Newcomer Priya Ragu unveils her label debut single, “Good Love 2.0,” today via Warner Records. Listen and watch the track’s video, filmed in Goa early this year and hand-cast by Priya, here. Produced by and written with Priya’s brother, Japhna Gold, the track unites Priya’s love of R&B with her Sri Lankan heritage, incorporating textures from traditional South Indian instrumentation and inspiration from legendary composers of Indian cinema such as A.R. Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, and Deva.
Priya was born and raised in Switzerland after her parents escaped from the Sri Lankan civil war in the early 80s, initially rose to prominence with a handful of independently released singles that attracted the attention of Rolling Stone India, VH1 India, Radio 1, 1XTRA, and others. Now signed to Warner Records globally, “Good Love 2.0” is her first official release, with much more music to come.
Priya’s music deals in themes of spirituality and possibility, yearning and heartbreak. “Good Love 2.0” projects her idea of idealistic first love, one that she says is, “Beyond religion, beyond caste, beyond color. It’s the feeling nothing can tear you apart because it’s so strong.”
Music was always a big part of Priya’s family life growing up, and she soon discovered that she could sing. Despite early musical ambitions, she struggled to relate to anyone she admired in music. She couldn’t sing as high as the playback singers in the Kollywood films and no one in the Western pop charts looked like her. The Fugees proved to be the turning point as her influences quickly broadened.
Although now incredibly proud and supportive, her parents were initially strict. They didn’t want her to listen to Western pop and were keen for her to get married as she reached adulthood. Eventually, something snapped, she quit her job as she wanted to put everything into music and decided to move to America for six months. Needing somewhere to stay, her friend, the rapper Oddisee offered Priya his Brooklyn studio. Sending song ideas back and forth to Japhna, the pair created a number of tracks whilst she was there and the work continued when she returned to Zurich, where Priya currently resides.
Her connection with Oddisee continues today, most recently when Priya featured on “Still Strange,” a track from his album Odd Cure.
Ultimately, Priya Ragu’s artistry explores every aspect of her culture, from her music to her sense of style to her use of both the English and Tamil languages. “I’m so proud of my heritage, my parents, my people,” she says. “I want to create amazing music. I want to leave behind meaningful songs and a real cultural impact. I want to make South Asian people proud.”
Courtesy: Warner Records