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Creating Alternate Realities - Monica Dogra!

By Armin Sethi Friday, Jun 14, 2019 10:55: AM

There’s something about Monica Dogra…at the very least, she has the ability to leave you intrigued and wondering, often about yourself and your surroundings. All of a sudden, she makes you feel more aware. In our interview with Monica Dogra, she talks about being an artist, how she lives, and the inspiration behind ‘See Me Now’, her latest single. Here’s our chat:

Acting, music, serenity, peace. Many words and descriptors come to my mind when I think of Monica Dogra. What is the first word and descriptor that come to yours and why?

Experimental.  Original. 

You don’t fit into a category, a box. Even as a musician, an artist, there is a different flavor to your music, your voice, your videos. What’s the inspiration behind that?

I think I’m constantly excavating my internal world and then writing from that place.   I suppose that’s my deepest inspiration - to know myself.  My vehicle for doing that, is my art. 

I really want to know – how do you balance that you essentially seem to represent two different countries? How do you balance India with the States? Is there such a concept as home?

For me now, India is my home.  I don’t have a family home in the USA.  I don’t have a place to “return” to so to speak.  My parents split up when I was very young and I’ve been on my own since I was 17.  I now share a lovely relationship with both my mom and dad - but I do not identify with the USA as home.  I don’t feel like I represent one or the other, those are external categorizations that other people make.  All of my work has been in India, and save a few months a year when I go to the USA to see my family, I am in India, contributing here, building here, loving here. 

One of your social media posts, which I find fascinating, is…”ever since I was a little girl…I knew that make-believe was going to be my game.” Are you still playing make-believe?

When I say make-believe, I mean creating alternate realities, via story-telling, film, and music... it is my way to creatively construct what I wish to live, feel, and offer.  Yes, I am very much still this sort of practitioner on the planet.  I don’t passively live.  If I can dream something specific, see it in my mind’s eye, feel it in my heart, I believe I can make it happen. 

“See Me Now” is, yet again, an interesting song – and often, I find your songs and music delve into a deeper life principle or philosophy? Is that true? What’s the story behind “See Me Now”?

“See Me Now” is an examination of many things ... gender relationships... the original folk song is a confrontation between a husband and wife.  The husband is asking the wife why her nose ring is missing after she returns from the market.  Implying she was with another man.  I’ve been wrongfully accused before and took this theme to write “see me now I’ve got nothing to prove been around the block and got nothing to lose” “when I’m quiet you know there is a riot ... tornado twist up your hate and I spit that love out...”

I went into hiding after a very public media slamming had occurred. “See Me Now” was my comeback song where I realized I do what I do for love - people may misunderstand and that’s okay... I still love ... I’ll still be brave ... I’ll still be right here doing my thing.

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