Published: 25th April 2018
How YouTuber Anuja Kamat is making Indian classical music simpler to understand
Anuja Kamat is also interested in graphic designing and writing and looks forward to combining them with music for the promotion of fine arts
You would have to type 'Anuja Kamat' on YouTube in order to view my videos, however, my project is called Out of the Shruti Box, said Anuja Kamat, who began her journey into the world of music at the tender age of eight. Her project, Out of the Shruti Box, is dedicated to spreading awareness regarding the nuances of Indian classical music among music enthusiasts with a special emphasis on Hindustani Shastriya Sangeet.
Why this name? "The Shruti Box is an Indian drone instrument so the name essentially means, all that which comes out of it i.e. music! It's also a musical version of the phrase 'out of the box'," Anuja said. She set up Out of the Shruti Box three years ago. "The first video was uploaded on June 16, 2014. It was an introductory episode to my channel talking about how music is universal, yet why the music from every region has its distinct flavour," Anuja explained. Her videos explain the basics of Indian classical music - starting from addressing basics such as what a swara or taal is, to identifying Hindustani ragas, even in famous Bollywood songs.
The inspiration behind the channel and creating video explainer series came to her while she was doing her BA Economics at St Xavier’s College and a BMus in Hindustani Shastriya Sangeet from the University of Mumbai. "The channel came into being because I wanted people, especially the youth, to not miss out on the rich musical heritage that India possesses," she said. She completed her Masters in Music from Mumbai University, securing grade ‘A’ in 2016.
YouTube star: Anuja's channel aims at introducing viewers to the world of Indian Classical music
Anuja's channel has been a one-woman show for three years - she conceptualises, writes scripts, records, performs and edits all the videos by herself. What sets her apart from other young YouTubers?
Anuja said, "Maybe the fact that I'm not a conventional YouTuber. I post videos on YouTube when I think I have relevant matter available. Also, my subject demands a lot of study and interpretation in order to keep it approachable and at the same time keep the authenticity of the music intact."
She hopes to innovate in the field of music education with the help of her channel. "In this rapidly globalising world, everything is turning out to be uniform and universal across the globe. Music too! After a point of time, there will arise a need to find one's identity, one's roots, which I guess is hidden in our traditions and culture. Why not enjoy this artistic beauty of our soil? Music is one important aspect of our culture and accepting and appreciating it is somewhere a step towards accepting yourself - being happy about who you are and celebrating your own unique identity!"
She added that the viewers of her channel have been extremely supportive, "People have been very warm, kind and encouraging and I am highly indebted to the love and support they all have been providing as viewers!"