Sharif D Rangnekar, director of the Rainbow Literature Festival and author of the autobiographical book ‘Straight to Normal’ and singer in the band Friends of Linger, released a music video of his song ‘I Am Who I Am’. yesterday. As the title suggests, the song exhorts a person to be proud of who they are and gives a message that there is no place for discrimination due to any inabilities or disabilities or colour or choice of love or how you view your gender!
The song is essentially on multiple identities, on anti-discrimination – focused on gender, sexuality, disability, race and religion. True to its lyrics, the music video features over 30 ‘different’ individuals from various parts of the country belonging to film world to music, arts, activism and more and celebrates diversity in all forms.
Drag artist – Betta Naan Stop; one of the first trans RJ’s and mural artist, Shanthi; a gay couple; a specially abled boy – Armaan, gay singer/songwriter who featured in the top 30 of the Indian Idol – John Oinam, are some of the 30 individuals featured in the song. Film-maker and writer, Tanuja Chandra too makes an appearance with a ‘sermon’ of sorts, and so does the former tennis star and number one, Somdev Devvarman.
“Given what has been happening over the past couple of months: the Black Lives Matter movement, attacks on the queer community, reports on everyday violence, ageism – I just felt like this was the right time to bring all those experiences together in the form of a not-so-poignant music video but one which could try to bring a smile on everyone’s face,” Sharif told The Wire.
The song has been released globally through CD Baby – arguably the most effective digital distributors in the world – and is now available on all music streaming platforms. These include iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, Gaana, Shazam, Apple Music, YouTube and the rest.