Saraswathi Jones Interview
WHRB had the chance to sit down with Saraswathi Jones last week. Saraswathi Jones is a “purveyor of postcolonial pop.” Postcolonial pop is a term Saraswathi created to describe her songwriting perspective. The term is in reference to the history of European colonization and specifically a reflection on the British empire and its lingering presence. Saraswathi’s family roots are in India and that has influenced her songwriting: “I was just thinking I’d write some songs about heartbreak but I realized my heartbreak was generations deep.”
Saraswathi’s band Awaaz Do originally came from a desire to make punk covers of popular Bollywood songs. Saraswathi grew up listening to Bollywood songs and was amazed that no one had ever made covers of the songs as they seemed ripe for a punk remake. Finally, one of her friends suggested she make the covers she desired, and Awaaz Do was born. Since their 2014 debut, Awaaz Do has transitioned from Bollywood covers to writing original songs.
Saraswathi is also the co-founder of Hindie Rock Fest and board president of Girls Rock Campaign Boston. Saraswathi recognizes that the lack of women and especially women of color in traditional punk spaces is at first surprising: “If there’s anybody who has something to rage about, it’s women. But we’re not in that particular scene. We are in punk and we are in rock, it’s just that we aren’t in the traditional spaces.” Saraswathi explains that “I think it’s because we tend to gravitate towards spaces where we feel comfortable and where we see ourselves represented and where we feel safe and where we feel we can be vulnerable. Those kinds of spaces, even though a lot of the bands have so called radical politics, there’s not really a space. I don’t think that it’s a welcoming environment.”
However, in part due to the internet, people are able to find each other and create more inclusive spaces. Saraswathi has seen this first hand at her shows. She is also playing at All Together Now #8 at Thalia Theatre on November 4th, which seeks to create a diverse show and inclusive space.
Check out the full interview above and don’t miss Saraswathi Jones on November 4th!
Amanda Glazer is Online Content Director and a DJ for Record Hospital.