Meet Saraswathi Jones

Saraswathi

Saraswathi Jones performs for All Together Now #8 at Inner Sanctum on November 4, 2017.

Saraswathi Jones is a Boston musician and purveyor of postcolonial pop.  Her work draws from the well of South Asian history, culture, and aesthetics and reflects on life in immigrant America. She released the solo EP Lingua Franca in 2013, and fronts Boston band Awaaz Do, who released their debut EP Kite Fight in 2016 and received an Iguana Music Fund grant in 2017 to record their next album. Ms. Jones helped found Hindie Rock Fest, a local music festival featuring South Asian American artists from a broad array of genres, and currently serves as board president of Girls Rock Campaign Boston, a feminist nonprofit empowering girls through musical performance and education. saraswathijones.com.

Artist Q&A:

Q: What are your thoughts on collaboration between artists of different genres?

A: Cross-genre collaboration feels vital to me. The broader one’s palette of influences, the more depth and richness there is in one’s own work.

Q: How does art transform people or environments?

A: Seeing art in a museum (or hearing music in a music club) can be like seeing an animal in a zoo: interesting and even moving, but missing something vital. There is deeper truth and opportunity for engagement when creative work appears in spaces where people live, work and play. It feels more revolutionary, too.

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Meet REX MAC

Rex Mac_3000x3000 (1)

REX MAC is a Filipino-American Boston based musician, organizer, and journalist. Since 2012, Rex has built a discography of entirely self-produced projects on love, solitude, and self-empowerment. Offstage and outside studio, he is a contributing writer for Boston music blog Know Your Scene. Monthly, he hosts his own monthly hip hop showcase, Sonic Bloom, at Cambridge’s Out of the Blue Too Art Gallery. Currently, he is quietly at work on his second album, which will see an official commercial release in Spring 2017.
rexmacmusic.com

Artist Quotes

“I personally love hip hop for its ability to disregard taboos and redirect pop cultural conversations. In the past 3 years alone, look at what Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” did to encourage talk on race relations..what Solange’s “A Seat At The Table” did to highlight self care, what Frank Ocean’s “Blond” did to explore gender fluidity. Personally, it’s given me more courage to speak about mental health.”

Q: What’s an assumption people make about hip hop that you think isn’t true?
A: Hip hop is stigmatized by this idea that it’ll invite disrespectful, rowdy crowds to your doorstep. This past year alone, I’ve caught wind of 3 Boston venues who’ve decided to no longer allow hip hop in their space. Yes, it’s a youthful sport. It may get abrasive or angsty at times. But it’s unified and communal. For all of the backlash hip hop gets for its praise of drugs, violence, and misogyny, it carries a lot more spiritual and political value than people realize.

Q: What drew you to hip hop?
A: My father. He loved Parliament, the Blackbyrds, and Earth Wind and Fire..the fun, funky side of old school R&B. So naturally, when west coast rappers repurposed those grooves over rap drums, he bought their albums. I just happened to be in the car when those CDs were played, and the rest is history.

Q: What drives you to create?
A: My need to build relationships and let you know you’re not alone.

Q: What’s one thing you’ve learned over time?
A: I’ve learned that you need people. Google the Austin Kleon coined term, “scenius.”