Mumbai / New York, 24th April 2020 – Earlier last month, the partnership between Nas-owned U.S. based entertainment company Mass Appeal and Universal Music India, Mass Appeal India announced the signing of Grammy Nominated Indian-American rapper and singer-songwriter Raja Kumari to their roster.
Spitting fire to complex rhythms, the California native is back with her debut track off Mass Appeal India. “N.R.I.” also marks the first track off of her highly anticipated EP which will be due this summer.
Produced by American record producer and songwriter Rob Knox and co-written by Grammy-Award winning American hip hop recording artist Sirah, the track was penned in Los Angeles whilst the video was shot in India right before the country declared its’ national quarantine lockdown to fight the ongoing global pandemic outbreak.
The buoyant track offers a look into her upbringing, highlighting the duality of being exposed to two different cultures and the irony of being made to feel alien in both. Throwing in some sarcastic pun, the track interlaces hard-hitting mentions like – “sorry that my sari ain’t Indian enough and America don’t love me cuz i’m indian as f**k, bindi on your third eye but your third eye closed, too brown for the label too privileged for the co-sign.”
Speaking about the single Raja Kumari says, “This single stems from the duality of being from two different cultures, while being told you don’t quite belong in either of them. N.R.I. stands for non-resident of India, and is used as a derogatory term for “not really indian” for people born outside of India, in the diaspora. In America, I was asked to leave behind my culture and assimilate, and in India, I was told I didn’t belong to my culture because I wasn’t born here. I decided to re-claim this term and make it my own. My upcoming EP The Bridge, is about symbolizing bridging the east and the west, the ancient and the modern, and connecting us from the old world to the new. The EP was mostly recorded in Bombay, but this song in particular was written in Los Angeles. We shot the video for this just as the borders were closing for India, the morning of my flight. We’ve been able to edit the video while we’ve been in quarantine.”
Raja Kumari adds, “I knew N.R.I. would never be complete without both sides – my American and Indian story, and I hope you’ll share your #mynristory with the world as well.”1128