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Radhika Vekaria’s new single “Liberate”

Radhika Vekaria’s new single “Liberate” is a gentle and pensive number hosting a bevy of emotions. I hear this song as a musical prayer; it is no coincidence that a significant portion of its lyrical content invokes the Maha Mritjunjaya mantra. Synthesizing Indian and modern pop influences into a greater whole has always been at the forefront of Vekaria’s art, and “Liberate” illustrates her growing confidence in this endeavor. By the song’s end, any arbitrary lines of distinction dividing these worlds blur and all voices become one.

URL: https://www.radhikavekaria.com/

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I feel confident saying it’s the only song with pop inclinations where you will hear the Maha Mritjunjaya mantra. Her adherence to Eastern spirituality is an integral component of her life and art. Finding a way to marry those concerns with the structure of a Westernized pop song is one of the central gifts of Vekaria’s art and never fails her during this track. It doesn’t pull “Liberate” in obscure directions. I don’t believe you need to be conversant with the language nor the philosophy underpinning her beliefs for “Liberate” to have its desired effect on listeners.

It’s a song about transcendence, about enduring the slings and arrows of life’s outrageous fortune, yet rising above it all at peace and victorious in the end. I feel confident, as well, in saying that Vekaria would identify her biggest challenge as overcoming her personal foibles – the doubts and fears that plague each of us. They dwarf whatever challenges the world and others may direct towards her. “Liberate” testifies to this ongoing struggle with eloquence and a well-honed sense of drama.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLyoVxxTnKM

Yet that drama is never overwrought. She tempers each line of “Liberate” with a presiding intelligence and equanimity of spirit that keeps the number on an even keel from beginning to end. It does have emotional and musical high points, without question, and she orchestrates those moments for maximum effect and never overindulges herself scaling those heights. “Liberate” is a measured performance from its first seconds through its final notes.

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The blending of spiritual-minded language and straightforward lyrics never proves daunting. This is especially true when she blends these two seemingly disparate languages near the song’s conclusion. It’s here where “Liberate” truly achieves the dimensions of a prayer as the fervency of Vekaria’s voice reaches deeper into us. Her intensity and the surrounding whirlwind of sound combine to end the single on a rousing note.

https://open.spotify.com/track/5lckcBY3XYB5vzhl5hYHiB?si=eY2i0kb4SHG5oggFZdUWKQ&nd=1&dlsi=90bf5bc2e7f649d8

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I feel she’s shared something special with us. Perhaps it is an intimate glimpse into her heart, into the bedrock of her life, but it is special. That intimacy is never embarrassing. Instead, it empowers us to surge forward into our own lives with the same dedication that she shows to self-understanding – and, more importantly, finding peace with one’s self. There is no question that “Liberate” points the way toward such self-realization. It’s inarguably one of Radhika Vekaria’s finest songs yet and shows why she’s one of the most vital artists working in modern music. We’re lucky to have her.

Skyler Voss

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JRTA

 

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