Bawari Basanti - Aarzoo - Artwork by @narthikambiar

Listen: Aarzoo by Bawari Basanti

Hindustani vocalist and songwriter, Mahima Dayal Mathur, know by her stage name Bawari Basanti has made her landing with a brand new single. Titled ‘Arzoo’, it is the first track from her forthcoming 3-track EP of the same name. 

On this fusion track, Mathur explores themes of desire, identity and personal expression. The writing is contextualized by the work of the famed Urdu writer and poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Paralleling her explorations with his musings, she says, “I have always been intrigued by how Faiz’s works turns romance to realism, from eros to agape kind of love. That is what I hope my art is also able to do.” 

Layered and complex, ‘Aarzoo’, clocks in at nearly 5 minutes long. Mathur’s adept vocals are supported and spotlighted by equally skilful accompanying instrumentals. Featuring Gala Soler on the saxophone and Ejaz Hussain on the sarangi, and further produced by Vedang Deshpande and Siddhant Subramanian, ‘Aarzoo’ rings true as an evocative piece of music. 

‘Aarzoo’, translated from Urdu means ‘desire’. When describing what she attempts to do with this song, Mathur explains that it’s a sonic exploration into her artistry. These sentiments of curiosity and yearning arrive on the track through bursts of rich production, as moments of raw vocal contemplation in the form of controlled alaaps slow things down. 

The EP will follow a character by the name of Mira, who finds beauty within and grows comfortable in her own skin. With each track, she grows “older and wiser”. 

Mathur’s vision for this carefully crafted narrative is sincere, the intent in the track ‘Arzoo’, reflecting that. The marriage of her gritty and captivating voice with the moody production is a stand out effort that demands your full attention. It’s unlikely that this tune could ever fade into the background.