Two artistes of India’s first ‘Today At Apple’ sessions chat about artistry in virtual settings

The ongoing Today At Apple virtual sessions feature a diverse mix of Indian artistes, including musician Aditi Ramesh and photographer Prarthna Singh

Photographer Prarthna Singh and lawyer-turned-singer Aditi Ramesh are part of the first body of artistes who usher in Today At Apple into India. The sessions usually take place in the retail locations but this year, they both admit, they will miss out on the pre-pandemic, offline setting.

Prarthna explains, “Usually, at these kinds of events, you meet the people and get a feel of the space. And after the talk, you don’t just leave, you grab a drink, have conversations with people who are curious about what you chatted about — it’s more social. But it is still exciting!”

Aditi and Prarthna are appreciative of the diversity factor. Today At Apple does not feature the names one would expect; there are people across the board in terms of experience and style.

Prarthna Singh 

Prarthna conducted a chat about her portrait photographic series Champion and The Wrestlers, which looked at the lives and practices of India’s female fighters. The hour-long virtual event covered Prarthna’s experience developing a rapport of trust with the wrestlers including Sarita, Pooja, Lipakshi and others. “I made it clear I wouldn’t approach the session as a tips-and-tricks kind of session. The backstories of these projects are far more interesting and unique to audiences at these kinds of events,” puts forth Prarthna.

Deeper at creativity

Aditi was prepped for a year of touring in Turkey and the UK, meeting other musicians, playing at a festival in Taiwan, and more. But the pandemic halted all that. So when Apple approached her for their début Today At Apple sessions, she was elated, pointing out that the session has a different structure. “Unlike a social media live where you interact with the comments, this is more interactive but not like an interview,” she explains, “This is looking deeper at my creative process and hopefully have people want to create their own music after the session. It’s not going to be a planned talk, and it’ll be moderated by [radio presenter] Mae Mariyam Thomas, whom I like.”

Aditi is keen to make sure her session is both practical and inspiring, and this comes from a point of empathy. “When I started out, I didn’t know where and how to start: recording music, marketing music, everything was learned through trial and error.”

Over the lockdown, she released ‘Sambar Soul’, which quickly became a must-have in playlists. It is a song of persistence against labels, boxes and other constraints, and is deeply personal. She recalls being unable to go to a studio for the recording; she created a soundproof space using pillows and made the best of it. Always adapt, she advises.

Prarthna and Aditi are ready to take on a live setting when things are safe again, but are excited at these opportunities. Aditi adds, “Virtual events increase the scope of those attending.”

Aditi Ramesh’s session will take place on November 26 at 8 pm. Visit https://apple.co/illuminatingcreativity.

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