Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of her ac­claimed al­bum El­lipse, Frou Frou’s front wo­man IMO­GEN HEAP hits In­dia with a big bang

Harper's Bazaar (India) - - HOT LIST - By Ak­shita Phoolka

In a long list of mu­si­cal wun­derkinds to hit our shores re­cently, two-time Grammy Award-win­ning free spirit, pro­ducer, com­poser, lyri­cist, and self-taught mu­si­cal mav­er­ick, Imo­gen Heap sticks out like a big, beau­ti­ful thumb. Heap’s jour­ney to In­dia has been as ef­fer­ves­cent as her per­son­al­ity. What be­gan as hip­pie love, rav­ing till the wee hours on the beaches of Goa, and trav­el­ling across Ra­jasthan, cul­mi­nated into deep re­spect for In­dian cul­ture. As a re­sult, a few chance meet­ings later, Heap found her­self head­lin­ing at Bac­ardi’s much-talked about mu­sic fes­ti­val this year, the NH7 Week­ender.

But that was only a pre­cur­sor to all that Heap has done in In­dia this year. Be­gin­ning with her live con­cert in Pune and the Cap­i­tal, where she swept ev­ery­one into a won­der­land of sorts with her in­ter­ac­tive per­for­mance, Heap is ready to show a dif­fer­ent side to her mu­sic. Get­ting the au­di­ence to par­tic­i­pate in her sound-mak­ing us­ing quirky, ev­ery­day ob­jects, Heap crafts sym­phonies that are sur­real and lyrics that are haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful.the most fas­ci­nat­ing of all are her su­per-fu­tur­is­tic sound gloves, that record and play back ex­tra­or­di­nary sound­scapes de­pend­ing on how she moves them about. Sound fu­tur­is­tic? Well it does not end there.

Heap re­ally has a vi­sion of where she wants her mu­sic to go, and for her fourth solo al­bum (which she is cur­rently in the process of mak­ing) she re­fused to in­su­late her­self in her sound stu­dio. “I like to at­tach each song to a cer­tain project so it has its own ecosys­tem, and I have an ex­cuse to get as creative as pos­si­ble,” says Heap. Em­brac­ing new me­dia, mainly through Twit­ter and her in­ter­ac­tive blog, she en­cour­aged peo­ple across the world to con­trib­ute to the mak­ing of each track on the al­bum by shar­ing their own sounds, videos, and thoughts. “I started hat­ing be­ing stuck in my stu­dio box, with­out any new peo­ple. It just made me feel like I was tread­ing old ground,”says Heap of her un­con­ven­tional pro­duc­tion choices. Add to this the fact that she has given her­self three months to pro­duce each track and video, in a dif­fer­ent part of the world, mak­ing this one of her most am­bi­tious projects to date.

So far, the three tracks on the al­bum have stayed true to her ex­per­i­men­tal­ist ideal. And while in In­dia, she com­pleted the fourth in an un­ex­pected col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pen­ta­gram’s lead singer and Bol­ly­wood mu­sic big­wig Vishal Dad­lani.ti­tled Minds With­out Fear, the track was orig­i­nally pro­duced for a new 10-part tele­vi­sion se­ries, The De­warists.

Heap def­i­nitely seems to know some­thing other mu­si­cians don’t. Ahead of her time, her love and use of tech­nol­ogy in cre­at­ing soul­ful sym­phonies is mar­vel­lous in more ways than one. She af­firms this when she says, “tech­nol­ogy has re­ally given me back the reins to my mu­si­cal ca­reer. It has let me ex­press cre­ativ­ity in mu­sic, ideas, and, meet­ing a myr­iad peo­ple from all walks of life”.

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