Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang is a South Asian-American, Sikh vocalist, sitarist, composer and producer from Baltimore. Her sound ranges from North Indian classical fused with noise/ambient electronics to experimental dancepop that comes together to create a new genre she calls “bollywave.” The work references her musical education as well as the grit, chaos, and spirituality of the landscapes of both Baltimore and urban India.
Picking up her first sitar when she was twelve years old, Dang has studied North Indian classical music (voice and sitar) in both New Delhi and Maryland, and she also holds a degree in music technology & composition from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Following in the footsteps of artists like Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, she seeks to advance the sound of contemporary experimental, pop, and electronic music with the sounds of South Asia--through live vocals and sitar, ragas, and sampling. And vice versa, she aims to bring a broader sound palette to the legacy of South Asian music. These goals are a lifelong mission.
Her debut album Hukam came out in 2011 on Ehse Records to critical acclaim. She delved further into the sounds of “bollywave” or experimental-indiepop on Uni Sun, her sophomore album that was released on Friends Records in 2016. Along with cellist Alexa Richardson, Ami is ½ of Raw Silk, who released their self-titled debut album in June 2018. Most notably, Dang accompanied Grimes on her 2013 tour of Asia as both an opening act and a backing vocalist. Dang appears on Grimes’ video for “REALiTi,” which was shot throughout the tour. Her music defies genre, and she has shared bills with many pop, rock, world, folk, hip hop, and experimental acts, including Future Islands, Chairlift, A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Beach House, Wye Oak, Lil B, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Dan Deacon.
She recently completed a tour of the east coast of the United States in November-December 2018. Her next album, featuring strictly sitar improvisations and pulsing, droning synths, will be released in 2019 on Leaving Records.