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On ‘No Social Media’, Rukmani Revels In The Thrill Of Non-Digital Life [Review]

‘No Social Media’, the first of Rukmani’s 2024 offerings, is a defiant call to a routine void of feeds and trend tables.

'No Social Media' Cover art.
‘No Social Media’ Cover art.

Amidst the avalanche of social media trends and interactions, serenity has never been in shorter supply. Updates from world over arrive at a breakneck pace, filling netizens an unhealthy amount of information. Additionally, agendas and the peddling of false narratives are rife, which stifles independent thought. It is harder to do the things that matter; to be with the people that matter.

The social media scourge hits different for media personalities and many creatives, who practically live in cyberspace by necessity. With tight schedules, constantly mounting pressure and online comparisons, breakdowns and depressive moments are almost inevitable. However, artistes rarely devote full-length songs to this subject-matter, presumably due to lack of commercial and artistic appeal. Asides occasional references in songs, one can only imagine how stifling it is to be a creative in the social media era.

Rukmani.

In rebellious fashion, Rukmani brings this scourge to the fore on her latest release, ‘No Social Media’. She fearlessly declares herself unbound on the neo-soul record and beckons on listeners to break free as well. The cover art is just as on-the-nose as the title, featuring an analogue television.

Rukmani wastes no time in delivering her message. She opens with the lines, ‘I ain’t going through the media no more’/’I wanna be what you see’/’Check your X for the trends’/’It’s reading Rukmani’/’Been in my box for long’/’I’m tryna unbox me’. While echoing the sentiments of many who feel stifled by social media, she equally casts a spotlight on herself. With buttery vocals, Rukmani lets listeners into her commitment to self-improvement and her refusal to shrink for others (‘I’m pretty reckless at driving but I keep riding’/’Can’t make me small for you’/’Gwarn and big up yourself’).

The record’s up-tempo nature is perfect for the song’s message, even when Rukmani dwells on ambition and high standards (‘I don’t want less so the best is to get what I please’/‘I don’t want less so the best is to do what I please’).

With the foundation firmly in place, Rukmani offers a glimpse of a social media detox in the second verse. She pulls no punches with her lines, defiantly drifting from skipping a doctor’s appointment to linking up with an ex. To infuse more nuance into her life, she also contemplates hobbies and vices. The results appear fruitful, as she sings, ‘I took a stand and it’s working out for me’/’I took a chance and it’s working out for me’/’Hard times got nothing on a softie’.

On ‘No Social Media’, Rukmani is soft, defiant and self-assured. It is an unconventional start to the year, but it stays true to her artistic essence evident in previous releases. There is beauty and serenity beyond blue-light screens, and that is the core message of Rukmani’s ‘No Social Media’.

Listen to ’No Social Media′ here: orcd.co/nosocialmedia

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