Interviews

Published on March 5th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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Epic Records’ Raja Kumari Weighs in on New EP and Repping the Desi Culture in Hip Hop

Back Story – Indian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and dancer Raja Kumari is a force of nature. A fearless, charismatic personality and natural-born storyteller, her mission is to create art that blends her Indian roots with her American upbringing. Her music is a sonic bridge between East and West that fuses the rhythms she absorbed as a trained classical Indian dancer with her love for hip-hop.

Raja Kumari (Photo Credit: Sasha Samsonova)

Raja Kumari (Photo Credit: Sasha Samsonova)

Kumari made her initial impact on global pop music as a sought-after songwriter. The creative force behind hits like Fall Out Boy’s multiplatinum smash “Centuries,” Iggy Azalea’s “Change Your Life” [feat. T.I.], Fifth Harmony’s “Like Mariah” [feat. Tyga], music for the hit Fox show “Empire,” and numerous anthems for Gwen Stefani have earned her acclaim and accolades across the board. Notably, she received a  GRAMMY® nomination for her work with Azelea and a BMI Pop Award for her work with Fall Out Boy.

Emerging as a disruptive force in hip-hop in her own right, Kumari released her debut EP, The Come Up, in 2016. Her solo material has received acclaim and attention from the likes of BillboardPaper MagazineIdolator and Complex and has been featured overseas by the likes of Rolling StoneVogueCosmopolitanHarper’s Bazaar and GQ in India. Recently she performed on the Red Bull Tour Bus tour which showcases breakthrough artists throughout India, and performed as a guest on Amazon Prime’s digital reality show “The Remix”. Sharing the stage with Academy Award-winning composer A. R. Rahman on tour last year at the SSE Arena Wembley, as well as at the 2017 IIFA Awards at MetLife Stadium, Raja continues to collaborate with other artists throughout the world and was recently featured on the international banger “Vamos”, which cracked over 10 million YouTube views in under one week.  Now, with her forthcoming new EP, Raja Kumari is poised to be a global force in her own right.

The GRAMMY® Award-nominated songwriter and rapper Raja Kumari just released her new EP, BLOODLINE [Epic Records] The five-track project is available at all DSPs HERE!

About the EP, Kumari explains, “BLOODLINE asks the question, “Who are you?” It’s not just about your family line or your heritage. WHO ARE YOU? What runs through your veins and what are you willing to fight for? This collection of songs was inspired my time in India. I found strength in the Motherland, and these battle anthems are my story, my bloodline.”

We got Raja to weigh in on a few things:

What brought you to the entertainment industry, music specifically?

It was my way of escaping and my way to express myself in a multi cultural way.

Tell us about your current project, Bloodline

Bloodline is a collection of battle anthems that were inspired my time spent in India. I hope you enjoy it!

Editor’s Pick from the EP Karma – 5/5

Desi Hip Hop has had an influence throughout the culture almost from the beginning, what does it mean for you to be one of the stand-alone leaders of the Desi influenced sound in the genre today?

I’m proud to represent my culture worldwide and hope to encourage more females to join the industry and put their perspective out there because it needed.

What makes a “forever song” in your view?

An incredible memory and an unforgettable lyric.

Do you have a bucket list of artists you’d like to work within the future?

MIA, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Missy Elliot

Any particular artists you are paying attention to?

Tayla Parx, Raveena, Billie Eilish, AJ Tracey

Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” aka WTF?! moment…

Finding really rare Jordan’s in my size!!

Follow Raja Kumari

https://twitter.com/TheRajaKumari

https://www.instagram.com/therajakumari

https://www.facebook.com/TheRajaKumari/

 

Featured Image Raja Kumari (Photo Credit: Sasha Samsonova)

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, GRAMMY Member and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.



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