Watch: Pragya says QUEER IT UP!

Indian Lesbian Singer-Songwriter Pragya Pallavi released  her much anticipated debut album Queerism on May 17, 2019— The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Queerism is the first LGBTQI+ themed album by an openly queer artist to release in India since the 2018 historic Supreme Court judgement decriminalized same-sex relationships.

Pragya told Hillele.org  that her eclectic and multi-genre album is dedicated to LGBTQI+ people in India and all over the world.  She inaugurates this album with her 5th single, the LGBTQI+  Disco anthem, “Queer it Up.”

Q1 .Queeerism is very direct and pertinent a title- are you using music for activism?

 
I can’t separate my art and my activism so easily. I want to be able to express my experiences and my reality in my music, and being queer is a big part of that. And I know how important it is to represent, so that these diverse experiences and politics can be in the public. Being queer is a part of my artistic expression. So yes I am using music for activism, but not only for activism. It is a holistic part of my art. I also want to do activism for artists. It is so difficult to be an independent artist and not get compensated properly for one’s work. Being indie queer artist is not easy and its mostly indie artist who gets exploited . For instance , many times we see big organizations doing events , hugely sponsored and heavily funded , but they don’t pay the artists to perform . They just say that they are giving them a big stage and exposure… but we artists also need money to survive , to make our arts. I really want to create awareness about this exploitation happening around us and to put an end to this practice.I really think that there should be some laws around it.
 
Q2. What do you mean by gender fluid lesbian?
Well I am a gender fluid lesbian. Gender fluid because ,I don’t want to be in any sort of gender box, but I continue to identify as a lesbian and as a woman because I love women and I feel this identity is very important to me.
Q3. Do you interact with Bollywood artistes closely? Has your being out impacted your collaborations in any way?
One of my tracks has been mixed and mastered by very well known , national award winner , sound engineer K.J. Singh from Bollywood. He has been very supportive from the beginning. I am glad I got the chance to work with him.
I also wanted to collaborate with some other music directors who I wanted to work with since I was very young, I won’t mention their name. I asked them if they would be interested and they were like almost silent about it. One of them said that they would love to work with me but they dont support all these LGBT activities. That was a big turn off for me. Then I thought that actually I dont need to collaborate with these well known bollywood music directors who anyhow copy and paste music from here and there…and I decided to compose all my songs. DJ Lolly and I co produced the songs in the album. One song is also co-produced with Ma Faiza.

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