and evolved people to work with,” says Khanna.

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The initial music video plan for “Qareeb” was thrown out the window due to the lockdown and instead the track’s accompanying clip is a splendid stop-motion visual courtesy of Arsh Grewal, whom Khanna connected with over Instagram. Grewal handmade each detail and character in the clip using felt cloth as the imagery takes you on a journey of a girl’s romantic encounters and her transformation into finally being her own person. Khanna says, “Arsh being the one woman army and visionary that she is translated the narrative single-handedly in the most seamless and beautiful way into a visual space that is unexplored and exciting for me as an artist.”

Khanna has kept her music teaching classes going via Zoom and is currently cozied away at her holiday home in Bhowali, Uttarakhand. “Right now I’m just trying to stay calm, embrace what comes my way and focus on writing and releasing my new music,” she says. At the moment the singer-songwriter is deliberating on her next single and also has collaborations and an album in the works. “With Cakewalk and Much Mellow [EP, 2014], I was so used to just putting out whatever I wrote but I have been really enjoying the exercise of creating a bank of songs. It definitely demands a lot of my patience and resilience, but I think it’s the way I’d like to move forward,” says Khanna.

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Watch the video for “Qareeb” below and stream the song on other platforms

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