VoxTalks With Pranati Khanna – An Eloquent Writer, A Soulful Musician And A Painter For The Ages

Not many people know this little anecdote, but Pranati and we go way back. We came close to Interviewing her, as the first personality for this website. Somehow it just didn’t happen. And in a strange world, our team has never met this super talented artist, but we’ve always been fortunate enough to have been around her work, almost all the time. She’s been omnipresent all around us, and yet we could never quantify and collate our thoughts properly, to approach her. And after almost a year of thinking to interview Pranati Khanna and cover her works (oh there are plenty of them), we finally managed to do that. It makes us super proud to now learn so much about her and the soul behind the wondrous world of Paintings, Music and Art. Here are the excerpts of our talks with Pranati Khanna, The Khaleesi of All Trades.

First of all congratulations for an excellent exhibition at Gallery Cafe. First off the bat, could you tell us briefly what prompted you to select this particular thematic? And what does it implicate in general, and to you in person?

Thank you! So, the show at The Gallery Cafe was a mix of two of my previous collections – “Metamorphorescence” and “Naked”. I was part of a panel this Women’s day and they thought it would be apt if one of the speakers had her work on display as well. My artwork being very “female emotion driven” and based on struggles women have to face, I thought women’s day, a panel discussion and my angsty artwork would all go well. Lol..!

Let me count your talents – You are a digital artist, musician, graphic designer and an art director. Am I missing on anything? In an envious tone, I ask you this – How do you do these many things with the same level of artistry?

You’re very kind. Thank you 🙂 I suppose I’ve been blessed with talent but I also believe God wanted me to use these talents for a reason and not just for fun. Thus, I try and make sure that with every art exhibition, I donate some of my sale proceeds to a cause or with my music that for every show I do with The Ragamuffins, I also devote equal time to my church. I was an Art Director for a very short while with J.W.T but I missed my illustration work and freedom as a musician so went running back to freelance life (haha!). But, to answer your question – I juggle ALL of these things and make sure I’m as good as I can be with them all by working my a** off and not wasting a single minute of my day.

We took so long to fixate on an interview with you, cause we always saw something new from your side. One day you are giving a live music performance, and the next day you are exhibiting art somewhere else. Do you think your varied interests gives you an edge in expressions in various platforms? And do you say each field seeps into the other? Or do you keep them separate without fusing?

I love that I can use all the things I do to express myself. I’ve lived a short but colourful life and with my experiences, I think I can talk openly about them through my art and appeal to people who are going through similar stages in their lives. Very often people approach me for advice and I love being able to help them. Going through difficulties, one feels alone but as an artist – your duty is to show people that you’re going through the same thing, illustrate their emotions for them (because they don’t understand them, themselves most often) and then help them pull through once they know they can reach out to you for help. Yes, my music and art go hand in hand. They both hold my secrets in them, and their themes are similar, and each influences the other certainly. I also try and use art/design in my performances or music at my exhibitions.

Coming to you specifically, what’s the story of Pranati Khanna. How does someone become this well known Social personality in Hyderabad? There’s a little thing they say in my social circle about you – Everyone Knows Pranati. And No One Knows Pranati. – Comment.

Haha! That’s interesting! Well…I’m very adamant to leave a mark in this city. I love this city and it has so much to offer that I want to be able to go about singing and performing and being good to the people who live here because to be honest (and my band even has a song about it lol) I want to be remembered as someone who didn’t just go to a club, drink and go home. Rather as someone who performed there, helped 20 other people have a memorable evening, and then I went home. Or I want to make art that has an appeal that can make someone think or cry or evoke something within them that will never forget. So, no one knows who I am personally, but they know what I do because I like leaving my mark wherever I go, but I’m a home-body. I don’t go out very much 😛

Now to your Musical Journey, you’ve been a regular artist with various collectives including The Ragamuffins, The Sunday Sessions, etc. Tell us more about how you think and derive music with these collectives. How did this all start and how do you plan ahead with these movements?

The Ragamuffins is my baby. My pride and joy. I love this band more than words can say because my deepest, darkest and even happiest memories and secrets all lie within those songs we perform and (like we said at our TedX talk) – we’re masters at telling secrets without telling them…
My journey with other collectives like Sunday Sessions or Urban Bourbon began with friends just being that awesome and coming up with these fantastic ideas that they wanted me to be a part of, and I was honoured and happy to be a part of them, HENCE gave them my all. I’m happy to know they’re recognised today!
Going forward, my focus is on getting an album out with The Ragamuffins, touring, playing as many shows as possible, making more music with them and just climbing the Indie ladder I suppose.

You are mostly into Acoustic covers for various soulful hits. One wonders why you haven’t started shooting them professionally, say something on the lines of VidyaVox or such? Do you plan to further collaborate with other artists and if you had to who would you choose?

Just like I love doodling when I’m free, I love just throwing out a cover every once in a while. It’s for fun. Covers aren’t my thing because they’re not my songs. They’re someone else’s story and that isn’t important enough for me to do a professional video and recording of. I’m waiting to do a video and single with The Ragamuffins!
Having said that, I love collaborating with other musicians in the city for covers. I love jamming. I love fusing talent and harmonising voices. THAT is a thrill.

One thing which we were always super impressed with, were your Web Designs. Could you tell us more on that? What are the websites you’ve worked on, in respect of Logos or Page Designing? And how has the experience been? And more importantly, what’s your thought process when you take up an assignment.

My Graphic Design has been my best friend for nearly 7 years now. It’s my day-job but my passion at the same time. I’m happy to know you like my work :). Check my Behance collections out to know more. My thought process with the design is ALWAYS understanding the brief, spending time getting to know (even making friends with) the client. I like catering appropriately to a design brief. I then just sit alone and sketch out ideas, write pages of plans and then I get down to working hours at my computer and get the stuff out 🙂
The experience has been one of my greatest learnings. I have 17D North to thank for having taught me MOST of what I know today. I built on that passion and knowledge and I’m so happy with where I am today.

Within all these multiple souls in you, if you had to pick one which truly defines you, which one would that be? And why? We ask this question in relation to the exhibition you’ve curated recently – Naked for Hope Foundation. Could you briefly elaborate on that? And how important do you feel Artistic Works are in representing societal and personal issues?

The artist in me reigns most strong because I’m pretty horrible with communication. I can draw out things I can’t talk about. “Naked” was really personal for me but it was a product of a LOT of venting and coping with a tough situation I was in. I wanted to appeal to the masses of people out there who understood and had been through depression. Hope foundation is one that I have utmost respect for and I was so happy to partner with my childhood friend – Raisa Luther, to get this show on the road. I think speaking out about my mental issues not only made me feel less alone (because I met so many people going through the same thing because of the show) but it also made me feel better and was a huge part of my recovery as I felt like people understood me. The worst feeling for an artist is being misunderstood but when even 5 out of 10 people understand where you’re coming from or why you’re doing what you do, it helps. PLUS I feel like I managed to talk to a lot of people about my problems and in the process helped advise them to pull through theirs.

The recent in your list of societal impacting take ups is the FailFest. How did this happen, and where did you see it as the platform to bring about a change in the way we think and deal with negativity around us?

Nabeel got in touch with me about his event and I was thrilled to be a part of it. FailFest is such a lovely platform to share your success stories and I saw a house-full-venue of people who were going home with inspiration to get through their personal struggles.
It’s amazing because so many people just walk about feeling “Stuck” but when you attend events like these and hear from people who were once where you are – that that’s only the beginning and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and you see them as living proof of that fact – you feel hope. Hope is what we’re all looking for at the end of the day.

Lastly, where to now. What can we expect from Pranati in the near future? And personally what are the goals you have towards your works, especially in making music and digital/print artwork.

Well, I’m off to goa for a while to work on my next series of artwork which I have been working on for the past few months. Later this year, let’s see how it turns out! Music-wise, like I said – my focus is the band and that album. It needs to come out!
Graphic design will keep going, and I’m working on some amazing apps and sites that I can’t wait to tell people about soon!

So that was Pranati Khanna, submerging us with her incredible talent. Do follow her works and keep a look out for more incredible covers from her side via her Band The RagaMuffins.