Sona Mohapatra: Hope to uplift music and art

Updated: May 22, 2020, 08:19 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Singer Sona Mohapatra discusses collaborating with artist Asit Patnaik for a first of its kind music video.

Sona Mohapatra
Sona Mohapatra

I have been waiting for years to do a musical collaboration with art," says Sona Mohapatra, who is gearing up to release a music video inspired by the paintings of Odisha-born, globally acclaimed Delhi resident artist Asit Kumar Patnaik. Creating music inspired by works of art may have gained credence in the West — with Cold Play's Viva la vida being inspired by the work of Eugene Delacroix (representative painters of 19th French Romantics) and Rihanna's Rudeboy inspired by the Keith Haring's creations — but remains largely untapped in India.

"I connect deeply with Asit's work. His art holds a place of pride on my walls," says an ecstatic Mohapatra, who has been following his work for decades. "Few know that I have been an art student," says the singer who is glad that the music video is releasing when the world has slowed down during the pandemic. "Art galleries like Moma and the MET in New York are showcasing their work online for free to spread the joy, and healing that comes with art."

The video features Mohapatra in red hair, similar to the ones observed in Patnaik's semi-clad muse across his paintings. It captures the complex emotions and desires of a woman in a man's world. The poster of the singer's docu-feature, which also features Patnaik's art and imagery, is already creating waves in the festival circuit. The music video was conceptualised by Mohapatra when she caught up with Patnaik in his Delhi studio after a concert, a few years ago. She feels that the red-haired muse deeply resonates with her alter ego, Lal Pari Mastani, also a moniker given by her fans. The song Nit khair manga is her maiden collaboration with the artist.

Mohapatra says that it "has been a fulfilling experience" as she features in the music video. "There is a spiritual quality to the Nit khair manga song that finds synergy with the mystical and sensual quality of Asit's paintings. I hope the languid pace, uplifting music, and art in this video makes people feel better in these anxious and uncertain times."

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