LM23-11. Swapna Abraham “Played in the Dark”

“for the LOVE of Music” with Sara Troy and her guest Swapna Abraham, on air from March 14th

After pursuing music as a singer-songwriter for twenty-four years, primarily as a gospel music artiste, releasing twenty-one albums and performing the world over, I, Swapna Abraham, arrived at the decision to give up music altogether feeling unfulfilled. The rest was short-lived. The very next day I decided to compose, produce and publish a song a day for a thousand days; set a date to the start and finish, and started prepping for the challenge. From learning recording to the dialogue with world record organizations, funding, finding a place, arranging for equipment, getting in touch with press and getting out of a futile relationship; I was soon going to realize that the envisioned challenge had very little to do with the grind of making a song every day.

‘She Played In The Dark’ is the story of a protagonist that found her own definition of and path to fulfilment and success if one may call it that. All this with the responsibility of caring for two college-going children, one of which got married and had two babies in the course of the challenge; aged parents who were always at the back of her mind, the hustle with a rather busy day job that paid the bills, health matters, any travel whether it was on the road to work, by air reaching family and friends or in a lift headed for home (and the challenge).

As the author shares from her life’s narrative, the book covers the power of past failure, managing unhappiness, how parents should also work on their dreams, why we should try, recognizing opportunity, dealing with change and when there is no Plan B, using your will, inculcating discipline and habit, the secret of work, working by decision rather than inspiration, working when you cannot work, working with life going on in the background, that the world has place for all, what we can do about jealousy, the importance of quality and detail, prioritizing, choosing our battles, a whole new understanding of time, dependencies to preserve sanity, finishing what we start, leaving a legacy, about withdrawal symptoms, and that it takes a certain kind of person for a certain (t)ask.

The thousand-day endeavour resulted in four world records, and for reasons explained, not 1000 but 2321 songs (all made ‘live’) and a couple of other feathers in her hat, most importantly fulfilment.

What playing in the dark was all about… Well, for the most part she used to play the piano with the lights off. Truth be told, even after then, it was in the dark that she played.


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A multiple world record holder and award winner, Swapna Abraham is a singer-songwriter, actor, author, interior designer, mentor, and marketing and branding enthusiast with her roots and formation in India and prime experience in the UAE. Swapna has authored and produced 21 musical albums and performed extensively on the international gospel music platform (www.swapnaabraham.com). Holding 4 world records in singing and songwriting with the Golden Book of World Records (www.1000songsin1000days.com), she has also published a memoir “She Played In The Dark” entailing the journey and lessons through the 1000-day world record journey. A mentor in singing and songwriting, Swapna championed the first branded karaoke café “Kafeoke” in India with a school for singing and songwriting and a recording studio. She is also known for her acting performances as Donna in the Mamma Mia musical directed by the late Mithran Devanesan, and Meenakshi in the Tamil feature film Nadunissi Naaygal directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon. Her years at the T A Pai Management Institute and Indian Institute of Management Kolkata led her to becoming an avid marketing and branding enthusiast. Leaving no flair unpursued, Swapna is also an interior designer and member of the Designers Society of America (www.alikainteriors.com). She is also the India Country Chair for G100 Media Arts & Communication. In culmination, Swapna is the recipient of the NeedStar Award (2010), a Women’s Day Citation “Role Model for her progress and success in the field of Mainstream Career, Art & Entrepreneurship”; the Lamp-Icongo Karmaveer Chakra for Gospel Music Maestro Award (2012) for the contribution to gospel music from 1991-2012; the Aspire World Award (2019) for her Passion for Excellence at the 31st Global Women’s Empowerment Summit, Dubai; and the Women of Excellence Award at the Women Economic Forum (2022).


Finalist for the World Songwriting Awards, Spring 2023, for Best Modern Country Song








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