Meghna Mitra releases the most sublime music under her name Meghna and her new single ‘My DNA’ belies her youth with its world weary tones and chilling themes. Over a sparse trip-hop electronic beat, Meghna’s evocative vocals recount the experiences of her Indian parents and grandparents and the horrors and realties of a life in poverty. Meghna says of the track:
’In My DNA’ was written based on the experiences of my parents and grandparents in India, as well as an interesting documentary I watched on the Bangladesh brothel town of Daulatdia. The documentary follows a young girl and her life in the village — she wants an education but it’s difficult to access one. She says that the town is ‘unsafe’ for her because all these men hang around, looking at her with malicious intent. Many of the women and children in the town had been sold into prostitution or were born and bred there after generations. They want to escape but feel that the town has trapped them, with every waking minute they spend there the shackles grow tighter. My parents and grandparents had also experienced poverty and conditions like this in India. Essentially, ‘In My DNA’ is about thinking that ‘you have to be something’ because it is ‘in your DNA’, or in your roots but still hoping for better things, or for things to be different.
The result is something sparse that seems to echo the vicissitudes of a life of desperation and suffering: an atmospheric sonic encapsulation of horror. Meghna’s voice transforms from a soft and dreamy tone to spoken word interludes with an edge and a bite. Ultimately there is an element of hope, resilience and empowerment – the ability to defy what’s in your DNA:
The dark themes are, however, not Meghna’s sole direction. She says:
I just want everyone to be happy. That’s what I want to convey with my music. No intense political thoughts, but I just hope that everyone has their human rights, justice, equal opportunity and good mental health.
A laudable intent and a promise of great things to come. ‘In My DNA’ is available through all the usual download/streaming sites today.