Swiss-Tamil artist Priya Ragu has just dropped her debut single, Good Love 2.0, and to say it's a great first impression would be a massive understatement. Darting from Priya's buttery vocals to a verse reminiscent of M.I.A. to an unforgettable change of pace two minutes in, it seems Priya is already a master of her craft.
Priya looks at music as a way to communicate her life experiences. She brings a global vision to the table, so you get a strong sense of worldliness when listening to her sing. Her debut track is reminiscent of Nao, SZA, Noname and Jorja Smith, but she's already got her own, developed sound.
Her parents are proud of her music, but initially they were strict. They didn't want her to listen to Western pop, and wanted her to embrace a different path to the one she was walking on. Eventually, she moved to America to chase her musical dream. She linked up with her friend the rapper Oddisee, who let her stay in his Brooklyn studio. She features on his new EP, Odd Cure, adding her distinct sound to Still Strange.
Working closely with her brother, Japhna Gold, they co-wrote and produced her debut single, Good Love 2.0. Speaking to Kwava, she says it's “a dream come true” to work with her brother. They're able to bring the best out of each other, even when they're fighting. It's all part of the sibling dynamic. She says, “it’s not something we always wanted to do, work together… it just kind of happened" proving that sometimes, the most unexpected surprises are the best ones.
Speaking about her approach towards her music, and her identity, Priya says she wants to be someone other Sri Lankan people can look up to. “I wanted to challenge the stereotypes of Sri Lankan people essentially being limited to cooks, cleaners or shop workers. People who are looked down upon. People who are rarely envied or desired. I’m proud of who I am and my music celebrates that.”
Good Love 2.0 sees Priya singing about a love that is stronger than society could ever understand. Nothing can get between the two people in love, no matter how hard other people might try.
The track takes a few different twists and turns. It starts out with an R&B flavour, before the funk starts to kick in. The song's final minute is where it's at its best though, utilising whirling sounds from her South Indian heritage.
The drums and strings are intoxicating, and a sign of what's to come from Priya. To her, making music is necessary for her to feel at peace with herself, and this track is a great first taste of the kinds of music she wants to create.
The music video for the track is just as beautiful, having been filmed in Mumbai and cast by Priya. She found the people to work on the video through Instagram, finding a director in Mumbai, and a stylist and the lead role for the video in Delhi.
Priya might just be your new favourite artist, as well as ours. Check out Good Love 2.0 above. There's so many sounds and instruments involved, as well as a philosophy that draws from all aspects of her culture. It's a song that will get you wanting to follow her every move - and we can't wait for what's next.