Parvati sat down with Cashbox Canada recently to discuss music, MAPS and making a difference. They graciously agreed to allow us to share part of the article here.
Whether it is by working alongside the United Nations, convincing global leaders to shift to sustainability or touching the hearts of the world through the pop music mainstream, Parvati is the voice of change.
Parvati sings and produces lushly layered dance-pop music and electronic soundscapes, created in her Toronto-based studio. Her single “I Am Light”, released in 2016, boldly weaves sparkling lyrics about enlightenment with hooky pop melodies and dance beats – crystallizing her own musical genre of celestial pop.
In a time when most female singers go for low, raspy or throaty tones, Parvati’s vocals are open, light and angelic. Her lyrics are lucid, insightful yet conversational. The overall feel is sensual in the purest meaning of the word: awakening the senses themselves. There is an unabashed force of freshness that shines through all of Parvati’s work. Poised to make its mark on the charts, it’s effervescent, hooky, danceable, and at the same time feels deeply timeless.
Cashbox Canada spoke with Parvati about what it means to be a musician championing a global intervention.
MAPS is the world’s largest marine protected area. Why is it your focus?
Well, my biggest source of creative inspiration is Nature: its sounds, its rhythms, its voice. It’s symphonic and multidimensionally so rich, open and whole. I strive to express that beauty, power and wisdom in my songs and productions. For me, MAPS is the quintessential expression of that.
MAPS started during an unusually hot Toronto summer, when I was planning a musical tour of Asia, but I kept having an intense recurring dream of lying on ice while a blue whale waited for me in the ocean beneath. Some dreams you just dismiss, but this one felt like a call to listen.
So, I told my manager that I needed to postpone my Asia tour and travel instead to perform at the North Pole.
What was that like?
I sang four songs there – because of the freezing cold, batteries would die almost instantly, so I had to nail each song in one take for the video. In the video of one of the songs, we include some outtake footage of how I had to play the backing tracks from an iPad that was stuffed into my flight suit costume – which was a repurposed WW2 paratrooper suit that I blinged out and painted gold because I performed there as my character Natamba – to keep it warm, because all the other electronics had already failed.
Amazingly, when I arrived in Canada’s most northern village, two Inuit elders greeted me saying they had known I was coming to do healing work for the planet – the whale had told them. Major goosebumps! I realized in that moment that I was playing my part in something vast and purposeful beyond my understanding. Nature’s intelligence works through us, when we are willing to listen.
As a musician, how do you expect to accomplish something as big as MAPS?
For me, each creation is like a birth. As a touring musician, I tap into a beautiful field of interconnection where it literally feels like we are all one. So from this perspective, I feel like MAPS is already born. My dream is that each newborn creation grows to serve the world, with its own distinct personality. Now, this exists with the specific intention to awaken an inner call to action in people everywhere and in our world leaders for MAPS.
So I sat down with my label, Kupid’s Play, and asked, “How can we make that happen?” We came up with an innovative public education strategy using my creative work to broadcast MAPS to different people with different interests. I have been going through a massive creative process writing, producing and engineering records that range in tone from peaceful symphonic compositions to feel-good radio singles and EDM tracks – five albums worth of material actually, and four different tours coming up to bring it all to the world.
You touched on something important with “I Am Light”: making an accessible and incredibly uplifting message that mainstream wants to get behind.
Yeah, it was the first time I heard one of my songs on Top 40 radio alongside Coldplay and Ed Sheeran, which was a really exciting experience. And I was touched to see “I Am Light” play in so many countries where I have not yet toured. The best really is that it all resulted in people feeling inspired to keep their footprint on our planet light. The music video, which has a cameo by my friend Markjan Winnick of “Vikings”, stars Natamba in a story of interconnection and the power to light up the world. “I Am Light” brought awareness to MAPS, so we realized we just needed to take that to a whole new level.
You seem to have some heavyweight support behind you. How did this come to be?
I have a policy that if you don’t ask the answer is no. So I just showed up and asked. I mean, we are talking about a global crisis. Once people know about it they want to help. For example, my manager Rishi Deva and I met Tom Silverman, several years ago, and we hit it off. Tom pioneered hip hop when he released Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa on his label Tommy Boy Records. That kind of conscious hip hop was a revolution. It was about people coming together to make a positive change in the world. And then on a past visit to the UK, I spent time in Chris Porter’s studio. Chris produced Wham, Pet Shop Boys and many other artists I love. He is currently producing and touring with Robert Fripp and King Crimson, as well as helping to make MAPS a reality.
How do you see the music industry serving the world we live in today?
From my perspective, the creative process, whether conscious or not, actually taps into a collective field of energy. So much so, that literally what we each do, think and create reflects and shifts the directive of our collective consciousness as a whole. With the power available to us today through the media, the role and corresponding responsibility of artists have never been so relevant. The music industry has undergone profound transformation in the past decade. But we have an opportunity to come together to heal the world through music, and that is what I am committed to.
This reminds me that as I was walking into the BBC in London for a meeting, I bumped into Robbie Williams who was on his way out the door. I spoke to him about having performed at the North Pole and the first thing he asked me was, “What did you sing?” I immediately responded, “My tunes, of course!” We both laughed, knowing that artists give voice to something that cannot be silenced.
Cashbox’s roots go back seven decades, with pride of place alongside Billboard and Record World. Today, Cashbox Canada is Canada’s premier online music magazine covering all aspects of the industry. It is helmed by Sandy Graham, a music business veteran and one of the first women to be Music Director at a major radio station and Eastern Promotions Director at RCA.