Kamakshi Khanna© Kamakshi Khanna

Kamakshi Khanna Explores Modern Dating With Her Latest Single

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

In the world of Orange Peel Theories and Ketchup Tests, there’s no denying that navigating the modern dating hellscape can be a nightmare. If you agree, then Indie music scene darling Kamakshi Khanna’s latest single “Love Is Not A F**king Game” can be your official anthem.

The Mumbai-based singer-songwriter has released the single from her upcoming EP and could not be happier about how it’s been received. “I’m feeling great. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working on this idea for a long time,” she says when I congratulate her on the latest release.

Like Kamakshi’s other works, the song covers themes of love, heartbreak and self-discovery through her clever lyrics and melodies. “It is about how complex modern relationships can be in a world where so many options and dating apps exist. The concepts of comprising for somebody and fighting for your love are virtually non-existent these days. I think we end up taking each other for granted and not taking love as seriously as we used to and playing mind games and end up hurting each other.”

The song is accompanied by a music video that has been designed as a video game with Kamakshi portraying several iconic game characters like Mario and Lara Croft. The stunning MV is a labour of love and one of Kamakshi’s personal milestones (only preceded by performing onstage with AR Rahman and being on the line-up of Lollapalooza 2024).

Kamakshi Khanna©Kamakshi Khanna

“It’s been a dream of mine to have a very strong conceptual music video with visuals that align with the lyrics perfectly,” she says, “The song comes from a very emotional and personal space for me and I wanted to convey that through the music video while also having fun with it.”

After years of trying to bring her idea of the music video to reality, Kamakshi confesses that she almost gave up until she met Vasudha Rungta, of Melting Clocks, who managed to breathe life into the singer’s vision. “(Vasudha Rungta) came to the rescue and made this idea happen. We had a very tight budget. We tried to make use of everything, all the resources that we could, we had at our disposal to make this happen.”

Over the past few years, Kamakshi has made a niche for herself in the burgeoning indie music scene in the country. Her music, a blend of pop and RnB/soul, has made its way into the OSTs of some of the most popular web series and movies, like The Fame Game, Modern Love: Mumbai, and Kota Factory. Her foray into this industry was, but, inevitable.

“I have a family full of singers!” she says, “My mother is a really good singer. She’s trained in Hindustani classical. My nani (grandmother) used to sing. My sister is an incredible singer and was the president of our music society in school before me. So, she was my inspiration while growing up. I think, it was just the ecosystem around me that was very musical and made me more passionate about music from the start.”

A tour of Austria with the Mozart Choir of India and being guided by Pandit Ravi Shankar solidified her belief that this was her calling. “I was very lucky that at every phase of my life, I had unique musical experiences. These have shaped me into the artist I am today.”

Kamakshi Khanna©Kamakshi Khanna

The talented musician is, therefore, the perfect person to ask for recommendations for up-and-coming indie artists from India that we should check out, stat. After some thought, she shares, “I think anybody who is listening to independent music right now is already listening to these people, hopefully, but I think Mali is one of the best in the country right now. Then, I think, you cannot give Abhilasha Sinha a miss. Lastly, I think Frizelle D’souza is so great but underrated.”

Kamakshi Khanna’s “Love Is A F**king Game” is available for listening across leading music streaming platforms.