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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Julia Yaroshenko

Vandana JainLife for Vandana Jain began in India, then she moved to London and finally her travels found her in New York where she is currently based. She saw vast differences between the cultures she experienced, but also felt a strong lack of self-expression in India. .

In her move to New York, she found the American city quite different from London and this stirred several inner sensory notes. "All that created a polarity, a wabi-sabi in my personality, a yin and yang of nature versus nurture" and all of it started to come through in her expression as an artist.

"Music was always kind of a home spirit. My family would spend evenings singing and playing the piano. Having grown up in India, it certainly felt like the spirit of the Motherland too."

Vandana’s music is dark and mysterious yet not harsh or aggressive. In equal measure it expresses comfort and id often heart-rending. Her style floats lightly between dark-wave electronica and alternative music with a touch of Indian and Arabic flavor.

"I always get the sensation of running my nails and teeth through a forest covered in moss when I create music, or the sensation of biting into a hard, cold candy with a molten, warm centre."

Vandana JainVandana also feels very strongly about being a woman and strongly expresses it through her music. "Having grown up in a patriarchal society, the most intelligent and sustaining lessons I have learnt have been through the women in my life."

"Everything I do is an ode to womanhood; our magnifcence is in knowing and expressing our primitive and innate power and I salute that within myself and all women I know, every day."

Watch her performances and this strong presence in her is obvious and exquisitely apparent.

"I think the most beautiful thing about a woman is grace, and beauty comes from grace. Being in the music industry doesn’t have to mean you have to wear a bikini and do a video where you’re having a lesbian relationship with another singer; I mean yeah, sure, it’s hot, but what’s it saying about women?"

"It doesn’t tell me anything that I can relate to. It’s about voyeurism and the male gaze, and not really about whether you’re doing it for yourself."

What happens to me a lot is people saying, ‘Why are you wearing these big silhouettes on stage? Why don’t you want to show your legs and arms and shoulders off?"

"That’s fine, but I am who I am and I have a vision for myself. I really respect artists like Bjork, because she’s not apologetic about her choices in music or what she wears; that tells me about her individuality and her openness to experimentation, and I adore that."

"There’s a lot of sexism in the industry where they expect the pop artist in you to come out, but I’m not really involved with that. The music I make is at the tail end of pop; it’s industrial electronic music."

Vandana Jain"I’m surrounded by people who make this kind of music and who experiment with their clothing. Artist, musician. Volume and drama can only happen with big shapes, you know? It doesn’t have to be tiny with long legs on stilts."

"Image is important in music, but it’s different to different people. For me it’s about expressing your individuality, because that’s what people relate to. They want to see who you are, not a cookie cutter image of someone else."

"Sometimes I end up making my own clothes, but now that my brother’s graduated from fashion school and is launching his own line, he makes a lot of stuff for me. He made the jumpsuit I'm wearing right now."

"I like voluminous silhouettes that create drama, and I use my hair on stage a lot. To be honest, it’s just because I’m playing two instruments on stage, so I’m always bowed over my instruments."

"I see pictures of myself afterwards and every photo is no face, just hair. (Laughing) I suppose it’s my little shield from the world. But I do like the attention, there’s no doubt about it. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if I wasn’t at least a little narcissistic."

"My hair was about shoulder length long when I moved to London, but I stopped cutting it because I was a student, and it was like, £100 to cut your hair. (Laughs) Long hair is now very much a part of me; I don’t wash it very often but when I do, I use the shampoo and conditioner from this great brand called Nisim."

Vandana Jain"It’s very softening and very light, especially since I only wash my hair about once or twice a week. Also, if you’re working out, I feel like the salt from the sweat makes it sort of beachy in a way, and you don’t have to style it much."

"I also use the Lemongrass Lift Spray by mop, which I really love. Whenever I want to go out and I need big, big hair, I put this on, and it really does give me big hair."

"It lifts your roots a bit, which is great. I don’t really style my hair other than that; I will blow dry the front sometimes so I don’t have a cowlick. I hate those cowlicks."(Laughs)

"I used to have very problematic skin for the last six or seven years. I would break out as soon as I walked into the sun, and being on the beach was such a hassle. I went to so many dermatologists, and every one would give me a horde of creams that never helped."

"Then I went to see Dr. Debra Jaliman in New York, where I now live, and she changed my skin. I use the Mild Cleanser and the Rx Moisturiser from her line."

She told me that I was breaking out because of the sun exposure, and she put me on to the UV Clear SPF 46 sunscreen by Elta MD. I put on a thick layer three or four times a day and now, I don’t get a spot."

"I used to wake up terrified that I’d have a new breakout, but this has made my skin so clear that I don’t have to use makeup anymore. It’s quite amazing. All the dermatologists in New York carry it, but you can also buy it online.

I wear it at night too, which might sound strange, but it doesn’t have a whitish tint and goes on clear, and it makes my skin look really dewy. It gives it a nice glow, which I love; I don’t like the matte look at all."

Vandana Jain"Women tend to stay away from shine but you want your cheekbones to have a bit of shine, you want it under the brow – it’s OK to shine! (Laughs) It’s just a sign of good health and good skin."

"Actually, to be honest, I think that too much makeup ages you, especially with women who cake their faces with foundation. I use a bit of MAC’s Studio Fix Concealer if I need to cover something up, which I mix in with my sunscreen, but I don’t wear anything on my face otherwise."

"I have a big mouth, so I always thought that wearing colour on it might be too much, so I used to stain my lips a little using MAC’s Lady Danger. Then I noticed my sister wearing a lot of this really great red lipstick when I went to visit her and it turns out it was Lady Danger. So now I use it straight from the tube.

Raised in India, educated in London and settling in Brooklyn she has collected a beautiful layering of both musical and aesthetic influences, all of which find a place in the music.

Everything from Portishead to Pink Floyd, to the rave scene in London and select Indian pop music lend to her layered style. Although the project is primarily a solo effort, live Vandana teams up with Yusuke Yamamoto, a New York based artist and musician.

Together they re-worked their sets with live vocals over thick club beats for the monthly residency spot at East Village club NUBLU, as well as Brooklyn side mainstays like 285 Kent, Cameo Gallery and The Rock Shop.

Vandana Jain"September 23, 2017 was 14 days after I broke my right fibula and damaged a bunch of ligaments. The first week felt like a month, time didn't make the slightest movement."

"After a few days of getting past the anger and the seeming needlessness of my injury, came true appreciation for the message that I needed to slow down and pay attention to what's most important."

"I know why this was brought to me. It is a beautiful, deep, intense lesson, with a long recovery ahead. I've been writing, drawing and painting, making melodies on my dad's Casio VL Tone, reading and meditating."

"It's a liberation of sorts from the prison of the rational, constantly needing to prove and do something important construct of mind and I'm thankful for it."

"Our bodies are magic machines which we take for granted. Never has walking seemed like a gift before. This is my current reality dance. In which no literal dancing is involved but all sorts of other mysteries are waiting for me to go find them and perhaps I'll invent some of my own too."

"The lack of freedom and self-expression in India, and an explosion of the same during my time in London, the vast differences between the two cultures, and now New York, which is still quite different from London, stirred several sensory overloads."

"I think creating a polarity, a black and white in my personality, music, visuals, aesthetic, a yin and yang of nature and nurture. The pretty always has to be counterbalanced with the ugly in my case."

Vandana JainVandana speaks about revolts against the injustice exhibited toward women globally, the counter balancing of beauty with the not-so-beautiful, and more; beginning with exploring the cross sections of fashion, music, and visuals.

"As a graphic artist and dedicated follower of fashion and couture; I find an intersection where fashion informs my music, as well as music informing my passion for fashion."

"I am a very visual person, fashion, art, objects, film, cities, faces, wrinkles, all inform my music. When the right image and music come together, it makes a stark impression, a decided mood that embeds itself as a memory."

"When I think of anything that has really struck me, I see it as a layer in the subconscious that at a later point I am subliminally drawing from while being tangentially creative."

"The album ANTI VENUS is a revolt against injustice to women, and is definitely pro-goddess. Venus, the goddess, as she was created, embodied beauty, love, sex, fertility, and although these are all facets of women, there is that subterranean layer that I am talking about - Anti Venus is anti-superficiality."

"In the part of the world that I come from, women are largely seen as objects, to be consumed by men, dictated to by men, there's the assumption that we are animals without a voice."

"We have unfortunately been reading about some of the barbaric acts of men towards women, but that is just a little dip in the ocean. Women possess a power that we sometimes forget to acknowledge and I am interested in destroying the socially accepted behavior and rebirth the double faced goddess - one who creates as well as destroys."

Vandana Jain"Like the goddesses I grew up looking up to, Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi. They are essentially one Goddess but with all encompassing qualities. Most importantly, the Anti Venus that destroys with grace."

Another of Vandana's songs is Claw. It is mesmerizing. Claw is a cruel desire to self destruct when in love. It's a love that disturbs and suffocates at the same time is a paradise you can escape to, like erotic asphyxiation."

"The mood reminds me of the Jamaican landscape by night. The idea was to subvert the calm and sweet of the voice and synth lines with abrasive lo-fi beats."

"Claw is a statement against society's iron clad fist of intolerance against women through the avenging sound of goddesses that create and destroy at the same time."

“Claw is detailed through an assertive and delicate yin and yang of tempest fevered waters and pools of divine serenity. The hands and hearts of love here are painted as caring, as much as they are portrayed as abusive and suppressive."

"These extremities and polarities are constantly present, from the vulnerable state of letting down your guard emotionally to the fortitude protections of sanctuary." “The silken tree under which I lay, the moss that grows beneath my feet protects me from the hands of what you do, even when I'm sound asleep”.

"It is precisely this balance of darkness and light, the artificial coupled with the natural that has been heard on other recent singles, “Ecstatic“, and “Mask“, that both obfuscates and disguises through the agony and ecstasy of electronic couture.

Vandana JainFollowing up her Vandamner EP, the audio and visual artist prepared her counterattack in the revolt against women with, Anti Venus, picking up where her “tricking you for years”-counteroffensive, “Men With Sticks“, left off.

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