GET TO KNOW:
PRIYA RAGU

Following the release and remix of 'Good Love 2.0' from Hot Chip's Joe Goddard, we caught up with Priya Ragu.

One of the most delicious descriptions of music I’ve heard comes from Priya Ragu, who tells me that “We just came up with a name for this particular music, because a lot of influences flow into it: ‘Ragu Wavy’, it’s fundamentally Soul/R&B music with a little Ragu sauce…It is hard to describe it, because I don’t want to specifically define it by putting it into a box. It eventually should make you feel something, so I would say ‘Ragu Wavy’ is Feel Music.” 

Tamil-Swiss musician Priya Ragu has mobilised a force of fans and dedicated listeners over the course of a few independently released tracks. Her melange of culture and heritage has culminated in an exciting and yet unfamiliar sound. Ragu grew up in Switzerland after her parents fled from the Sri Lankan civil war in the 80s. She tells me that her parents were pushy but that the soundtrack to her childhood has moulded and shaped the music that she makes today. “My parents always pushed us musically…as a kid I was sent to violin classes and my brother went to keyboard classes. They approached this more like a side hobby, where education and career were top priority. Music was always played in our house – usually Tamil film music or Karnatic music. I would say they unknowingly played a huge role in my music – they literally fed my appetite to eventually explore out of what was known in our household. When you tell a kid “you are not allowed to listen to this” you automatically are more drawn to it – I don’t know why but that’s how it was. 

The South Asian influences come through in her tracks in a powerfully subtle way, especially on the label debut track Good Love 2.0. The focus on spirituality and heartbreak throughout the track bonds with the electro loops and R&B vocals, all in all creating an East to West amalgam that works spectacularly.  

Priya Ragu’s ‘Good Love 2.0 (Joe Goddard Remix)’ is out now, so stream it below.

Words by Tori Sharp

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