I have really enjoyed the growth of independent music in India in the last few years. The audience has gotten more acceptable towards non-film music and it has given artists more confidence and scope to explore their creativity. Many new up and coming artists also have found place in mainstream success, who earlier would have had reached only a niche audience. Amongst them is the Mumbai based singer, producer, DJ, model, actor and voiceover artist Ambika Nayak, who goes by the name Kayan.

Recently, the artist released her latest music video DFWM (Don’t F*** With Me). In the video, Kayan unleashed her unapologetically aesthetic persona in a twisted story. As I got a chance to interact with her, she opened up to me about her music, this song and much more. Read excerpts:

Ambika Nayak aka Kayan (Source: Instagram | @kayan.a) 

How has it been being an indie artist who compose English music in India, that has a majorly Hindi speaking audience?

“Honestly, I don’t think my vision is limited to just reaching the Indian Audience. Writing in English comes naturally to me since it’s been my first language but irrespective of the language, if someone vibes with my music, my job is done. That’s how I look at it.”

Your music video DFWM is so visually appealing but takes such a dark turn by the end. Where did the idea for it come from?

“The idea of a little blood and gore was something we had been playing around with for a while. When I explained what the song meant to me to Yucel Films (Production house), we worked on building a story that would incorporate these elements as well as do justice to the song. It happened pretty organically.”

How was it for you to shoot the whole video, especially that last scene?

“Danish Sood, starring in this video, made it so easy. Our chemistry was so natural and the flow was super easy. It was a long day of shoot (We shot from 5 am to 2 am) and this scene was shot towards the end. Irrespective of how tired everyone was, the energy was amazing and I was very excited to work with blood haha!”

You like to depict stories through your music. When did this habit start, the time when music became your way to express, to let out?

“I think I’ve been writing ever since I was very young, whether they were maintaining diaries or writing songs. I am a very communicative person, still, there are some things I can sing better than I can just say.”

Is DFWM also based on a story that you’ve heard? Where did the inspiration for the song and it’s lyrics came from?

“The inspiration for DFWM came from my own experience of being in a toxic relationship. It would feel like it’s a game and you constantly have to have the upper hand.”

How do you think will deal with a toxic partner?

“As I mentioned, yes I have been in a toxic relationship, but right now in life I’d say I have no space for that. A lot of healing, therapy and sharing later, I’m in a very good space. So I’m usually surrounded by energy I resonate with.”
Ambika Nayak aka Kayan (Source: Instagram | @kayan.a) 

Have you fathomed the increase in your fan-base from during the pandemic, since now things are opened up?

“I’m grateful for how things have been so far, and I expect nothing but believe in my goals and myself very strongly.”

What’s next in store for Kayan? Is composing for a film or acting in a film on the cards next?

“Why not, I have an interest in so many things and I’m always open to trying new projects. Apart from a lot of music, epic collaborations and music videos. This year is going to be quite the riot!”

Kayan has had a very fun and unique vibe to her music that I really resonate with, and getting to know her up and close through this conversation has helped me understand her and her music way better. Can’t wait to see and hear more of her work now!