Rimi Basu and the Kriya Collective
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Rimi Basu and the Kriya Collective


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"Rimi, Singer, Songwriter and Dancer"

She is an artist with a very big dream, Rimi brings her unique genre of pop with an Indian flavor to the American music scene. She is a child of first-generation Indian immigrants and born and raised in the Washington, DC area.

Rimi has a unique and versatile combination of Eastern and Western upbringing, giving richness to her personality and performances. In her childhood, she took an active interest in Indian culture, beginning her training in Indian classical music and dance from the age of 5. Throughout her academic education, she continued to keep music and dance as a priority in her life, even sacrificing sleep many nights to practice. She received several awards for her pursuit of the arts during college, including Johns Hopkins University Homewood Arts Awards in both music and dance.

In pursuit of her dreams, Rimi has made difficult choices. In the fall of 2006, she quit her job as a research assistant in New York City to move to Mumbai, India. After arriving, she lived alone for 10 months while struggling to prove herself and her talent. Rimi also chose to forfeit her acceptance into a prestigious medical program, which was against the wishes of her family. All was done for the sake of music and dance.

Rimi has performed with several popular artists in india, including Sonu Nigam, famous playback singer, and A.R. Rahman, renowned music composer. She has completed her own fusion self-titled pop album, "Rimi", and will release it first in India. Some of these songs can be heard on Rimi's MySpace page.

A combination of beauty, brains, and talent, Rimi exemplifies the modern pop diva. Her struggle and dream is to eventually create a place for Indian music in the American pop scene and globally. She is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to see this dream come true. With the eventual world release of her debut album, "Rimi", she hopes to become a trans-national artist. - DC Bebop


The Unveiling(2007) - LP
Crossing Over(2009) - LP
The Lounge(2013) - LP



In 2005, Rimi Basu dropped out of medical school in the US and fled to India to pursue her passion in music, with visions of being the Bollywood version of Britney Spears. While her vision has evolved and matured since then along with her music along her journey, she brings the same qualities to her work and her life- eclectic, adventurous, and inclusive. If you ask Rimi what her musical genre is, the common string is Bollywood. She begins with traditional music from India, the homeland of her parents, and weaves in strands of whatever else she has lived and learned through her travels. She combines sounds from Bollywood, Middle Eastern, electronica, and even Latin styles. She writes and sings lyrics in Bengali, Hindi and Persian, interjected with bits of English, her native language.

Basu's trademark performance style of Indian and belly dance with live vocals is largely inspired by Shakira. Her vocal dynamism is inspired by Sunidhi Chauhan, a well known Bollywood pop singer. She is also inspired by artists like Nadia Ali, Azam Ali, Karsh Kale, and groups like Niyaz and Thievery Corporation.

The more you know about Rimi Basu, the more you come to understand her art as an extension of the way she takes on living: unorthodox, experimental, improvisational. And most of all, deeply visceral: what is meaningful lies in experience, and experience lies in feeling, and she draws upon whatever source, tradition, or element will allow her to feel and to impart what is meaningful. That is both her philosophy, and her style.

Basu has produced two albums so far in India, The Unveiling (2006) and Crossing Over (2009). She is new to the music scene in the US, but not really. The daughter of Bengali immigrants-turned-Washington bureaucrats from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), she formally trained in classical Indian dance and singing since she was a child, performing at local shows and venues as she became older. When she was 18, she performed her Ranga Pravesha, an arduous 3 hour solo dance ceremony in which she graduated as a dancer of the ancient Indian dance style of Odissi.
After college, she put off her put off her plans to go to medical school and traveled to India instead. She wanted to explore the soil of her parents’ roots. But she also had a vision, to immerse herself wholly in Indian cultural expression and to make a life of the performing arts. “I hadn’t left the US by myself in my whole life,” she says. “I wanted something different. I had the opportunity to study with a renowned Indian classical musician, Ajoy Chakrabarty. I had always wanted it, I had done live performances in the US, and I wanted to take it further.”

During this time, Basu roamed all over the subcontinent, From Kolkata to Bangalore to Mumbai (formerly Bombay), and ended up drifting from classical Bengali music into Bollywood and Indipop. “Bombay has more of a pop diva culture [compared to the arts scene in Kolkata],” she explains of the capital of the simultaneously illustrious and infamous Bollywood film industry. She began to mingle in this culture, ultimately recording The Unveiling in Hindi/English as a solo artist.

The behemoth, glittery century-old Hindi film industry that has become known for its catchy musical scores and formulaic romantic plotlines has influenced much of the landscape of popular music in India today. In this landscape Basu presented herself in her debut album as a bit of an oddity: a foreigner singing subtle songs with her characteristically high-toned voice in a language she was still learning by ear. Her pop music in this album is often blended with distinctly repetitive, acoustic sounds suggestive of more traditional styles, especially in Habibi.

Basu was also at odds trying to navigate the entertainment world in India as a lone foreigner. “It was challenging to adapt to the working culture of India,” she said of the competition, not only in terms of the vast talent pool but of the traps an ingénue to the industry must learn to step over. “People would try to take advantage of me financially and physically. It was a formative experience in that I had to learn to look out for myself and take care of myself.”

She managed to adapt successfully, however. Her album performed well for a debut production, garnering good sales and generating high demand for events around India.

Crossing Over was the product of her second extended visit to India. A sort of musical experiment, the title reflects her attempt to fuse multiple genres as well as traditions: American, Latin, and also Indian, specifically Bengali. Hindi and Bollywood have often overshadowed the entire Indian entertainment Industry. Basu seems to have abandoned Bollywood in her second album, however. Unlike The Unveiling, Crossing Over is sung in mostly Bengali. It was the first Bengali fusion album by a female musician. “It was different than what Kolkata is used to,” Basu says modestly. “It bring