How They Mix Indian & Western Music – Hollywood Life

Kiran + Nivi have have drawn a couple of million followers on TikTok by including parts of classical Indian music to hit songs. The twins clarify how they’re now utilizing comparable strategies for unique music.

Whereas a gifted twin act is at all times sure to draw consideration — because the Olsen and Mowry twins have confirmed — Kiran and Nivi Saishankar have earned a couple of million followers on TikTok for much extra causes past the truth that they’re twins who can sing. Like, actually sing. The 21-year-old Indian-American fraternal twin sisters from Southern California have even demanded the eye of celebrities like Jason Derulo (who personally invited them into his studio for a collab) as a result of they’re bringing one thing “new” to the music trade. The proof is of their newest tune, “y’all obtained it flawed,” a monitor that Kiran stated is about proving your on-line critics “flawed” by making “your goals come true” regardless of the “hate” that has manifested on-line because of being on our telephones and laptops “24 hours a day” amid the pandemic.

Kiran + Nivi are represented via Firetower Leisure. [Photo Credit: Sahana Raj]

“Our aim is to combine Indian with Western in a really refined manner. That doesn’t make it appear to be it’s misplaced, but additionally looks as if it’s one thing cool and one thing new,” Kiran EXCLUSIVELY advised HollywoodLife as we caught up along with her and Nivi over a Zoom name after their new tune’s March 1 launch. In “y’all obtained it flawed,” this mix of two sounds is so congruous, the untrained ear wouldn’t even discover a mixing of cultures is occurring. Whereas nearly all of the tune incorporates a pop minor scale, an Indian scale was truly added to the verse, referred to as Rasikapriya, which is utilized in Carnatic music (a classical model widespread in Southern India).

Kiran demonstrated this Rasikapriya scale by singing it out loud, which she then transcribed to a Western model: “Do Me Mi Si Sol Le Ti Do, Do Ti Te Sol Fi Mi Me Do.” The distinction was clear; in Indian music on the whole, there are “lots of oscillations between every word” which might be “particular to every Indian scale,” Kiran famous. As soon as once more, she used her commanding voice to focus on these sonic variations between a Western main scale (the basic Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do scale) and its Indian counterpart. This side-by-side comparability, sung out loud, made the distinction in oscillations much more clear: the Indian scale accommodates nuances distinctive from Western music, which is what followers are selecting up on — even when they don’t understand it.

Kiran, Nivi
Kiran and Nivi started with singing classical Indian music as kids, which led them to take opera classes to “open up their voice[s],” Kiran shared with HollywoodLife. [Photo Credit: Sahana Raj]

The dual sisters additionally invited KanjiraMan, a revered musician from the Indian metropolis of Chennai, to play the Kanjira instrument in “y’all obtained it flawed.” The percussion instrument heard on the tune is performed in all South Indian classical concert events, Nivi defined. You see, Kiran and Nivi aren’t solely utilizing their voices to “solidify” this new sound that they’re attempting to introduce to pop. They’re additionally bringing on-board classical Indian devices that stand out from the ocean of Western drums, guitar, piano and synths; one other instance is their 2020 tune, “Actual Buddy,” which integrated North Indian classical devices referred to as the harmonium and tabla.

You don’t should be brushed up on music concept, nonetheless, to acknowledge that “y’all obtained it flawed” doesn’t sound fairly like different Western pop tracks (even when it’s sung in English). Kiran and Nivi’s resolution to begin making the sort of music truly stemmed from the rave responses they had been receiving from followers who weren’t accustomed to South Asian music on TikTok. After becoming a member of the short-form video app in 2019, the dual sisters started posting mashups of widespread pop songs by artists like Lil Nas X and Daniel Caesar. These weren’t merely covers of Prime 40 pop tracks: Kiran and Nivi had been including to the songs by utilizing a kind of solfège referred to as swaram (you’ll be able to take heed to this method being utilized to Kali Uchis‘s viral tune “telepatía” under).


Maintain streaming loves! Hyperlink in BIO @kaliuchis #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #telepatía #kaliuchis #carnatic #swaram #viral #twin #duo #duet #singing#xyzbca

♬ unique sound – Kiran + Nivi

“It was truly stunning that lots of people appear to love that [swaram] half and so they’re like, ‘Okay that half is like actually cool, are you able to try this extra?’,” Nivi stated. “So it was truly actually stunning as a result of individuals who don’t even know what this music is, and who don’t even know what that is, appear to love it and appear to, you understand, actually relate to that and join…That truly made us suppose, ‘Okay, why can’t we add this into our unique songs?’”

Celebrities had been additionally taking discover of Kiran and Nivi’s dynamic covers. James Arthur shared their cowl of his tune “Trainwreck” on his Instagram Story; Ashnikko commented on the Kiran and Nivi’s cowl of her tune “Daisy”; and the duo  earned TikTok follows from Shawn Mendes and Meghan Trainor. Probably the most “unreal” superstar expertise Kiran and Nivi have had to this point, although, was recording in Jason Derulo’s personal music studio.

“I believe it was round December [in 2020]. Like he simply randomly DM’ed us on Instagram. And he was saying that ‘You guys have unimaginable voices and [I] would like to collab on TikTok’,” Kiran stated whereas recalling how they linked up with the “Savage Love” singer. After realizing they had been certainly receiving a DM from Jason’s “actual account” — not a fan account — the sisters discovered themselves at his home the very subsequent week recording a TikTok to his tune, “Love Not Struggle.”


So completely happy to satisfy the amazingly gifted @kiranandnivi #lovenotwar

♬ Love Not Struggle (The Tampa Beat) – Jason Derulo & Nuka

“It was actually stunning, as a result of he actually cherished that Indian half that we do in our TikToks and he wished that to be added in his tune, like as a collab. And so we did that…we added a swaram phase for his tune, ‘Love Not Struggle.’ And he actually cherished it,” Kiran shared, who gushed that the pop icon was “truly very all the way down to Earth” and “very humble.”

This hybrid swaram-pop sound in Kiran and Nivi’s music, nonetheless, isn’t what’s solely placing followers and stars alike as one thing new to their ears. There’s an plain synergy between Kiran and Nivi; not essentially as a result of they’re twins, however as a result of they work so properly as artists…who don’t try this a lot twinning in any respect of their musical types. This will likely come as a shock, however Kiran and Nivi truly follow individually in their very own rooms. “I believe that actually helped us to have our personal model of singing…[Nivi] has her personal manner of singing issues and her personal method to music and I’ve my very own method and perspective,” Kiran defined, who stated their duets are the results of “two artists collaborating each time” versus sisters merely duetting.

“My form of model is extra highly effective — I’m very, like, a direct individual. So my music additionally form of is a extra direct method to issues. Like, I simply need to hit the word straight,” Kiran stated. On the other finish is her sister, whom she described as being “very melodic.” Nivi elaborated on this, saying, “I might be extra susceptible about displaying the emotion of the lyrics…there’ll be some songs that I actually hook up with the lyrics. I present the emotion to that, I believe extra.”

Kiran, Nivi
Kiran and Nivi are primarily based in Southern California and are at present attending UC Irvine. [Photo Credit: Sahana Raj]

This dynamic between “gentle” and “highly effective” doesn’t set the stage for an influence battle when it comes time to carry out, although (whether or not that be for TikTok viewers or a stay live performance viewers). Whereas their singing types could also be a 180 from the opposite, Kiran and Nivi are nonetheless in tune with the place the opposite will take their tune subsequent. It’s innate, a capability that they found at simply three years outdated when the host of their dad and mom’ Indian church requested the dual sisters to sing a devotional hymn. Regardless of being unable to talk and make appears like most three 12 months olds on the time, Kiran and Nivi found they may sing the hymn along with the “good pitch and rhythm” the very subsequent week.

“Typically even in our Indian classical concert events, after we carry out stay — I can gauge what subsequent she is going to sing, and she will be able to gauge what subsequent I’ll sing, and we similar to form of coordinate. It’s like we don’t even should follow [together] earlier than to truly know what she’s going to do subsequent. It form of simply comes naturally that I form of know what she’s gonna do,” Nivi defined.

With a brand new tune out (and one other one within the making) and rising recognition amongst followers and celebrities, Kiran and Nivi are on an thrilling trajectory. They plan to show skilled in music after graduating from the UC Irvine this spring of 2021; Nivi is double majoring in music and enterprise and economics, whereas Kiran is double majoring in music and psychology. What Kiran and Nivi are trying ahead to most, although, is seeing their followers past the TikTok feedback part (after the pandemic, that’s). “I believe lots of our feedback [on TikTok] are saying like, ‘I’d pay any, any tickets to come back see you reside. And that form of truly means lots,” Nivi stated, who added, “Whenever you truly see your followers instantly within the stage and also you see them like, you understand, reacting to your music stay…I believe that’s what makes all of this repay, proper?”

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