"Toward Unity And Justice" Sharmi Basu in San Francisco Classical Voice - July 2020
“For me, it’s just like, pay them” responded electronic artist and DIY-scene community organizer Sharmi Basu, with a laugh. The question posed was about how to account for the wide range of access to opportunity and safety between, say, a cisgender white gay man and a transgender black woman, while trying to unify the queer and trans new music community. They continued: “A lot of these questions are actually really simple — giving resources both financially and emotionally [to queer and trans artists of color] is a huge step towards changing these discrepancies, and making people feel loved and seen.”
"How Oakland's Music Scene became Queerer, Browner, and More Femme" on Bandcamp Daily
"The life cycles of underground scenes in Oakland tend to be short. Because of the affordability crisis in the Bay Area, there’s no longer an abundance of derelict storefronts and warehouses in which to throw parties. When a landlord sells a building that used to house an underground venue, the groups of people that venue united typically scatter among other enclaves in the scene. Every year, a new crop of kids comes of age and starts building something new. And because of the Ghost Ship fire, which claimed 36 lives at a party last December, underground venues have become harder to find than ever before.
That’s why, even though Basu is only a few years older than some other artists in the experimental music scene, many regard her as a foremother who paved the way for younger artists like Spellling, Kohinoorgasm, and Earthbound. “I think it has a lot to do with resistance also, to be honest,” she says. “I think a lot of things shifted at the end of 2014, when all the stuff surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown was happening. That was a point when people were suddenly realizing what police violence is, and what white supremacy actually is.”
"Sharmi Basu is Decolonizing Noise" Sharmi Basu in East Bay Express
""There's a myth that noise as a genre miraculously came from white dudes in the suburbs, but that's not the case. History is misleading. Noise is based on improvisation. There are so many accounts of mothers in the South, who were enslaved, freestyling these lullabies and the lullabies serve as a moment of refuge, an actual source of safety." Basu continued, "For myself, getting into experimental music was about how I can create a world outside of the world I'm materially bound to, how I can express what I'm feeling without this shitty colonial language I'm socialized to use."