Ashni is a queer, first-generation Indian American. She is a singer and a songwriter. She is inspired by how individuals learn to build relationships to the self, to others, and to communities. The trials and errors of pain’s precipitations: reactions, responses, and lessons in healing guide her work. When we are hurt, how do we respond? With anger? Anxiety? Compassion? How sweet is the joy in connection! With soulful melodies, powerful lyrics and rhythmic current, heavy with jazz and R&B influence, she gracefully envelops listeners in a reflective, cathartic dimension. Her relationship with the stage began with classical North Indian dance, Kathak; the sound and movement remain an inspiration. As the child of Indian immigrant parents, she grew up listening to her father’s records and her mother’s voice. Weekends began with music from Amjad Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain, and old-school Bollywood. When she wasn’t dancing, Ashni studied western classical piano and began discovering the incredible voices of jazz and soul – Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday – in contrast and equal reverence to the newer artists of R&B, hip hop and soul. She is currently teaching, creating and performing in New York City. Her performance credits include Rockwood Music Hall, Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Greene Space, Rough Trade, and more. Her music has been featured on Spotify’s Women of Jazz playlist, Bitch Media’s Podcast: Growing Up Immigrant, and the acclaimed, Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls.
- Barbone Street Jazz
- Jodi Nuttall