In Ambika’s life, every day feels very new. Singer, producer-DJ, model, actor and voiceover artist, the young maverick is now manifesting everything she wanted to be growing up. Amongst her developing personas is Kayan. A clever flip of her last name, read with a sense of mystique and curiosity, it just stuck – birthing Kayan, who seeks solace by inhabiting soul, electronic, pop and R&B terrains.
Born into a household deeply entrenched in traditional dance and music – her mother a Hindustani classical vocalist and her grandmother a seasoned kathak exponent – Ambika says that her formative years were quite unlike most kids. A family outing usually meant going to a play, concert or art exhibition, imbibing culture from a very young age. Through her childhood, studying the dance form of Bharatnatyam for about seven years, Ambika adds that it will never leave her system.
Her connection to music is even stronger, having attended TSM in Mumbai where she co-founded bands such as Kimochi Youkai and teamed up with producer-keyboardist Nirmit Shah to become Nothing Anonymous, one of the hottest acts in Indian independent music right now.
As Kayan, in her honeyed vocal style that’s informed by artists such as Jorja Smith and Kali Uchis, she’s always singing about stories – a theme she plaintively carries forward in her debut single “Please.” With a keen determination towards levelling up and expanding her audience, it’s this very flow of enthusiastic energy that makes Kayan one to watch. She’s already conquered stages around the country, holding forth a distinctive narrative as a rising artist who can’t stop, won’t stop.