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Creating art in India isn’t as easy as it sounds; whether it be music or sculpting or digital art or writing, art in any form or shape. It is what connects billions of us, across generations, languages, and geographies, yet creating art comes with many challenges.

There happens to be something in the works that aims to bring the future and tie it in with our roots and is named after a word that holds great impetus in Indian history: Swaraj, or Independence. The Swaraj Projekt, is India’s first art collective, encompassing different mediums, ready to launch India and its artistic talent into the global internet of shared ownership. Bringing together some of India’s brightest creators, The Swaraj Projekt aims to build a decentralized world where artists have true creative freedom and their fans are treated like patrons, not passive consumers. They start their journey with their Genesis Collection of 500 unique audio-visual NFTs showcasing original work from artists across India, a few of them spotlighted below.

Rishi Bradoo

Spearheading the artist front of The Swaraj Projekt is Rishi Bradoo, a Mumbai-bred artist who came into the spotlight as the frontman of Blek, an alt-rock/dance-punk band who got the entire India indie circuit buzzing, touring nationwide, and even winning accolades. Post Blek, Bradoo, who studied music and production in London, began working as a producer and engineer for other artists before releasing his own music in 2021, a trippy electro-rock offering “Losing.” Bradoo has helped generate a shift towards quality production and endorsed savvy production techniques and a song-writing mindset in the Bombay indie scene.

Ayan De

Mumbai-based producer/ sound engineer Ayan De is one of the go-to producers/engineers for independent artists in India. De’s first tryst in anything music was as a kid on a friend’s toy piano and soon he found himself pursuing a sound engineering degree, looking to work in music professionally. He produced music for a number of bands through the years and briefly moonlighted under the moniker Paralights and released a five-track electronica record titled Scores For Your Background. Apart from doing indie work, De has also dabbled in commercial stuff for ads and shows such as The Voice as well as international work as a ghost producer and mixing engineer. He also had the opportunity to work front of the house for playback singer Arijit Singh’s U.K. tour which included a set at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2016.

Zoe Siddharth

Zoe is a Chennai-born indie artist who graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. If the name rings a bell, it is because she was a finalist on India’s only English singing talent show: The Stage 3. Her musical journey started at an early age when she would perform home concerts as a child and learned to play the guitar and keyboard as a teen. The Stage is what gave her career the start it needed and introduced her to the national indie scene. Since then, Zoe has genres from pop to r&b to indie all stashed under her belt. Her singles ‘Human’ and ‘Chasing’ have gathered positive reception from a wide audience.

Saachi Rajadhyaksha

Saachi Rajadhyaksha, who goes by her first name on stage, is a singer-songwriter from Bombay whose song covers amassed her a massive following online and even landed her on Rolling Stone India’s Artists-Under-25 list. She went onto open shows for Grammy-winning artist Shaggy and British band The Vamps during their India gigs. She debuted her original music through her three-track EP Clarity in 2018 and worked on a number of songs on the popular Indian Amazon Prime series ‘Four More Shots Please!’ soundtrack. Recently, Saachi has leaned into jazzy R&B with her newer singles, Better and DO/DON’T showcasing her musical range and soulful vocals.

Gubbi

Gubbi is a multilingual rapper and lyricist from Bangalore, well known for rapping predominantly in Kannada. He raps in English, Hindi, and German as well. He is known as the first Kannada rapper to cite Kannada literature in lyrics. He was previously known as KARNAGE and started his rap career by actively participating in text rap battles on social media sites from as early as 2006. Battle rap being his foundation, he is a strong lyricist and in 2012, Gubbi started getting noticed for his first Kannada rap song, “Mungaru”(monsoon) which went viral because of its unique bilingual content, a mixture of captivating Kannada and English rhymes.