“Is my idea of being at peace the same as being a home? Is it within me? Who am I? All these questions found expression in Periphery,’ says Brooklyn-based musician Priya Darshini, who has been nominated for in the Best New Age Album category at the Grammys 2021, country’s most prestigious music award. The 63rd Annual Grammys took place on the night of 14-15 March, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The album, Periphery nominated for ‘containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental new age recordings’ features music artists Max ZT (hammered dulcimer), Dave Eggar (cello), Chuck Palmer (percussion), and Will Calhoun (percussion).
“It was recorded live on one mic in a church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and was an incredible experience to be a part of,” Darshini posted.
Born in Chennai, India and currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, Darshini has sung for over one-hundred television and radio commercials, as well as recorded for several Indian movie soundtracks, according to her bio on her website.
She began her classical singing career by performing a duet song with Hariharan for the Tamil film Kadhal Dot Com under music director Bharathwaj. She is also the first Indian playback singer to pursue PhD research in Film Music from University of Mysore, according to tamilsai.net.
Darshini is performing virtually at the Mandala Makers Festival organised by Mandala South Asian Performing Arts on March 26 at 7.30pm CST along with Max ZT.
She is also an actor (The Letters), ultra-marathoner (first and youngest Indian woman to run a 100-mile race in the Himalayas), and entrepreneur (The Wind Chasers – organizing extreme ultra marathons in the Himalayas and the south of India).
Darshini is a trustee of the Mumbai-based non-profit organization Jana Rakshita – an NGO working with underserved pediatric cancer patients, and building infrastructure for schools, with a focus on education for girls. She is working with a New York-based sustainable couture fashion startup that aims at slowing down fast fashion inspired by cradle-to-cradle design.
While the celebration of the occasion had everything to do with her superlative album Periphery that was released earlier in the year, it is in many ways a validation of so many of her choices, struggles and sacrifices. “My friends and family have been so excited about the nomination. I’ve been receiving so much love and appreciation for the album and the nomination has only multiplied that. It is also the recognition of the years of their support and encouragement I’ve received from near and dear ones, to help me follow this path, guide me through making difficult choices and to tell me to always, always be at it,” says Priya, speaking from Chicago.