The co-founder and vocalist of Melbourne Bollywood band The Bombay Royale is prepping to release her debut album ‘Sa’ later this year
Women in traditional Indian clothes dancing away, a stationary auto used as a prop and a wedding scene – it might seem on the surface that Punjabi-Australian artist Parvyn’s new music video for “What You See” offers only cliches.
A deeper look at the use of monochrome and certain mysterious elements (like the faceless violinist in a suit who is shown alongside the bride avatar of Parvyn), however, want to tell us something more. Parvyn Kaur Singh and director Bina Bhattacharya didn’t want to show just the happy side of the Indian immigrant experience. Parvyn – who is the daughter of Sikh devotional singer Dya Singh – says, “I didn’t want it to be just the standard Bollywood dancing shaava shaava kind of always happy scenario, which is why we had the black and white and the color frames […] Also, normally, it’s the men that have all the scenes in dominant pictures. The women are just like throwaway images. So I kind of wanted to switch the vibe.”
Parvyn – whose name is pronounced ‘pah-vin’ rather than the more commonly assumed ‘parveen’ in India – has so far made a name as the vocalist and co-founder of Australian psychedelic/Bollywood band The Bombay Royale. They famously had their song “You Me Bullets Love” out in 2012 (from the album of the same name) and featured in the videogame Far Cry 4. While the band continue to enjoy popularity in Australia and Parvyn had also been touring with her father for devotional concerts, the pandemic changed things.
That’s when she returned to work on her long-awaited debut solo album Sa, starting with Zoom calls every Monday with Melbourne-based producer Joelistics aka Joel Ma. Parvyn, who “upskilled” and picked up more production techniques beyond a basic understanding, says, “He would have the program open on his computer and share his screen with me. And I had my microphones set up. It was actually what kept me going through lockdown because we had a very long lockdown in Melbourne, it was like my driving force.”
While Parvyn describes “What You See” as the banger on the 12-track album – “it’s the most upbeat, fun song” – there’s a lot more explored on Sa, which will release later this year. “I’ve just taken bits and pieces of things that I love of all different elements of all different types of music and put it together in my own unique way.”
Watch the video for “What You See” below. Stream on more platforms here.