Patio Unplugged: Ramya Pothuri sings about wilderness, isolation and being imperfectly human

Abhinav Jai Singh

Jan 06, 2018 15:32:10 IST

Editor’s note: Patio Unplugged — a platform for indie artistes and a Lazy Patio Films production — is bringing over 30 musicians from Mumbai in its first season, to audiophiles. Born out of a love for acoustic music and a passion for film-making, Patio Unplugged not only provides a stage to artists but also a chance to record their music, and shoot two music videos. What sets this programme apart, is that artistes from across genres recreate their music in an unplugged format. Each artist/band featured on the show will perform two original songs. The Habitat Comedy and Music Café is the audio partner for the show. The Habitat also records, mixes and masters the tracks for Patio Unplugged and hosts the artistes every Saturday as an event called 'The Listening Room Sessions'. We're featuring each of the artistes from season 1, on Firstpost.


Ramya Pothuri's life has been the opposite of what all Jhumpa Lahiri novels are based on – she moved from St. Louis, Missouri, USA to Hyderabad at the age of 16. Her music, too, reflects this feeling; of movement, of dispersion, of letting go. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter has been writing songs since the age of 14. Her blooming insight on the life around her gives the music an atmosphere of indelible calm amidst chaos that cannot be ignored.

Ramya, a finger-style guitarist, performed two singles – 'Places' and 'Keep You Here' – on the latest edition of Patio Unplugged. 'Places', taken from Ramya's debut EP We Never Left, is a slow burning tune that is surprisingly soothing. The song's chorus strangely captures the sinking feeling one gets while drifting towards an unknown place. Inspired by her own experiences of moving from one country to an entirely different one, 'Places' is the kind of song you would want to play in your car during a road trip; when the sun has almost set, but not quite. This conundrum – feeling uneasy and at peace in equal measure– is evened out by Ramya's mellow voice.

All of this comes together to make 'Places' a beautiful song. The indefiniteness of its harrowing yet subtle guitar-playing can be instantly mesmerising, but only if you feel you're in the mood for it.

"It's kind of depressing," is how Ramya Pothuri describes the second single 'Keep You Here'. The track moves at a pace that lets your mind takes its own course. The subdued melody of the guitar that lingers under Ramya's mournful, reflective voice takes you back to a familiar feeling. 'Keep You Here' deals with a person's inevitable longing to find an identity, and a home. The songs, both 'Places' and 'Keep You Here', come from the depths of the artist's mind.

The strength of the songs lie in their ability to connect with listeners who might feel the same was the singer does, and Ramya achieves this. Only an EP old, it would be a fascinating experience to see how Ramya Pothuri evolves with time.

Updated Date: Jan 06, 2018 18:51:33 IST