Tue 14 Sep 2021

Introducing… Priya Ragu


Priya Ragu is just as fascinating as her music. She was born and raised in Switzerland following her parents’ escape from the Sri Lankan civil war in the early eighties. As she grew older, the Swiss and Sri Lankan cultures began to clash. Although they are now fully supportive of their daughter, Priya’s parents were initially strict, she wasn’t encouraged to listen to Western music or hang out at the mall after school. However, her musical ambitions soon began to take root.

At the age of 16, Priya Ragu performed Alicia Keys’ ‘Fallin’’ to her brother, who insisted she perform at a show he was doing with his rap group. Her father discovered their plans and stopped her from performing, but Priya wasn’t deterred. She instead made her ambitions more covert, sneaking out to jam sessions and open mic nights, before deciding to fully pursue her ambitions by moving to America with the help of her friend, the rapper Oddisee. Working remotely with Japhna, the pair created a number of tracks which would provide the launchpad for where she is today.

After releasing a handful of singles which have made her one of the most hotly tipped breaking artists around, Priya Ragu released her eagerly anticipated debut mixtape ‘damnshestamil’ on September 3rd. The mixtape was announced with the single ‘Kamali’, which was premiered by Annie Mac at Radio 1. Subsequent airplay included daytime and specialist support from Nick Grimshaw, Jack Saunders, and an A-list playlist at BBC Asian Network.

Priya continued to fuel excitement for the mixtape when she unveiled new song ‘Lockdown’ (Hottest Record on Radio 1’s Future Sounds) along with its official video. A vibrant feast of high energy beats, it demonstrates Priya’s growing command of distinctive, mainstream-ready, pop-focused songwriting as well as the full spectrum and majesty of her voice. She swings effortlessly from a staccato flow to beautiful, free-flowing melodies as she expresses a desire for human contact – the kind that became so elusive during lockdown.

Priya says, Lockdown was written earlier this year during a time where I felt particularly isolated from the people I love. It’s about dealing with being alone in this situation and wanting to feel the energy of another persons presence, not for love but for friendship, guidance and getting down.”

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