Ami Dang: a truly talented artist worth embracing

12.04.12, Words by: Charlie Jones

Ami Dang has been recently recommended on a tweet by one of my favourite artists of the moment, the Canadian new-pop star Grimes, who adviced with a tweet to check this girl out and made a comparison with the LA composer/producer Julia Holter. An association that seems extremely promising though maybe a little ambitious.

Despite comparisons and recommendations, describing Ami Dang’s music is everything but an easy task. The project – originally a solo project featuring vocalist, sitarist, and writer/producer Amrita Kaur Dang – is now a collaboration between percussionist Kate Levitt, producer/DJ Schwarz, and Amrita herself.

Their productions feature a hypnotic mixture loaded with eastern and western elements blended with both innovation and tradition. Born and raised in Baltimore, Amrita started playing the sitar and studying music when she was really young. After a semester spent in New Delhi and a subsequent trip to India during college, she refined her techniques and discovered a whole new sound. Ami Dang’s music is not just an “India meets Baltimora/western world”, it’s finding a truly new way to express identity and tradition with a very strong and undiscovered voice.

Amrita’s music is a collage which starts as experimental and moves into pop. It goes into Bollywood, and into electronic hymns, becoming in the end material that is special because it’s also enjoyable for a western audience that has little (to none) knowledge of what Indian music actually is. Her debut album is entitled ‘Hukam’ (which means “order” or “command” in Sanskrit or Punjabi); it is made with contributions by DJ Schwarz and released on Ehse Records. It features seven gracefully twisted songs that are extremely introspective and strongly spiritualized.

Baltimore’s Amrita (Ami) Kaur Dang’s new project is a truly unique music experience definitely worth keeping an eye on. This girl blew me (and all my prejudgments) away with a sitar and some dance hallucinogen Indian-but-not-Indian pop music.

Stream her video from Where Nothing Grows below and check her incredible work on “her Souncloud page”. See if you agree.

Ami Dang // Where Nothing Grows from Ehse Records on Vimeo.