With a new decade on the horizon, the Grammy-nominated Indian American singer & songwriter, Raja Kumari, has announced her brand-new track and video `Bindis & Bangles` releasing tomorrow, 14th Feb and will be available across all streaming platforms.
Bindis and Bangles is an ode to the traditions of the past and the technologies of the future, all while shining a spotlight on India's rich and unique culture. With this track, Kumari delicately drives home an apropos message of how God is omnipresent; and spiritual realization in modern times isn't a fallacy and can be attained without the trappings of technology.
The intrepid and empowering video directed by The Fictionary, with its' striking imagery, was created and curated by an all-female team in collaboration with the New York-based cyberpunk-artist Sam Madhu, who also directed visuals for `Karma` from Kumari's 2019 EP, BLOODLINE. With retro-futurism at its core, the video comes to life with fictional characters from the ancient Indian world such as palanquin bearers, dancers and sages who are equipped with tools of the future, such as virtual reality and holograms. In the video, Kumari is portrayed as an ethereal apparition who glitches into reality and is perceived as a Goddess from another dimension. As they worship her, they in turn relinquish technology and awaken their own third eyes- visually represented in the form of complex digital interfaces.
Reflecting on the track, Kumari states, `Bindis and Bangles is my most ambitious project, working with an all-female team was empowering and inspiring. The Bindi for me is the third eye, and the visual encourages all to keep their third eye open. I'm so excited to share this song with all my fans.`
Produced by Zero, who is of American origin, the track is co-written by India's premier hip-hop star and Kumari's long standing co-collaborator, DIVINE, and packs a passionate and powerful punch, loaded with robust rhymes and ferocious delivery over a nuanced beat with international reverberations. Armed with a compelling groove and spirited lyrics, the track sets the perfect exemplar of a vision of India's future - inspired by its' past.
With a maiden headlining North American tour and the release of her documentary "Raja Kumari: So Far" which spotlighted the importance of embracing one's uniqueness by narrating her resilient story of empowerment as a woman of colour, 2019 marked many firsts for Kumari. She became the first Indian artist to host the American Music Awards Red Carpet and to perform at Formula One (F1) Singapore Grand Prix. With an album and tour in the works, we'll hear more from the MTV Hustle judge in the near future. Stay tuned!
Indian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress 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.
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 Billboard, Paper Magazine, Idolator and Complex and has been featured overseas by the likes of Rolling Stone, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper'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.
Raja Kumari's talents extend beyond the studio, having recently co-starred in the acclaimed movie Gully Boy. She also is the host and curator of her own Apple Music Beats 1 show, The New India, where she spotlights some of India's brightest new talents. Needless to say, as her star continues to rise, Raja Kumari is poised to be a global force in her own right.