Artist of The Week: Aarushi Agni

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The Theater Collective is excited to introduce our next artist of the week, Aarushi Agni. Agni recently moved to New York City from Madison, Wisconsin to pursue music, comedy, and writing. Currently, Agni is completing her MFA in writing and activism from Pratt Institute.

Before coming to Manhattan, Agni was part of a writing collective in Madison that consisted of women and non-binary people of color. Members were encouraged to write monologues and personal stories that were performed annually.

Agni has taken this concept and created her own collective, “Brown Girl Lifted.” The collective publishes and provides a platform to people of color. “I’m trying to ground my writing practice in this political reality instead of ignoring the political reality … the solutions to a lot of these problems is just having more voices out there and letting people consume that,” explains Agni. You can find these collaborations on
Brown Girl Lifted.

Agni has noticed an overlap of intersectionality in the music and comedy scene. “[In Madison] I was pretty much the only women of color I knew in the music scene and I was the only women of color I knew in the comedy scene, which was doubly isolating.” As a woman performer, Agni finds that audiences are shocked to find that she isn’t just the voice of the band, but also the creator behind the music. Additionally, she finds it difficult to decipher whether people in the industry are truly interested in collaborating, or just trying to date. “That’s in the fabric of being a woman. I do feel like there is a layer— I have to be very careful because this person might perceive my genuine interest in their art as an interest in them.”

Nonetheless Agni has allowed this to fuel her art, further defining her resilience as an artist. Her blues folk band, Tin Can Diamonds, can be found on Soundcloud and Spotify, or on their website. Agni and fellow artist, Pablo Javier Alfaro, wrote a featured song (in 45 minutes!) on the set of Poet’s Are the Destroyers, a film by Nancy Pop and Sam T. Wilson, due to be released in 2019.

Despite her limited time in New York, Agni’s created a dynamic stand-up career. Recently, her
work has been featured at The Comedy Club, The Grand Shebang, and The Cobra Club. “In
comedy, I talk about being in love and why that fucks with your mind… It’s kind of an absurdity. I like taking things that are really normal in life and talking about why they’re weird.”

Aarushi’s next show is August 3rd at The Cobra Club. For more information go to cobraclubbk.com