OUR TOP 10 SOUTH-ASIAN FEMALE ARTISTS
A round‑up (in no particular order) of some of our favourite South‑Asian Singer‑Songwriters, Diaspora & Homeland; who continue to make great strides in the musical realm ✨🦋
Photo: Joy Crookes
Irish‑Bangladeshi Singer, Joy Crookes bears the South‑Asian pin with pride, writes charming Soul music about disarming topics, adorning it with honesty, wit and maturity.
Photo: My Vans
Swiss‑Sri Lankan Artist, Priya Ragu draws from her Tamil heritage to contribute to the realm of World Music. AR Rahman, Deva, MS Vishwanathan, Illayaraja but also Neo‑Soul artists such as Lauryn Hill, Brandy, India Arie have proven to be early influences for Priya, creating a rich, colorful musical palette.
Photo: Oliver Whitfield Smith
Indo‑Canadian Rap Duo comprising sisters Eboshi and Contra are ambassadors of “Goonda Rap”, the pair have garnered a lot of attention representing Queer women of color. Having toured with Sudan Archives, Clipping; the girls have no qualms about carving a new path in Hip‑hop.
Photo: Tanmay Chowdhary
Madame Gandhi with her unabashed Electro‑feminist sounds, definitely makes it onto our list of incredibly talented women. Previously a drummer for M.I.A, an activist, an actress and having made many brazen moves in her lifetime, Gandhi’s work automatically color themselves as anthems for Female Solidarity and Unity.
Photo: Simrah Farrukh
Pooja Pallavi aka Fijiana, a multi‑hyphenate Indo‑Fijian artist ‑ A Rapper, Songwriter, Model, Actress, Dancer, Director. Pooja is a proud flag‑bearer of her intermingling cultural identities, and shines light upon her ‘Coolie/ Girmitiya’ community & colorism.
Photo: Abrielle Williams
Indian‑origin Singer, Raveena with her unmissable, hypnotic voice delivering honeyed melodies about love & identity. Raveena dips into all forms of her art ‑ songwriting, staging her own concerts and directing dreamy music videos that caress South‑Asian heritage and Queer culture.
Photo: Kavya Trehan
Having dabbled in theatre, commercials, film, Drumming, Modelling and a born entertainer ; KAVYA considers herself an ‘impressionable sponge’. This curiosity lends itself to her music, each track revealing renewed maturity and complexity. Touring with her band MOSKO and project KAVYA X CHAZ through the festival circuit, she continues to leave her audience spell‑bound.
Photo: Alexis D’Souza
Hailing from Bangalore, Alexis D’Souza with her band at the time, stole the hearts of many before melting away into silence. Alexis recently released ‘You’re Nobody, You’re Perfect‘ written from the heart, simplistic yet comforting melodies that traverse R&B, Soul, Jazz and everything in between. The reluctant artist yields sounds that arise without an iota of coercion and purely from a flow of inspiration.
Bay Area based artist, Samica with low‑key Pop/ R&B garnered attention with covers that grabbed the ears of the original creators, however Samica has proven her artistry with her earworms ‘Alright’ and ‘Design’ and seems well on her way to Pop Stardom.
Photo: Meredithe Ettrich
Indian‑origin, American artist Anjali Taneja derives from her early Indian Classical and Jazz training to establish a strong presence in Modern R&B, music that celebrates journeys, hardships and positivity.
Words by Keerthana Sudarshan