There are few artists who effortlessly bridge cultural boundaries, creating a harmonious fusion that resonates with audiences worldwide. Priya Ragu definitely falls under that category. She is a Tamil-Swiss sensation whose music is a testament to her deep-rooted Tamil heritage and her unwavering passion for artistic expression. With her unique blend of thought-provoking lyrics, Tamil folk music, western hip-hop, R&B, and pop, Priya Ragu has carved a significant niche for herself. Her signature style is quite accurately called 'Raguwavy'.
Growing up as a child of immigrants in Switzerland, Priya Ragu faced the challenge of balancing two cultures. Initially disconnected from her Tamil roots, it took time for her to fully embrace them. Surrounded by Swiss culture in her teenage years, she found solace in digging for new music, a passion that set her apart from her schoolmates. Inspired by her brother's music collection, which included hip-hop and R&B records, Priya Ragu found herself drawn to these genres, despite not speaking English at the time. The influence of black music on her upbringing laid the foundation for the fusion of Tamil and Western sounds that define her music today.
Priya Ragu's musical journey took a significant turn when she joined forces with her brother, Japhna Gold, who now serves as her producer. Their collaboration traces back to their childhood when they formed a band with their father. While Priya struggled with singing Tamil songs, Japhna's dedication to mastering the intricate interludes and chords shaped their current collaborative relationship. The inspiration he drew from those early experiences laid the groundwork for their musical synergy, resulting in a seamless blend of genres that transcends cultural boundaries.
Priya Ragu's path to pursuing her musical aspirations was not without obstacles. Initially, her parents only wanted her to perform culturally traditional music, making it challenging for her to share her true artistic vision. However, her determination and talent could not be suppressed. Traveling to New York, she embarked on a journey to create her debut mixtape, damnshestamil, working closely with her brother remotely. The moment of truth arrived when they shared their music with their parents, who were emotionally touched and proud of their children for representing their roots through their art.
Priya Ragu's music is a powerful vehicle for storytelling and social commentary. Her recent performance on A Colors Show was a medley of Black Goose and Let Me Breathe, two tracks from her upcoming 15-track debut album Santhosam, which releases on the 20th of October, 2023. These tracks address police brutality and the ongoing struggles in Sri Lanka. Singing these songs in the studio, Priya felt a profound connection to her ancestors, channeling their anger, rage, and frustration. Her music becomes a conduit for expressing the pain and experiences of her parent's generation, even though she did not directly witness the war in Sri Lanka. Most music enthusiasts across the globe know of the illustrious music platform, Colors. Known for its distinctively unique minimalistic stage, which shines the limelight on the artist, without too many visual distractions, Colors is a go-to platform if you’re looking to discover new music and talented artists, spanning diverse nationalities and genres.
With her upcoming debut album, Santhosam, meaning "happiness" in Tamil, Priya Ragu continues her journey of self-discovery and spiritual exploration. The album delves into her personal quest for happiness, finding purpose in her artistry, and connecting with her spirituality.At Homegrown, we can barely hold our horses for the release of Ragu’s album. Her Colors performance provides a tantalizing taste of what’s to come!
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