SubDrift (Subcontinental Drift) Boston hosted their first Open Mic Program of the year on Friday, Jan. 19 at EMW Bookstore, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The organization is a coalition of South Asian Americans wanting to showcase their talents and express their reactions to the politico-socio-cultural happenings around them. SubDrift welcomes performers of all types, backgrounds and experience levels, it says.
“Our mission is to build a supportive community that fosters creative expression and collaboration among Boston-based South Asians,” the organization says on Facebook.
The program, hosted by Aditya Nochur, was a double feature with special guests Diaspoura, of Chapel Hill, North Caroline, led by electronic artist Anjali Naik, aka Diaspoura, and Josephine Shetty’s Kohinoorgasm of Los Angeles, California, an experimental pop music project.
Poems were also read out by Neena Wahi, Manvir Singh, Haifa Badi Yousafzai, Hyder Kazmi and Payal Kumar while Shajehan Khan and Warrick Moses performed instrumental musical pieces.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Shetty has performed at universities, museums, festivals, traditional music venues to do-it-yourself spaces across the U.S.
Naik is praised by peers for producing a “strange energy” by singing songs that depict the socio-political grounding for creating a new sound and story for the South. “My dad’s from Africa and my mom’s from India, so I’m first-generation American,” Naik told Charleston City Paper. “So it’s always been really confusing to me where I actually am from, who I am — and that’s always the first question anyone asks me. But I never had anyone to emulate around me; I was the only Indian kid,” she added.
Brought up in rural South Carolina, Naik’s first album, Demonstrations, is a documentation of her experiences as a woman of color in the deep South. She has also released “GTF” (get the fuck) on President Donald Trump’s inauguration day Jan. 20, 2017. She currently performs along the east coast, and plans to release her new music collection this year.