Audible is one of the world's largest sellers of digital audiobooks and other spoken word content. For their launch in India, the Amazon subsidiary collaborated with actors Radhika Apte, Rajkumar Rao, and Kalki Koechlin to narrate Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Written by S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges, this collection of stories contains intricate details of 13 women who went on to leave their permanent mark on the face of the Mumbai Mafiosi.
Kulture Shop was brought on to create the cover for the Mafia Queens audiobook, a banner on the Audible website as well as provide merchandise for promotional gifting.
For a story like Mafia Queens, the illustration needed to have a strong edgy style that simultaneously captured the dark edge of the city of Mumbai and highlighted the power of the strong female characters in the story. We chose Kulture Shop artist Tanya Eden for the project. Tanya is particularly passionate about stronger representation for more diverse voices in art, especially women which is reflected in her art through a distinct graphic style and sharp colour palette. Art directed by Kunal Anand, she illustrated the three leading characters in the story - Sapna Didi, Jenabai and Gangubai. She captured the essence of the characters in their strong gaze with a modern stylistic approach, making the artwork look cinematic and genuine at the same time.
"When I first got on board for briefing, within a few minutes of discourse with Kunal, I was fascinated with the subject of Mafia Queens. It was the first time I'd heard of women gangsters in Mumbai. The stories of these women were courageous, obscene, obscure, dark and gratifying, the more I read the deeper I got absorbed into its realm. This was so up my alley and close to how I portrayed women in my work. With a lot of precision and art direction, Kunal and I brought these characters to life for how we visualized them in their element. Teaming with Kulture Shop for this has been an impactful, fun and seamless experience."
- Tanya Eden, Illustrator
The invite was an innovative take on the evidence box we see in most films. With the striking visual on top, the invite box made for a unique package that pulls you into the world of Mafia Queens. The box - sealed with a band which said 'evidence' - opened up to reveal an old school map and recording tape, which narrated the details of the event. An intriguing invite for a riveting story.
The launch event was held at Royal Opera House, Mumbai on November 22. Actors Radhika Apte, Rajkumar Rao, and Kalki Koechlin were present and narrated excerpts from the book. The illustration created was used on banners, cushion covers and even on the back of an auto-rickshaw. Kulture Shop co-founders Arjun Charanjiva, Jas Charanjiva, and Kunal Anand were present at the event along with illustrator Tanya Eden.
Agency Partner - Edelman Mumbai
Agency - Kulture Shop
Art Direction - Kunal Anand & Amanda Mooney
Illustrator - Tanya Eden
R&D / Title Design - Sneha Iyer
Client - Audible