Veteran musician Jayashree Singh passes away, leaving a giant void in independent music

Famous as a cover artiste through the 70s, Jayashree Singh pioneered the movement of independent musicians by being one of the earliest voices in rock

The lead singer/songwriter of Skinny Alley & Pinknoise, Jayashree Singh, passed away in Chennai today. Her family made the announcement on social media, more details are awaited. According to reports, the veteran musician in her mid 60s had been unwell for a while.

Originally hailing from Chennai, she married veteran bassist Gyan Singh and soon gave birth to a third musician, Jivraj Singh (one half of Parekh & Singh). Particularly famous as a cover artiste through the 70s, Singh pioneered the movement of independent musicians by being one of the earliest voices in rock. She officially formed Skinny Alley in 2001, which went on to release their first album Escape The Roar in 2003.

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Steering away from Skinny Alley’s sound of funk, jazz and blues – she started the comparatively esoteric Pinknoise. The band saw the original members of Skinny Alley – Kolkata-based veteran Amyt Datta, Jayashree and Gyan joined by their son Jivraj Singh on the drums. Unfortunately Gyan passed away in 2012, he was 62.

Pinknoise released Dance of the Diaspora in 2014, which had heavy influences in jazz, electronica and punk. The album was hailed as path-breaking by Kolkata-based guitarist Bodhisattwa Ghosh, who said that it changed the way he looked at music, something for which he will always remain indebted to her. Vocalist Suman Sridhar also raved about the album in a Rolling Stones article, where she said how the album ‘held her hand and stole her heart’.

Jayashree Singh’s passing has left a giant void in Kolkata’s music community. But her work as a songwriter and vocalist, is something we’ll all cherish forever. Those evenings in Some Place Else, will not be the same.