We premiered “Bad Thoughts” from Australian/Indian artist Meghna last September, and have been keenly anticipating the follow-up. Meghna hasn’t disappointed, with the gripping “In My DNA”.
The track was written about her parents and grandparents who grew up in India, experiencing poverty, with the fear that they might not be able to escape that poverty.
Meghna’s haunting vocals work in synchronicity with the pulsating beat, to draw a vivid picture of the challenges faced by the protagonist. It’s dark, it’s pulsating and most certainly captivating.
Meghna writes of the track:
“’In My DNA’ was written based on the experiences of my parents and grandparents in India, as well as an interesting documentary I watched on the Bangladesh brothel town of Daulatdia. The documentary follows a young girl and her life in the village — she wants an education but it’s difficult to access one. She says that the town is ‘unsafe’ for her because all these men hang around, looking at her with malicious intent. Many of the women and children in the town had been sold into prostitution or were born and bred there after generations. They want to escape but feel that the town has trapped them, with every waking minute they spend there the shackles grow tighter. My parents and grandparents had also experienced poverty and conditions like this in India. Essentially, ‘In My DNA’ is about thinking that ‘you have to be something’ because it is ‘in your DNA’, or in your roots but still hoping for better things, or for things to be different.”
When you have little physical wealth, prospects for education, and even basic safety, your imagination is a rich possession. The power of movies can help enhance that. Meghna has written for the AU, a list of her five favourite movies. Take a read of her list, and have a listen to her powerful reflective track, “In My DNA”.
Meghna’s Top 5 Movies
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
I’ve probably watched this movie 50+ times and it never gets old. I love how it starts off as a spy film spoof but actually turns into a really good spy film.
From the unique fight scenes, cheesy villain, and the iconic lines (“manners maketh man”), I can definitely see this film becoming a classic later on. I absolutely love how smooth this film is and how effortless the action scenes are— this film flows so well and gets better every time you watch it.
Also, did I mention this movie has a killer soundtrack/score? I mean, I was sold when the opening scene blasted the Dire Straits hit ‘Money For Nothing’, and then in another scene ‘Bonkers’ by Dizzee Rascal during an unorthodox car chase.
Love Actually (2003)
Love Actually has got to be one of the most quintessential Christmas movies (I’m not sure whether I like Love Actually or The Polar Express better though, both are Christmas classics). I just love Richard Curtis romcoms; he never misses the mark. With a great ensemble cast, cleverly intertwined character storylines and a classic Christmas soundtrack, this film never fails to fill me with the Christmas spirit.
My absolute favourite scene is when Emma Thompson’s character is crying (I won’t tell you why because I guess it’s a spoiler) and Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ is playing in the background. That scene features some of the best acting—how she tries to put on a smiley face after crying feels all too real, especially with that tune accompanying the scene!
Om Shanti Om (2007)
If you like exuberant, colourful films, this one is definitely for you. Also, if you are an active Bollywood film watcher, then you should DEFINITELY have watched this.
Om Shanti Om is one of the first Bollywood films I watched when I was a young child, and I was enamoured with the colours, beautiful songs and intriguing storyline. It is an extremely emotional movie, filled with exciting celebrity cameos and beautifully depicts two different eras of the Bollywood film industry. I just found the plot so interesting and creative as well, following a murder mystery of a young Bollywood actress in the 70s.
It is definitely a film to try out and is so watchable.
Jersey Boys (2014)
This film really sparked my interest in the music of The Four Seasons.
I saw this in cinemas on a trip to the Gold Coast when I was 13, and I was absolutely blown away by the music. Hits like ‘Sherry’, ‘Rag Doll’ and, especially, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ were stuck in my head months after I watched the film.
Not to mention the film interestingly depicted the dynamics between the group, and how the music industry worked in those days. I was shocked at the idea that in those days you could just rock up to a record label and give a cassette with your music on it. Just goes to show how much the industry has evolved!
Roman Holiday (1953)
This has got to be one of my favourite all-time films ever! I love Audrey Hepburn and every time she comes on-screen; she undoubtedly commands the scene. I also love Gregory Peck—he was my grandmother’s favourite actor.
I think the film is so spectacular; how simple the concept of the film is yet is able to convey such amazing interactions between people. The two leads have such great chemistry as well, and the beautiful black and white images of Rome really make this iconic. A lot of old movies I found were very complicated, but this film was so digestible for me, so modern.
In conclusion, this film makes me want to go to Rome and pretend that I’m a runaway princess.