This week Venezuela-born songbird Dhanya premiered her new single via Songwriting Mag, who compared the songbird to “Bjork, Ibeye, Massive Attack and Portishead..”
The track features Wanderlust-standout MC Yogi who delivers haunting, heartfelt versus over the bittersweet ballad.
Check out the Premiere HERE
Born and raised in Venezuela, steeped in the ancient traditions of the East, living in the US, and traveling the world, sharing her powerful message, modern-day troubadour Dhanya is the female voice of the global, conscious music scene we’ve been waiting for.
Dhanya’s father, two-time Latin Grammy-winner Ilan Chester, had her playing piano and singing harmonies to Beatles songs while she was still in diapers. A self-professed music-nerd, her gift for poetry and singing blossomed in early childhood, and gave her a voracious appetite for music of all kinds. Her parents infused her with the teachings of the Bhakti tradition of the East, opening her ears and heart to the devotional sounds of kirtan, qawwali and other devotional musical styles. As a teen, Dhanya gravitated towards the burgeoning Venezuelan underground electronic music scene, expanding her influences into the electronic and experimental genre. Seeking to deepen her spiritual practice, she spent time living in West Bengal, India where she studied literature and the traditional devotional music of Bhakti; kirtan.
Back in the US, Dhanya began recording and touring with the Mayapuris, an acclaimed kirtan group, performing with them across the US, Europe, South Africa, South America, Australia and India, including Bhaktifest, Wanderlust and SXSW. Together, they performed alongside acclaimed musicians such as Jai Uttal, Krishna Das and Michael Franti. This experience opened her up to the conscious music movement that was bridging ancient wisdom with popular song. She experienced first-hand that audiences were thirsting for real artistry and meaningful messages in music, igniting her desire to craft a spiritually-charged, musical response to the vapid tendencies of mainstream music. In a predominantly male conscious genre, Dhanya’s radiant voice, bold lyrics and innovative sound clear the way for her strong feminine perspective.
Dhanya co-produced her self-titled debut (due out 2/2/18) with acclaimed artists Robin Livingston, Ben Leinbach and Mayapuris, and the album features MC Yogi and renowned lyricist Bali Rico. Her soulful alt-pop aesthetic is counterbalanced with gritty electronic influences and Eastern instrumentation, including the mridanga drum, bansuri flute and esraj. Her sound marries East and West, modern and classical, speaking to her expansive musical range. Complex harmonies and uncommon time signatures are common place and Sanskrit verses intermingle with visceral poetry. “My lungs will sift the soil, filter water through my bones. All my organs like an organ with a hundred sacred tones” she sings over the 7-beat pattern of “Lesson.”
It is deeply exploratory album, as if Bjork collaborated with Ibeye and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan yet amidst the collection of mystical soundscapes, there remains a constant focus on Dhanya’s soaring vocals, which exhibit a personalized and exotic emotional range. “As an instrument, the voice is alchemical,” Dhanya asserts. “It has the potential to transform all feelings and experience into sound.”
Listen to Another Lifetime below:
(Photo Credit – Rasa Partin)