Artist Spotlight – Raja Kumari

In her recent UPROXX feature, Raja Kumari speaks about watching Iggy Azalea’s Bounce music video and seeing Iggy wearing a ‘Kireedam’ (a crown depicted as being worn by Hindu goddesses) and “gyrating on top of an elephant”. Raja says that this scene “woke me [her] up”, and thinking “literally something that I’ve written in my journal that I wanna film has been filmed by someone who has no connection to the culture”. She goes on to say that “..if I do not get up and do this right now, if I don’t make my album..it won’t be me, part of the revolution..speaking for us”.

Raja Kumari (real name, Svetha Rao) is no stranger to the music industry. With writing credits for artists/bands like Gwen Stefani, Fall Out Boy, Fifth Harmony and Iggy Azalea, she is currently signed to Epic Records. In the above interview she speaks about writing songs thinking; “if Christina would sing this or if Demi Lovato would sing this” and writing outside of her own perspective or voice. Raja goes on to say that after writing for other artists for a couple of years, she was coming up with material that was “fresh and different” and “they [record executives] would get to the point like this is awesome but who’s gonna sing it?”. Raja answers the question with an emphatic “Me!”

Listening to Raja Kumari’s song, Mute, off The Come Up EP, one cannot help but feel that her journey to explode onto the mainstream has been a long time coming. The energy is raw and when she sings: “Thought that the curry was soup, I had to feed these fools” she conveys her desire to bring the authentic essence of her Indian background, with training in Indian classical music, to the forefront.

Raja Kumari brings an interesting flavour to the American Pop music table that has been missing until now. Will Raja Kumari be to Pop/Hip Hop music what ||Superwoman|| is to Youtube? Since we have been waiting for this long for an artist like her, I guess we could wait a little bit longer and find out.

Throwback Track of the Week | Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation

Most people underestimate Janet Jackson’s influence on contemporary Pop/R&B music. Rhythm Nation 1814 was released in 1989 and was instrumental in cementing Janet’s place on the podium next to her superstar brother, Michael. Part of Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 FILM, this music video was iconic at the time and was undeniably the inspiration behind Beyoncé’s much discussed 2016 Superbowl performance.

J. Cole | 4 Your Eyez Only – Album Review

Jermaine Lamarr Cole aka ‘ (the now not so) Young Simba’ released his fourth studio album at the end of 2016; a year that marked the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement and the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA. Thus, 2016 marked a tumultuous and divisive year for the self proclaimed ‘Land of the Free’.

Continue reading