RENU is a BRLN and LNDN based artist, composer, producer, tabla-player, multi-percussionist. Originally a percussionist for multiple bands & genres – Grace Jones, State of Bengal, Fun_da_mental, Kevin Davy Jazz D’semble, MIKA, Alabama 3, Tunde Jegede – she started to produce her own music in the year of 2010. Fast forward some years, learning from percussion Masters in India, Brazil and Cuba, composing for theatre, film & dance, working for contemporary dance, hosting her own nights in London, 1 EP and 3 albums later, she has now landed in an electronic realm. They Dance in the Dark was released 30th of SEP 2017 and is available on BANDCAMP.
1: An aspect of Hindustani music going back to Sufi times is the tradition of religious neutrality : Muslim ustads may sing compositions in praise of
Hindu deities and vice versa.
2: The Bauls and Fakirs of Bengal follow the philisophy and songs of Lalon. LALON was a prominent Bengali philosopher, Baul saint, mystic, songwriter,social reformer and thinker. Considered as an icon of Bengali culture, he inspired and influenced many poets, social and religious thinkers including Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Allen Ginsberg although he „rejected all distinctions of caste and creed“. Widely celebrated as an epitome of religious tolerance, he was also accused of heresy during his lifetime and after his death. In his songs, Lalon envisioned a society where all religions and beliefs would stay in harmony. Every year on the occasion of his death anniversary, thousands of his
disciples and followers assemble at Lalon Akhrah, and pay homage to him
through celebration and discussion of his songs and philosophy for three
3: Winston Churchill caused a famine in Bengal by diverting the local crops to feed the British soldiers in WWII. This killed up to 5 million people in 6 months.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Space, Indian classical music, Mathematics, Somatics,
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I always loved music from as far as I can remember.
Listening to heat of the summer. Heat has a sound? Listening to the grass.
Listening to the pavement. Peoples voices were rarely heard.
I was 12. I was a hyperactive kid who would incessantly play the drums on the window sill. We went as a family to India one winter. My mother and grandmother went to Musicshop and surprised me by buying me a set of tablas (which I had on many occassions asked for) This was a beautiful move by mother and grandmother as at that time it was very rare for a woman to play tabla.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Love – Forever changes
Santana – Abraxas
Prince – Parade
La Leyende del tiempo – Camaron
Sholay – Indian movie Soundtrack album
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Conversations of people passing by in Arabic.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
In my head, in my studio, in my flat.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
If I sat in an empty cave in a mountain, there would still be sound of stillness. This is music, ergo I would sit in a cave in a mountain.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Chow dance DVD from Bengal.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Abida Parveen and Parvati Baul
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
TED Global 2017 in Tanzania as a performer with Tunde Jegede. This was a game changer for me. Meeting thinkers and doers on a global context. I felt at that moment, there is a whole world out there that I need to explore.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Currently it’s very important. I am approaching Ableton Live after using Logic pro for 5 years. I am slowly embracing the idea of solo performance work with live electronics and percussion. I am also expanding my studio with analogue synths and equipment. But….my first love is my tabla.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, 2 sisters. I have the feeling one of them understands that my music is me and the two are inextricably linked and I think my other sister thinks I am a weirdo.