Raja Kumari, aka Sveta Rao, releases her first solo EP The Come Up, on November 17. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter’s music video for the single “Believe In You” is out now. It features scenes of the Malibu Hindu Temple in Calabasas, California, juxtaposed with home-video style clips from her childhood dance performances. Have a look:
Classically trained in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi, Raja Kumari shifted her main focus to music in her teens, eventually finding success as a songwriter and a recording contract with Epic Records — she calls her mix of musical genres Bollyhood. She was honored at the 2016 BMI Pop Awards for co-writing “Centuries” with Fall Out Boy. On social media, she wrote about her “Believe In You” single’s connection to the viral hit song “Why This Kolaveri Di”:
As a songwriter, Raja Kumari has also worked with several pop artists including Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, and Iggy Azalea, and she was nominated for a Grammy for her work on Azalea’s “Change Your Life.” In a Paper magazine interview, she shares her thoughts on Azalea’s “Bounce” video which has been criticized for cultural appropriation (“I can’t keep writing for other people and allow them to exploit my culture”) and talked about why she’s wearing a gold grill in the video for her single “Mute” featuring Elvis Brown (Future suggested it). Read the full interview online.
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