Indian-born, Melbourne-based rising pop artist ASHWARYA has only released a few tracks so far, but she's got people talking. She blends dark, myysterious beats that call to mind artists like The Weeknd, and contrasts them with her commanding, melodic vocals.
She's just linked up with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa for the wavy To The Night, and it'll get you swaying. To celebrate the release of the track, we've put together some info that'll get you up to speed on ASHWARYA, as well as demonstrate why she's a name that you'll want to remember.
When did ASHWARYA first start making music?
ASHWARYA's always been surrounded by music, and she's always been a fan of singing and dancing. Growing up around Bollywood music thanks to her grandparents, she joined a choir in primary school, before realising in high school that she wanted to put her all into making music.
Her Indian heritage has played a big part in her sound, and speaking to Acclaim, she says this comes through subconsciously. She says, "It’s never been like I have to use Hindi or have to use a Bollywood or a cultural sound in my songs, it kind of just came naturally, especially with Biryani.
"I didn’t even realise myself that I had all these different sounds in my head that just came out naturally. When I’m in the studio and when I’m singing, or when I’m writing, especially on the spot, I just kind of surprise myself when the Hindi comes out."
What artists/eras of music influence her?
Speaking to Oyster Magazine, ASHWARYA says that she was a huge fan of a particular iconic CD compilation series. She "used to collect So Fresh CDs, which were my earliest exposure to all the Western pop and R&B hits that I grew to love".
In terms of artists that she's inspired by, she points to three different figures - Freddie Mercury, Rihanna and her grandma. Speaking about her grandma's role in her upbringing, ASHWARYA says, "She enriched my childhood with music, film, poetry, stories… so much."
How did the track with Vic Mensa come about?
While the pandemic halted a lot of people's plans, it meant that people were more open to collaborating over the web. ASHWARYA spoke to Cool Accidents about how the collab with Vic Mensa came about, saying, "The way the collab happened with Vic Mensa was so insane.
"We sent him the track and he loved it. I told him about what the song meant to me and needless to say he smashed it with his own incredible sound. Even though we are in different countries it felt like a true collaboration and hopefully that comes across when you hear the track!"
READ MORE: 5 Songs Based On Indian Meals And How To Cook Them
What's next for ASHWARYA?
Following the release of To The Night, she's preparing to release her debut EP, Nocturnal Hours. The EP captures the thoughts that populate our minds when the sun's gone down, and it's set to showcase ASHWARYA's varied and exciting soundscapes. It'll be dropping on June 10th, so get ready for some more pop goodness from ASHWARYA!